2004, a fine millésime
by Fabien Lemercier
24/01/2005 - With 40 million tickets sold all over the world and benefits which amount to nearly millions euros in 2004, French cinema clearly remains one of the most popular in others countries, especially in Europe according to the figures published by Unifrance, the organisation dedicated to promoting French cinema outside France. Despite a decrease by 10% compared the 2003 statistics, last year's results correspond to the average figures registered every year over the past decade.
Jean-Jacques Annaud's Deux frères (Two Brothers), with as much as 32 million euros benefits from export, is on top of the list of the most successful French productions of the year, followed by Olivier Dahan>'s Les rivières pourpres 2 (The Scarlet Rivers) with over 15 million euros benefits. Third on the list, we find Les choristes (The Choir) by Christophe Barratier with 12,4 million euros benefits outside France so far, for it is very likely to keep climbing up. What is striking in the above-mentioned list is the great variety of cinematic genres involved. Even within the 15 most successful French or mainly French productions, we find a full-length animation film (Les Triplettes de Belleville [trailer] - 6,5 million euros), art films such as Comme une image [trailer] (Look at Me) (4 million) or Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran [trailer] (Mister Ibrahim and the Flowers of Coran) (8,5 million), or even comedies (3,1 million euros for Tais-Toi! (Shut up) and 4,4 million for Podium).
As far as French coproductions in which France was a minor participant are concerned, European feature films are predominant behind the inevitable Franco-American productions Alexander and The Barbarian Invasions [trailer]. Indeed, after these two "monsters", it is the Danish movie Dogville [trailer] (3,5 million euros benefits) which immediately follows, before the Portuguese filmUn film parlé (A Spoken Film), the Spanish productionsMar adentro [trailer] (Sea Inside) and Les lundis au soleil [trailer](Sunny Mondays), and the Italian one, Callas forever [trailer].
Concerning French cinema's geographical influence, its most fervent audience is definitely to be found in Germany (bringing 21 million benefits in 2004), followed by Belgium (17,9 million euros and 119 French Films distributed) and Italy (16 million euros), not to forget the United States which bring 64 million euros. A total numbers of 330 French productions were released in 2004 outside the national borders.
(Translated from French)