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BOX OFFICE France

First half of 2008 registers 100.8m admissions

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The results are encouraging for French cinemas at the end of the first half of 2008, which closed with 100.87m admissions according to estimated figures published by the National Film Centre (CNC). Representing an increase of 7% compared to the same period in 2007, this result is the second best first semester of the last decade (after the 102m for the record year 2004, which closed with 195.5m viewers).

In the wake of Danny Boon’s hit film Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
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(a total of 20.26m admissions and 38,000 garnered in its18th week), the first half of 2008 has seen the market share for French films rise to 55.4%, compared to 43.5% for the period January 1-June 30, 2007. Meanwhile, the market share for US productions has dropped from 47.3% (for the first six months of 2007) to 37.3% since the start of 2008, whereas features from other countries have increased their share to 9.3% (compared to last year’s 7.3%).

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The overall dynamic trend is nonetheless tempered by the monthly analysis which reveals a mediocre June with 11.05m admissions (-18.6% compared to 2007), following a disappointing May (-23.6%).

Among the films currently showing in theatres, successes include the absurd comedy Seuls Two [+see also:
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by Eric and Ramzy (507,000 admissions in its first week – distributed by Warner); Ari Folman’s Israeli/French/German co-production Waltz with Bashir [+see also:
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(131,000 viewers in seven days and the third highest per-screen average – distributed by Le Pacte); UK feature In Bruges [+see also:
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by UK director Martin McDonagh (127,000 admissions in its first week on release – distributed by SND); and Diane Kurys’ French biopic Sagan [+see also:
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(388,000 viewers in its three weeks on release – distributed by EuropaCorp).

The following films are also performing well: Jean Becker’s Love Me No More [+see also:
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(1.03m viewers in nine weeks); Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale [+see also:
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(Bac Films – 480,000 admissions in six weeks); and Spanish feature Rec [+see also:
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interview: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
interview: Julio Fernández
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by directorial duo Jaume Balaguero-Paco Plaza, which continues its surprise success with 554,000 admissions garnered in ten weeks (distributed by Le Pacte-Wild Side).

Launched by Haut et Court, Belgian/French co-production Eldorado [+see also:
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by Bouli Lanners (see interview) has also attracted 63,000 viewers in the two weeks since its release.

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(Translated from French)

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