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BOX OFFICE France

Brice de Nice storms up the charts

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The French comedy Brice de Nice has recorded the best opening week so far in 2005. The film directed by James Huth sold 1.3 million tickets in one week, from 555 prints distributed by ‘TFM’. Adapted for the big screen from a theatrical piece by Jean Dujardin, who takes the lead role, the film reunites Elodie Bouchez and Clovis Cornillac. The story simultaneously parodies seaside life and the surfing world. Produced by Mandarin, Brice de Nice had a budget of 5,34 million euros, made up of an investment from TV channel M6 (1,35 million in total, 350,000 of which was in the form of coproduction funding), pre-sales from Canal + and CinéCinéma ; French tax subsidies made up the rest.

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Among those still running in the theatres, three films stand out. De battre mon cœur s’est arrêté [+see also:
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by Jacques Audiard dropped by only 7% in its 4th week, with a total of 680,000 thousand tickets with 227 prints (UGC Distribution). Tout pour plaire by Belgian filmmaker Cécile Telerman is holding up very well with a cumulative audience of 1,1 million over four weeks (Diaphana Distribution). Finally, the documentary phenomenon Darwin's Nightmare by Hubert Sauper is steadily accumulating its impressive audience figures, with far fewer prints (55) in its 6th week (distribution Ad Vitam), reaching a total of 164,000 ticket.s

The battle for the share of the market is once more a duel between French Production (45 % of tickets in 2005) and American films (48 %); feature films from the rest of Europe have attracted 4% of the total audience since the start of the year. Meanwhile, the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) yesterday published the audience figures for the first quarter. 46,19 million tickets were sold, representing a drop of 8% compared to the same period in 2004. According to the Fédération Nationale des cinémas Français the decline is even greater, estimating only 44,6 million for the same period (January to March 2005) .

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(Translated from French)

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