“Eight Women” scores more than a million admissions, “Asterix” over 3 million: the first week of February 2002 will go down in the annals of box office history as one when French films claimed a domestic market share of 66%!
After “Astérix et Obélix, Mission Cléopâtre”, the second French film of the year to be a box office hit (over a million admissions) is François Ozon’s “Eight Women”. Despite fierce competition from Stephen Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s Eleven” (whose cast has nevertheless attracted 1.5 million admissions), the long lead-in advertising campaign for “Eight Women”, which began in December, has reaped rewards. Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Danielle Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier and Firmine Richard have attracted 1,008,915 spectators. This represents the best start for most of the film’s 8 stars – with the exception of those who’ve starred in Hollywood productions – and is also Ozon’s best score ever. “Under the Sand”, his last film, tallied a little more than 650,000 admissions.
As for “Astérix et Obélix, Mission Cléopâtre”, its startling 3,685,097 first-week admissions scaled down by only 13% in its second week (3,208,512). It’s the first film in French movie history to remain above the three million admissions mark for two consecutive weeks.
Alain Chabat’s film has accumulated 6,893,609 admissions, i.e. 1.2 million more than “Taxi 2” had scored at the same period of its release… Mission accomplished!