Fighting-fit French cinema in full swing
by Fabien Lemercier
- Bullets fly in Two Men in Town and Marseille, while Salvation Army and Quarter-life Crisis also get a release
With 75.67 million admissions taken between 1 January and 30 April 2014, representing a total amount that is up 17% compared to the same period in 2013, attendance levels in French movie theatres are in great shape, according to estimates released by the CNC. This is a firmly entrenched positive trend, as it constitutes the fifth consecutive month of increases in admissions compared to those of the previous year (+19.4% in December 2013, +21.1% in January 2014, +21.3% in February, +12% in March and +15.4% in April). This very clear-cut recovery owes a lot to French films, whose market share is estimated at 46.6% over the first four months of 2014, as against 42.5% for American productions and 10.8% for feature films from other countries. And the current box-office figures are a perfect reflection of this dynamic, considering the extraordinary success of the comedy Serial (Bad) Weddings [+see also:
film profile] by Philippe de Chauveron, which has taken 4.82 million admissions in 19 days (UGC Distribution), jumping 11% in its third week. Also of note are the positive results achieved by another national comedy: Babysitting [+see also:
film profile] by Philippe Lacheau and Nicolas Benamou (distributed by UPI France – 1.3 million viewers over almost three weeks).
French cinema continues to be the lifeblood of the screens today, particularly with two films that let the guns do the talking: the English-language thriller Two Men in Town [+see also:
film profile] by Rachid Bouchareb, discovered in competition at Berlin and starring Forest Whitaker (read the review – distributed by Pathé Films), and Olivier Panchot’s crime-fiction tragedy Marseille [+see also:
film profile] (read the article – distributed by SND).
Also on today’s release schedule are two other French feature debuts: the tender Salvation Army [+see also:
film profile] by Abdellah Taïa, unveiled at the Venice Critics’ Week, and selected at Toronto and Rotterdam (Rezo across 16 screens), and the enjoyable Quarter-life Crisis [+see also:
film profile] by Benjamin Guedj (see news - Gaumont in 209 theatres).
Also of note are Two Lives [+see also:
film profile] by German director Georg Maas, his country’s contender for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (Sophie Dulac Distribution across 80 screens), and the Franco-Belgian co-production In the Name of the Son [+see also:
film profile] by Vincent Lannoo, winner of the Méliès d'Or 2013 (a prize awarded to the best European film within the fantastic or science-fiction genres), which is released by Eurozoom in 25 cinemas. Lastly, UGC is distributing the Chinese-French co-production Le Promeneur d’oiseau [+see also:
film profile] by Philippe Muyl, filmed entirely in China with local actors and set to be released on 15 May in Chinese cinemas with a print run of 3,800 copies.
(Translated from French)