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BOX OFFICE France

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Comedy reigns in French movie theatres

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- From Pattaya to Les Tuche 2, French theatres are giving star billing to national comedies being released by companies like Gaumont and Pathé

Comedy reigns in French movie theatres
Pattaya by Franck Gastambide

With four million admissions in four weeks, Les Tuche 2 – Le rêve américain [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Olivier Baroux (distributed in 623 theatres by Pathé) is setting the tone for the start of 2016 at the box office – a year so far characterised by French exhibitors’ and viewers’ huge appetite for national comedies. This enthusiasm is also symbolised by the great opening recorded by Pattaya [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(935,000 admissions in one week), by and starring Franck Gastambide (Gaumont in 307 cinemas), which blasts the boundaries of “politically correct” humour to smithereens as it recounts the misfortunes of a duo from the lower-class suburbs heading off to Thailand for a holiday. 

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Besides these two films, which do not go in for subtleties and have strongly divided the critics, national comedies are also represented at the current box office by the feel-good movie One Man and His Cow [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Mohamed Hamidi (596,000 admissions in two weeks – Pathé across 278 screens), the energetic and heart-warming Joséphine s'arrondit [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by and starring Marilou Berry (627,000 admissions in two weeks – UGC Distribution), and Public Friends [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Edouard Pluvieux (La Belle Company – 621,000 admissions in two weeks).

Confronted with these national rib-ticklers and the most prominent US productions (from Zootopia to Deadpool, via The Revenant) that are monopolising a huge proportion of the screens, only a few features are managing to hold their own. Among them, we could mention Chocolat [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
 by Roschdy Zem (1.68 million admissions in four weeks – Gaumont), Agnus Dei [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lou de Laâge
film profile
]
 by Anne Fontaine (which broke through the 400,000-viewer mark on Sunday after 19 days on release – Mars Distribution), Heidi [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
 by Swiss director Alain Gsponer (440,000 admissions in two weeks – StudioCanal), and among the documentaries, Seasons [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (842,000 admissions in four weeks – Pathé Distribution), and the unsinkable Tomorrow [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent (718,000 viewers in 12 weeks – Mars Distribution), which incidentally has just won the 2016 César Award in its category. And talking of the Césars, we should point out that the winner of the Best Film of the Year Award, Fatima [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Philippe Faucon
film profile
]
 by Philippe Faucon, is being re-released in 105 theatres (Pyramide Distribution).

In this overall environment that is so conducive to laughter, it will be interesting to observe the opening of Saint Amour [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by black-comedy duo Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, which was unveiled out of competition at Berlin and is being released today by Le Pacte across 366 screens, against the backdrop of a Twitter clash between distributor Jean Labadie and a handful of representatives of the critics accused of "wantonly" tearing films to pieces.

(Translated from French)

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