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International statistics

23 January 2015 à 10:54

French films at the international box office: December 2014

Only two years after the admissions record achieved in 2012, French cinema enjoyed an excellent 2014 in theaters abroad, with 111 million admissions generating €640 million in box office revenues.

Rank Title No. of Admissions Revenues No. of Prints No. of Countries Total Admissions
1 Serial (Bad) Weddings 703,642 €4,854,810 614 7 6,758,568
2 Asterix - The Mansion of the Gods 529,091 €2,457,123 1,661 6 565,889
3 Santa Claus! 161,486 €1,069,474 295 4 161,486
4 The Salt of the Earth 149,874 €1,071,254 273 8 543,111
5 La Famille Bélier 138,955 €1,067,122 66 4 138,955
6 Samba 121,393 €1,016,576 122 5 479,678
7 Clouds of Sils Maria 88,375 €726,261 112 7 197,363
8 Paradise Lost 70,952 €399,778 243 5 267,843
9 The Connection 58,698 €500,150 47 2 58,698
10 Timbuktu 54,599 €410,258 81 4 54,881
11 Belle and Sébastien 49,562 €145,148 115 2 1,983,443
12 Do Not Disturb 42,057 €341,580 55 2 42,057
13 The Beauty and the Beast 41,909 €395,185 NC 2 4,391,250
14 Mood Indigo 38,227 €210,258 55 1 691,401
15 Paris Follies 34,924 €307,926 68 3 82,552
16 Chinese Puzzle 31,200 €152,089 42 3 601,299
17 Diplomacy 26,435 €164,303 67 5 212,268
18 Benoît Brisefer, les taxis rouges 25,658 €179,614 29 1 25,658
19 3 Hearts 24,083 €86,062 67 4 102,595
20 Superchondriac 20,184 €98,864 142 1 1,071,450

For the second time in more than 20 years, French films have crossed the 100 million admissions threshold in international theaters, with an average of 80 million admissions in the last 10 years.

Although 2014 was marked by the record performance of Luc Besson's Lucy, many French productions also met with great success abroad: 14 French films garnered more than 1 million admissions in 2014 (compared with 10 in 2013 and 11 in 2012).

Another indication of the diversity offered by French cinema: 70 French films accumulated more than 100,000 admissions this year, compared with 56 on average since the beginning of 2000. The admissions spread does however remain limited, with 71% of them concentrated in the first 5 titles of the annual rankings.

With 91 million spectators registered in 2014, admissions for majority French productions progressed by 149% in comparison with 2013, and represent 82% of global productions this year, a level superior to the average of 74% noted in the last 10 years.

Among the top achievers of French cinema abroad in 2014, we hence find Lucy, which, with more than 54 million spectators, became the most-seen French production in the world in more than 20 years. We also note the phenomemon Serial (Bad) Weddings, along with Beauty and the Beast, Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants from the Futurikon studio, Belle and Sébastien, Superchondriac, Nicholas on Holiday, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Several factors do however damper a fine 2014. Firstly, as a consequence of the considerable success of English language Lucy, admissions to French language films have admittedly increased by 26%, however they do not represent more than 28.5% of global admissions for French cinema in 2014, compared to the nearly half of the past two years. Moreover, the alarming situation of the British market, where French releases are becoming increasingly rare, should be taken into account. In South Korea, despite bold release strategies involving a substantial number of prints, results have been disappointing. Added to which, several titles with a high potential abroad, such as The Young and Prodigious T.S. SpivetAmazoniaBlood Ties, and the EuropaCorp production Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, also met with muted success.

That said, French films did stand out at foreign film festivals in 2014. At Cannes , among the forty French films and coproductions selected, the Jury Prize was awarded to Goodbye to Language, while the Caméra d’Or went to Party Girl. The Palme d’Or was attributed to a minority French coproduction Winter Sleep. At Toronto, French cinema had a record year, with 41 films selected across the festival's various strands. We also note that of the 13 French films and coproductions among the 83 titles proposed for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, 2 coproductions (Timbuktu and Turist) feature among the 9 films on the short list selected by the Academy.

In 2014, French films generated 21% more admissions abroad than in the domestic market. During the last ten years, French cinema has generated, on average, more admissions in foreign theaters than in French theaters.

Spotlight on a selection of outstanding French films in December 2014

After only 2 weeks in theaters, Serial (Bad) Weddings became the most successful French language title of 2014 in Spain. Released by A Contracorriente Films with 289 prints, the film started out and remained in 2nd place in the weekly rankings, with 507,000 spectators registered by the end of December. The number of prints should increase and the film could hence top the million spectator mark, a peformance that 15 French films (of which 11 are majority French productions) have achieved since UniFrance started reporting results in this territory. Five comedies feature among this million-admissions' group: The Intouchables (A Contracorriente ), Amelie (Vertigo ), and the 3 films of the Asterix series (Tripictures). Serial (Bad) Weddings had racked up 6.8 million admissions in 25 territories by the end of 2014, outshining the international performance of Welcome to the Land of Ch'tis (6.2 million).

La Famille Bélier got off to a promising start in Belgium (Belga Films), with 38,000 spectators from 42 prints in its opening week, putting it 8th at the local box office, with an excellent admissions' average per print. With 43,000 admissions in its second week, the film increased its tally and should outstrip the performance of Prête-moi ta main in 2006 (Les Films de l'Elysée), the most successful film by Eric Lartigau in Belgium with 132,000 admissions recorded. With 19,000 admissions in two weeks in French-speaking Switzerland (Praesens Film), and 938 admissions in its opening week in Uruguay (Jelsi) at the end of 2014, La Famille Bélier features among the 70 French films to have crossed the 100,000 spectator threshold this year in international theaters. Sold to more than sixty territories worldwide, the film is awaiting release in early 2015 in the Netherlands (Independent Films Nederland), Germany (Concorde), and Italy (Bim Distribuzione).

Asterix - The Mansion of the Gods shot to 3rd pace at the Russian box office by its opening weekend. Distributed by Paradise with 1,434 prints, being the largest French release of 2014 in Russia, the film attracted 225,000 spectatours in four days. Despite a relatively low admissions' average per print, Russian audiences confirm their taste for the French series, two years after the success of Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia (Central Partnership – 880,000 admissions). In 2008, Asterix at the Olympic Games (Central Partnership) racked up a total of 1.7 million admissions, the 4th most successful performance in Russia for a majority French production. Thanks to its large print run, and with an additional 140,000 admissions in its second week, Asterix - The Mansion of the Gods can expect to topple the admissions' record for a French animation film in Russian theaters, established in 2007 by Arthur and the Invisible (Central Partnership – 491,000 admissions from a maximum from 279 prints).

Since the beginning of its international career in August last year, Clouds of Sils Maria has accumulated 200,000 admissions abroad and has been selected for numerous film festivals, particularly in the USA, where the film is slated for release in March. Olivier Assayas's film is reaching the end of its career in Italy (Good Films – 57,000 admissions) and Mexico (Mantarraya Producciones – 28,000 admissions). In Germany,NFP Marketing released the film mid-December and by the third week of its run had registered 56,000 admissions from fifty prints. Sils Maria released in January 2015 in Hong Kong (Golden Scene), and is due for release in February in Sweden (TriArt Film) and Norway (Fidalgo Films Distribution), and in May in the UK (Artificial Eye).

Meanwhile, in the USA, Goodbye to Language continues its career. Released late October by Kino Lorber , the film made an immediate impression at the box office during its opening week, generating almost $50,000 in revenues (being more than 6,000 spectators) from only two prints. The film has now pulled in almost 21,000 admissions and the number of prints has risen from 2 to 7. The lack of 3D equipment in American arthouse theaters has prevented the film from optomizing its potential with spectators who are clearly curious about it. Goodbye to Language has nevertheless achieved its best international performance in this territory, and had accrued a total of 42,000 admissions in 7 territories by the end of 2014, of which 8,000 were in Argentina (Zeta Films) and 5,000 were in Italy (Bim Distribuzione).

Other notable releases this month: Santa Claus! in Italy (M2 Pictures), The Connection in Belgium (Alternative Films), Mood Indigo in South Korea (Entermode Corp.), Paris Follies in Australia (Palace Films), and Timbuktu in Germany (Arsenal)…

Author : Quentin Deleau

Latest update : 03 February 2015 à 10:54 CET

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