Country Focus: France
Audience figures in good shape
by Fabien Lemercier
10/11/2009 - October marked the seventh consecutive month of rising audience figures in French theatres, which attracted 159.64m viewers during the first ten months of 2009, i.e. 3.8% more than the same period in 2008, according to estimates published by the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC).
A total of 15.44m admissions were amassed during October (7.8% more than in October 2008), which is the best result in the past five years for this period.
Based on annual statistics for November and December, French theatres can expect to close 2009 at around 195m admissions, which would mark the highest score of the last 20 years, except for the 2003 season (195.69m). This positive trend would confirm the growing gulf between small and medium-sized exhibitors in difficulty and large exhibitors which are enjoying success.
In October, the market share for French films also picked up: it is estimated at 36.8% for the first ten months of 2009 (it stood at 34.3% at the end of September). US features claimed a 44.3% market share of viewers from the start of January to the end of October, while films from the rest of the world accounted for 14.8%.
Currently at the box office, five French films are in the weekly top eight. Laurent Tirard’s Little Nicholas [trailer] continues to climb the box office ranks with 4.68m admissions in almost six weeks on release (Wild Bunch Distribution on 630 screens).
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs [trailer] has garnered 875,000 admissions in 11 days (Warner - 623 screens), while James Huth’s Lucky Luke [trailer] has attracted 1.6m fans after almost three weeks on release (UGC - 670 screens) and Alain Resnais’ Wild Grass [trailer] has kicked off with 155,000 admissions in five days (StudioCanal on 196 screens).