For the first time, more spectators were registered for French films abroad than in France in 2005!
73.6 million spectators saw French films around the world in 2005, an increase of 49% compared to 2004
In 2005, French cinema attracted a total of more than 73.6 million spectators to theaters in international territories, generating box office receipts of €369 million. In 2004, French films accumulated 49.2 million admissions and €239.6 million at the box office.
We note that admissions and box office takings have increased by 49% from 2004 to 2005.
For the first time, this is much more than the number of spectators for French films in France
In 2005, French films attracted 64.8 million spectators in France. This is nearly 12% less than the results achieved abroad this year.
On the other hand, box office receipts are roughly the same (about €360 million for French films in France).
322 French films released in 2005
In 2005, 322 French films had at least one release in a territory. This is an equivalent number to that of last year (330 titles).
The high number of releases, if we take into account the number of films produced in France each year (203 in 2004, 240 in 2005), is explained by the fact that films’ international careers spread out over a period of time.
In 2005, 7 of the top ten films performed better abroad than in France
The calendar year is merely a “photographic” and statistical measuring tool that provides a global perspective at a given moment. It is quite another matter to consider the individual careers of each film, which function independently of annual limits.
A film’s international career, release after release, country after country, can indeed spread out over more than 12 months. This allows many films to ultimately achieve more significant results on the international level than in the domestic market.
From memory, we can name the international careers of Amelie (22.3 million admissions and €133 million in box office receipts), or Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar (15 million admissions and €76 million).
For 2005, 7 of the top 10 French-majority productions scored better abroad than in France, including March of the Penguins (16.2 million admissions abroad, 1.8 in France), The Transporter 2 (11 million admissions abroad, 1.2 in France) or High Tension (815,000 admissions abroad, 110,000 in France).
A record year for French films in the United States
With €125 million ($150 million) in box office takings, French films scored their best year ever in the United States.
In 2005, several French titles stood out from the rest. March of the Penguins became the highest performing French production with more than $75 million in box office receipts (€58 million), stealing the title from The Fifth Element ($64 million).
The Transporter 2 and Danny the Dog, with their respective $43 million and $24 million, also achieved fine results. Other films, like High Tension, A Very Long Engagement, Look At Me, Chorists, and The Beat My Heart Skipped, reaping between $1 and $4 million, strongly contributed to this exceptional year.
A general tendency towards a rise in admissions for French films
In a global context of falling admissions in 2005 (from 10 to 20%), French films actually progressed. This signifies that their market share has increased.
This progression can be seen in all the main territories, particularly in the major European countries. The most spectacular progression occurred in Spain: 2.5 million admissions in 2004, 7 million in 2005 (+ 168%)! In Italy, French productions also shot ahead from 2.9 million to 5.2 million admissions (+74%), while Germany (5.9 million in 2005 – of which 1.2 million for March of the Penguins – against 4.6 million in 2004, being a 27% increase) and the United Kingdom (2.6 million in 2005 as opposed to 0.6 million in 2004) also tallied healthy scores.
French-language countries (Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec) registered stable attendances for French films, while China confirmed its entrance into the tight circle of territories that matter (1.5 million admissions for 7 films out on release).
The only major disappointment of 2005 was Russia, where French films are in decline after 5 subsequent years of rising figures.
With almost 50% of all admissions, Europe remains the geographical zone leader for French cinema.
The United States accounted for a good third of the results by French films abroad.
Asia recorded a drop in this sector. For two years now results achieved in Japan remain, with around 2 million admissions, below their potential; in 2003, French films attained 4.2 million admissions (42%). The Chinese market continues to progressively open up to French cinema (350,000 admissions in 2003, 1.6 million in 2004, 1.5 million in 2005). In addition, we note the erosion of the Korean market, which has dropped from 2.2 million spectators for French films in 2001 to 300,000 in 2005.
Finally, with more than 2 million admissions in Mexico and Brazil, and more than 1 million in Argentina, French cinema has made great headway in South America.
2005: an imperial year
2005 will remain the year of worldwide success for March of the Penguins.
With €77 million in box office receipts and more than 16 million spectators throughout the world, Luc Jacquet’s film became the most successful French film abroad in the last 10 years, following behind Amelie, but ahead of Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar.Its best results: 12.8 million admissions in the United States, 1.2 million in Germany, 600,000 in Italy, and more than 400,000 in China.
From The Transporter 2 to The Beat My Heart Skipped: 15 films that drew more than 500,000 spectators
Thanks in particular to their American careers, but also to their world releases, The Transporter 2 and Danny the Dog (two Luc Besson productions) achieved the best results of majority-French productions in 2005, ahead of 2 French-language productions: A Very Long Engagement (3.9 million admissions) and Chorists (2.6 million admissions in 2005, but 5 million throughout its entire career).
Some titles have experienced exceptional careers in given territories. In 2005, we note the fine achievements of Crimson Rivers 2 in Mexico (750,000 admissions), 36, quai des Orfèvres and Hidden in Italy (180,000 and 220,000), The Light and Cote d’Azur in Germany (170,000 and 120,000), Saint Ange and Tout pour plaire in Spain (300,000 and 200,000), Arsène Lupin in Japan (140,000), Double Zéro in China (570,000), Empire of the Wolves in Turkey (205,000), and The Beat My Heart Skipped in the United States and the United Kingdom (respectively 170,000 and 70,000).
Latest update : 23 April 2009 à 13:02 CEST