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BOX OFFICE France

Up 20% in September, 138m admissions for 2006

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It is all systems go for French cinemas, which recorded excellent results for September with 9.88m admissions, up 20.2% on September 2005.

According to statistics published by the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), admissions for the first nine months of 2006 totalled 138.11m, a 13.1% rise compared to the same period in 2005.

At this pace, the 2006 season is expected to record total admissions of 197m, thereby beating the best results in the last 23 years (195.38m in 2004) and returning to 1982 and 1983 highs (201m and 198m respectively).

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Better still, the market share of French films has been approximately 42% since January (compared to 36.6% in the first nine months of 2005), with US titles’ share at 48.7% (52.2% from January to September 2005) and features from the rest of the world at 9.2%.

Successful European releases this autumn include Denis Dercourt’s The Page Turner [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Denis Dercourt
interview: Michel Saint-Jean
film profile
]
(see Focus) – 712,000 admissions in nine weeks – and The Wind That Shakes the Barley [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ken Loach
interview: Rebecca O’Brien
film profile
]
by UK helmer Ken Loach (see Focus) – 866,000 in seven weeks. Both films were released by Diaphana.

Xavier Giannoli’s The Singer [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
also found an audience, with 833,000 admissions in four weeks, as did Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(550,000 in eight weeks) and Charlotte de Turckheim’s comedy Poor Rich Folk [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(690,000 in three weeks).

However, the surprise title was Don’t Worry, I’m Fine [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Philippe Lioret (730,000 in five weeks), while top prize went to Those Happy Days [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by directing duo Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (1.6m in 14 weeks), which will be screened at the RomeFilmFest.

October got off to a spectacular start with Rachid Bouchareb’s breathtaking Days of Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Bréhat
interview: Rachid Bouchareb
film profile
]
(see Focus), which drew 1.3m filmgoers in 10 days, first on 360 and then 583 screens (Mars Distribution), and which is still dominating the box office for the second week running.

Meanwhile, 255,000 filmgoers flocked to see Perfume: The Story of a Murderer [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Germany’s Tom Tykwer in its first five days in theatres, while French feature Le Grand Meaulnes [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe drew 158,000 filmgoers.

Inside Paris [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Christophe Honoré (see article) also recorded an excellent average with almost 68,000 admissions in 110 theatres, while Esma’s Secret [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Barbara Albert
interview: Jasmila Zbanic
film profile
]
by Jasmila Zbanic attracted an impressive audience of 25,000 admissions in two weeks.

(Translated from French)

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