55.8m admissions abroad in 2006
by Fabien Lemercier
15/01/2007 - With excellent results in France, last year French cinema attracted 55.8m filmgoers (€300m in box office takings) internationally.
Publicized on Friday by Margaret Menegoz, Unifrance president, the results for 2006 are above the average of the past ten years (44.7m admissions), but down noticeably from the exceptional 2005 season (73.6m admissions and €369m gross). However, this decline should be viewed in relative terms, as 298 French features were released abroad in 2006 compared to 322 in 2005.
The most popular titles of the year were Bandidas [trailer] (a EuropaCorp production – 3.2m cinemagoers), Luc Jacquet’s The March of the Penguins [trailer] (2.6m), Stefan Fjeldmark’s Asterix and the Vikings [trailer] (1.7m), Michael Haneke’s Hidden [trailer, film focus] (1.5m) and Louis Leterrier’s The Transporter II (1.3m).
With 48.5% of admissions garnered internationally by French films, Europe takes the lion’s share ahead of the US (25%), but the potential of China (where Unifrance has been organising a Panorama of French cinema since 2004) is starting to take effect with almost 3m admissions, while a marked drop was recorded in Japan (1.5m admissions).
Still dominated by Germany (8.7m), the European market sees Spain in second place (4.2m), followed by Belgium (3.4m), Italy (3m), the UK (1.6m), Switzerland (1.5m), Austria (0.9m), Poland (0.7m), Denmark (0.4), the Netherlands (0.4), Norway (0.3), Hungary (0.3), Sweden (0.2), Greece (0.1) and Bulgaria (0.1). However, this data is only provisory, the full 2006 data has not yet been collected in all the territories.
Unifrance projects in 2007 include new events in India, Vietnam, the Maghreb and Poland, as well as a continuation of events organised in the US (in New York and at universities), in Russian states, Tokyo, London, Budapest, Quebec and Mexico, without forgetting participation at major festivals and co-production meetings with Germany, Italy and Spain.
Film releases are to get further support, with the setting up of a European promotional tour.
(Translated from French)