Over 100m admissions in first half of 2006
by Fabien Lemercier
29/06/2006 - Thanks to the three-day Fête du cinéma event (see news), the 100m admissions mark was exceeded in the first half of 2006 in French cinemas at the beginning of this week. According to various professional estimates, results for the first six months of the year have already exceeded the record-breaking 101.9m tickets sold during the same period in 2004, in stark contrast to a poor 2005 season.
Despite competition from the football World Cup, the 22nd edition of the Fête du cinéma, organised by the National Federation of French cinemas (FNCF), attracted 2.8m filmgoers from Sunday through Tuesday (June 25-27), to triple admissions in France’s 5,366 theatres.
Attendance at the event was down 12% on last year, a drop that is mainly attributable to the France-Spain match and a subsequent 30% fewer filmgoers. At event’s closing night party, held at the Cinémathèque française, Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres installed a giant screen on the lawn for football fans.
With a 3% drop in figures on Sunday, the 2006 Fête du cinéma also suffered from a lack of good films, according to the FNCF. The ten most popular features among audiences over the three-day event (the top five of which were US productions) drew 25% less than in 2005.
On the other hand, the collective film Paris, je t’aime (distributed by La Fabrique de Films) fared quite well with 172,000 admissions in its first week at the box office, while La maison du bonheur (lit. "The House of Happiness") by Dany Boon (Pathé Distribution) saw its weekly admissions jump by 29% in its third week to reach 625,000 admissions.
Meanwhile, Almodovar’s Volver [trailer, film focus] (see interview with director in our Focus), also distributed by Pathé, clocked up another 190,000 admissions in its sixth week to reach total admissions of 1.73m, the Spanish director’s most successful film in France to date being Talk To Her [trailer] with 2.1m admissions in 2002.
Lastly, Change of Address [trailer] by Emmanuel Mouret (see news), distributed by Shellac, got off to a good start, with a solid per screen average despite the film’s small-scale release on only 79 screens.
(Translated from French)