Audiences of 113 million
by Fabien Lemercier
12/09/2003 - The number of people going to the cinema in France has showed a slight turn up for the books. According to the statistics published by the CNC – The National Film Centre yesterday, 14.1 million people went to the cinema in France in August, figures which have somewhat helped to reverse the downward trend for attendances at the box office. In the first 8 months of this year French audiences figures stand at 113 million, recording a drop of 7.5 % in comparison with the same period in 2002.
There was a decrease in ticket sales of 8.7% in the first six months of 2003 and French cinema operators are hoping that the decline can be reversed in the second half of the year. French productions represent 38.9% of the market share of audiences registered between January 1 and August 31, 2003 (against the 37.9% for the same period in 2002), with American films taking 51% of the market (against 49% for the equivalent timescale last year). Audience figures for feature length films from the rest of the world (including Europe) have also fallen, recording a 10.1% share of the market.
Apart from the American summer selection of blockbusters, the best performing film at the French box office at the moment has been the comedy by Michel Boujenah, Père et Fils, starring Philippe Noiret, Charles Berling and Bruno Putzulu. The Gaumont production, distributed in 461 prints by GBVI has registered audiences of 759,000 after three weeks of being out on release. Whereas more than 1 million people have been to see Le coût de la vie by Philippe Le Guay (which still has 292 prints in cinemas after 6 weeks of programming) while the two films selected to be shown at Cannes, Strayed by André Téchiné and La petite Lili have put in a respectable performance, respectively registering audiences of 348,000 and 308,000 in two weeks, as has also been the case for Dirty Pretty Things [trailer] by Stephen Frears (82,000 people in 5 weeks).
(Translated from French)