The 2003 summer season has proved one of the most prosperous to date for French films in the USA, with numerous titles boasting record-breaking attendance figures.
Since April this year, four French films have already taken a total of $20 million at the US box office. They are "The Travelling Birds" (aka "Winged Migration") by Jacques Perrin ($7.6 million*), "Swimming Pool" by François Ozon ($6.5 million*), "Euro Pudding" by Cédric Klapisch ($3.8 million*) and "The Man on the Train" by Patrice Leconte ($2.4 million*). As the summer season kicked in, a spate of new titles swelled their ranks: "Jet Lag" by Danièle Thompson ($512,000*), "A Housekeeper" by Claude Berri ($300,000*), "And Now... Ladies & Gentlemen" by Claude Lelouch ($149,145*) and "Friday Night" by Claire Denis ($102,000*). François Ozon, Ludivine Sagnier, Juliette Binoche, Danièle Thompson, Alessandra Martines and Claude Lelouch all traveled to the United States to present their films.
These summer success stories are but a continuation of the excellent start to the year. "He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not" by Laetitia Colombani raked in $1 million and "Irreversible" by Gaspar Noé, $760 000.* And on top of its triple Oscars win (Best Director, Best Actor for Adrien Brody and Best Screen Adaptation), "The Pianist" by Roman Polanski passed $33 million, thus ranking as the 3rd most successful French film in the USA, behind "The Fifth Element" by Luc Besson ($66 million) and "Amelie" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet ($34 million).
The end of the summer and the start of the fall season will see the release of "Carnage" by Delphine Gleize, "To Be and To Have" by Nicolas Philibert, "Our Father" by Mahamet-Saleh Haroun, "The Flower of Evil" by Claude Chabrol and "La Trilogie" by Lucas Belvaux.
Nicolas Philibert was in New York early June to promote his film and to attend a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art. Olivier Assayas and Lucas Belvaux will also be making the trip to the USA to accompany the release of their films.
Since January 2003, French films shot in the French language have grossed close to $25 million, compared to $36 million for the whole of 2002. The United States clearly buys more and more films, with 58 French films and 24 co-productions sold in the territory in 2003.
*Figures calculated to August 14, 2003.
Latest update : 23 April 2009 à 13:02 CEST