Country Focus: France
144.19m admissions in nine months
by Fabien Lemercier
13/10/2009 - The upturn continues for audience figures in French theatres. The 10.71m admissions recorded in September (+9.4% compared to the same month in 2008) bring the total for the first three quarters to 144.19m (+3.4% compared to the same period last year), according to estimated figures published by the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC).
However, these good overall results must be put into perspective, for they mainly concern large exhibitors, whereas medium-sized and small exhibitors have seen a drop in admissions this year.
In terms of market shares, French cinema has regained ground with 34.3% from the start of January to the end of September, but it is still a long way from its peak (46.3%) during the same period in 2008. On the other hand, US productions have increased their market share to 50% in 2009 (compared to 46% last year), while other foreign film industries represent 15.7% (7.7% in 2008).
At the box office, Laurent Tirard’s Le Petit Nicolas [trailer] (“Little Nicholas”) is currently enjoying immense success with 2.02m admissions after 12 days on release (Wild Bunch Distribution on 596 screens).
Christian Carion’s Farewell [trailer] is still in fourth place in the weekly rankings and has amassed over 530,000 admissions in 19 days (Pathé Distribution - 459 screens). Meanwhile, Nicolas Hulot and Jean-Albert Lièvre’s environmental documentary The Titanic Syndrome has got off to a good start with almost 105,000 viewers in five days (Mars Distribution - 178 screens).