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BOX OFFICE France

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Euro 2016 and cinema do not make the best bedfellows

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- Only the comedies Back to Mom’s and The African Doctor are managing to hold their own on the French cinema listings

Euro 2016 and cinema do not make the best bedfellows
Back to Mom’s by Eric Lavaine

The detrimental impact of the Euro 2016 championship (which is currently in full swing in France) on attendance levels in movie theatres has been confirmed, heralded by a drop of 15% compared to 2015 recorded last Sunday for the first day of the Fête du Cinéma (26-29 June, during which time all screenings cost €4 across the whole of France). Overall admissions have plummeted by more than 30% compared to the same period in 2015, and few films are managing to really establish a foothold in the market.

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Nevertheless, two national comedies are keeping their heads above water, especially Back to Mom’s [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Eric Lavaine, having racked up 1.56 million admissions over 26 days. Still in second place in the weekly chart on its fourth week on release (courtesy of Pathé Distribution, distributed in 636 theatres) after it had clinched the top spot for three weeks, the film starring Alexandra Lamy, Josiane Balasko and Mathilde Seigner revolves around a forty-something woman who is forced to go back and live at her mother’s house. Produced by Same Player and Pathé (which is selling it abroad) and co-produced by Belgian outfit Scope Pictures, among others, the feature will come out in Germany on 11 August (with the title Willkommen im Hotel Mama – distributed by Alamode) and in Italy on 25 August, with the title Torno da mia madre – distributed by Officine Ubu

The second French comedy making a splash in terms of admissions is The African Doctor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Julien Rambaldi, which has drawn in 443,000 viewers in 21 days (Mars Distribution across 473 screens). Starring Belgium’s Marc Zinga and Aïssa Maïga in the lead roles, the film unfolds in 1975, as Seyolo Zantoko, a newly graduated doctor hailing from Kinshasa, seizes the chance to fill a vacancy as a rural district doctor in a tiny French village. But as soon as they arrive in Marly-Gomont, Seyolo and his family become disillusioned: the inhabitants are afraid, as they have never seen a black person before. But Seyolo is determined to succeed in his gamble and makes every effort to gain the villagers’ trust. Produced by E.D.I Films (Pauline Duhault), Moana Films (Marc Missonnier) and Curiosa Films (Olivier Delbosc), the feature is being sold abroad by Other Angle Pictures.

Another film ticking along very nicely at the box office is Julieta [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
by Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar, which has notched up 655,000 admissions in 32 days (Pathé Distribution, in 516 cinemas in its fifth week) – in other words, it has enticed more viewers than it has in its home country (with only 33,000 tickets sold in Spain). These results just go to show the positive influence of a movie being showcased in competition at Cannes, as this is also the case for Slack Bay [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Bruno Dumont
film profile
]
by Bruno Dumont (545,000 admissions in six weeks – Memento Films Distribution), Elle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (477,000 admissions in four weeks – SBS Distribution) and, to a much lesser extent, The Neon Demon [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Nicolas Winding Refn
film profile
]
by Denmark’s Nicolas Winding Refn (103,000 admissions in two weeks – distributed by Le Pacte [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Nicolas Winding Refn
film profile
]
together with The Jokers).

(Translated from French)

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