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AUDIENCES France

Gloomy October for Theatres

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- CNC figures reveal a drop of 9.3% in cinema audiences in respect to October 2002. But in spite of the crisis, the market share for French films is stable, though Hollywood continues to increase its grip

Gloomy October for Theatres

The months pass by but each one brings a different perspective. After French cinemas saw a rise in audience figures during August and September (+13.2%), which reassured French operators and stemmed the progressive decline noted since January 2003, October has once again seen a downturn in audience numbers. The latest figures were revealed yesterday by the Centre National de la Cinématographie, and they show a drop of 9.3% in October 2003 over the data collected for the same period in 2002, leading to an overall fall of 7.5% for the last twelve months.
There were 14.4 million attendances in cinemas in October 2003, bringing the total audience for the last 12 months to 134.8 million, a drop of 8.6% when compared with the same period in 2002. This renewed downward trend, which had seemed to be have been stopped, with a increase of 0.5% for the third quarter of 2003, after a previously difficult quarter (-11.8%), leads experts to believe that there will be further drops in cinema audiences, for the first time in the last 10 years. Last year the overall audience figures had shown a change from 185.82 million in 2001 to 184.5 million in 2002.

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One thing to bear in mind is that the market share for French films is more or less stable: 37.7% from January 2003 as opposed to the 38.2% registered in 2002, though the share of American productions has slightly risen, now standing at 51.9% as opposed to 50.2% last year. And the box office hits confirm this positive trend for national films, with Ruby and Quentin at number 2 in the box office, recording an audience of 2.5 million in 4 weeks of programming, and Feelings by Noémie Lvovsky gaining an audience of 721,000 in 2 weeks. European productions are also faring well, with a public of 78,000 in the first week of programming for the Italian film Remember Me [+see also:
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by Gabriele Muccino.

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(Translated from French)

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