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08 October 2004 à 12:05
Winners at Cannes, celebrated by French audiences...
After a lackluster summer, the fall season has brought a new batch of hits to French theaters, by filmmakers as well-known in France as they are abroad, such as Agnès Jaoui, whose new opus has got off to a flying start.
After attracting 3.7 million French spectators with her first film, “The Taste of Others,” Agnès Jaoui’s return to the director’s chair has been eagerly awaited. And the results for this director/actress/screenwriter’s latest film have certainly lived up to expectations. Released September 22 by Mars Distribution on an ambitious 426-print release, “Like an Image” (also released as “Look at Me”) raked in close to 600,000 admissions in its opening week, boasting an excellent per-print average of 1,386 spectators, and jumping straight to number 1 at the box office. Still going strong in its second week, “Like an Image” should soon pass the million spectators mark in France. Produced by Les Films A4, the film confirms the popularity of the Jaoui/Bacri duo, both as screenwriters – with the film picking up the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes – and actors. But the film also deserves credit for introducing general audiences to the talents of a young actress, Marie-Lou Berry, who is following in the footsteps of her mother, Josiane Balasko.
These good results are encouraging news for the numerous foreign buyers who acquired the film from StudioCanal at the time of its presentation at Cannes, several of whom plan to release it in their respective territories in upcoming weeks.
Another second film by an actor has also been well received in the 2004 fall season: “Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d’enfants” by Yvan Attal, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg opposite the director himself. Released August 25 by Pathé, the film posted close to 900,000 admissions one month down the track, and looks set to cross the million admissions mark before its run is out. Produced by Pathé Renn Productions, the film is also sold internationally by Pathé.
Another fine performance comes from a debut film, “Mensonges et trahisons” by Laurent Tirard, which in three weeks has attracted close to 600,000 spectators. These results no doubt owe a great deal to its lead actor, Edouard Baer, who knows how to strike a chord with French moviegoers. Produced by Fidélité Productions, the film is sold internationally by EuropaCorp.
Three auteur films that have represented French at the most prestigious international film festivals have also set out to conquer local audiences in September. “5X2” by François Ozon, presented in Competition at Venice, has pulled in almost 500,000 spectators since its release on September 1st, and should continue its successful career in the numerous foreign territories in which Celluloid has sold this film, which stars Valérie Bruni-Tedeschi and Stéphane Freiss. Released the same day, “Clean” by Olivier Assayas, which won Maggie Cheung the Best Actress Award at Cannes, has registered some 400,000 admissions in French theaters. And the last French film to be honored at Cannes – with the Best Direction Award – “Exiles,” was released on the domestic market at the end of August. Holding strong in theaters, the film by Tony Gatlif starring Romain Duris and Lubna Azabal and sold by Pyramide International, has recently passed 300,000 admissions.
Not to mention… “Les Choristes” by Christophe Barratier, which is still proving its potential to draw the crowds, with the film now breaking the 8 million admissions barrier – coming close to rivaling the results for past French hits such as “Amelie” and “Asterix and Obelix versus Caesar.”
Thanks to these results, French films currently command a market share in line with the traditional average, standing at 33% for close to 43 million admissions.
In theaters in October
The final months of the year generally offer a rich harvest of French releases, and 2004 will be no exception to the rule. Thus, on October 6 we will see the release of two comedies, “Le Carton” by Charles Nemes (Roissy Films) and “L’Enquête corse” by Alain Berberian, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier (Gaumont). On the same day Marilou Berry will once again light up the screens in “La première fois que j’ai eu 20 ans” by Lorraine Lévy (Pathé International) and we will also see the new opus by Philippe de Broca, adapted from the classic novel, “Vipère au poing,” starring Catherine Frot and Jacques Villeret (Pyramide International).
On October 13, Jean-Paul Salomé will bring audiences the mystery of “Arsène Lupin,” starring Romain Duris and Kristin Scott-Thomas (TF1 International), and the public will also have the chance to see one of the Cannes favorites, “A Common Thread,” the debut film by Eléonore Faucher (Pyramide International).
On October 20, the directors of “Microcosmos,” Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou, will reveal their vision of the creation of the world with “Genesis” (StudioCanal); and Gabriel Aghion will bring us “Pédale dure,” the sequel to “Pédale douce” (Pathé International). In another vein altogether, “Le Mur,” a documentary by Simone Bitton (Wide) will also hit the big screen.
The month will close with one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year, “A Very Long Engagement” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, featuring Audrey Tautou, his favorite leading lady from “Amelie.”
TOP 10 FRENCH FILMS RELEASED SINCE JANUARY 2004
|Movie||Released||No. of prints *||Adms.||Box office (MEUR)|
|Les Choristes*||March||326||8 077 007||44,4|
|Podium||February||554||3 559 512||19,6|
|Two Brothers||March||739||3 297 298||18,1|
|Les 11 Commandements||February||501||2 966 348||16,3|
|The Crimson Rivers 2||February||650||2 090 010||11,5|
|Mariages||April||100||2 004 114||11,0|
|Double Zéro||June||595||1 849 573||10,2|
|RRRrrrr !||January||775||1 703 125||9,4|
|Malabar Princess||March||291||1 457 934||8,0|
|Immortel (ad vitam)||March||400||996 172||5,5|
Latest update : 01 October 2015 à 12:05 CEST