Europe and the US, lands of welcome for French cinema
by Fabien Lemercier
13/01/2012 - Accounting for 87.4% of foreign admissions for French films in 2011, Europe and North America remain the most important continents for French production according to estimated figures revealed by UniFrance (see report).
Last year, Western Europe represented a total of 44.1% of viewers of French features throughout the world (a score up by 37.3%), while Central and Eastern Europe clocks in at 7.3% (-9.7%). Germany pulled in a total of 6.3m admissions (+75%) and Potiche [trailer] (pictured) and Nothing to Declare [trailer] clock in at over 400,000 admissions each.
In Italy, audience figures for French films remained stable at 4.5m admissions with a drop for French-language cinema. Good results were achieved by the comedies Service Entrance [trailer] (214,000 admissions) and Second Chance [trailer] (213,000); The Artist [trailer, film focus] got off to a good start (100,000 admissions in one month); and Tomboy [trailer, film focus] attracted 80,000 viewers.
With 3.9m viewers, audience figures for French films in Spain fell by 13% despite the scores achieved by Little White Lies [trailer] (264,000 admissions) and Of Gods and Men [trailer, film focus] (233,000).
Belgium remains a very favourable territory with 3.5m admissions (+56%) and an undeniable appetite for French comedies (Nothing to Declare with 950,000 Belgian viewers, Untouchable [trailer] with over 500,000 admissions in eight weeks).
The United Kingdom saw a rise with over 3m admissions (almost +20%), but 40% of the result is down to Unknown and Potiche (155,000 admissions) is the only majority French-language film to have exceeded 100,000 viewers.
Finally, in Europe, Switzerland accounted for 1.9m admissions at +54%.
Elsewhere in the world, French films rose by 23.5% in North America, which represents 36% of the total admissions for French productions throughout the world. The US in particular saw a rise of 54% at 20.2m viewers in the wake of three English-language titles (Unknown, Colombiana [trailer] and The Three Musketeers [trailer]), as well as Sarah’s Key [trailer] (almost 1m viewers), Of Gods and Men (500,000 admissions) and more recently The Artist (473,000 in five weeks). There was also a 30% increase in Quebec with 1.1m admissions.
Finally, this world overview shows that 7.1% of international admissions for French films were recorded in Asia and 4.6% in Latin America.
(Translated from French)