2012 was an outstanding year for French film exports, prompting UniFrance Films to intensify our efforts to increase the structural stability of the market for 2013, and the years to come.
2012 was an exceptionally successful year for French films in international theaters, with a total of 144.1 million admissions registered (+93.8% against 2011) and €888.5 million in ticket sales (+103.1%). These are record-breaking results, marking an all-time high since UniFrance Films began monitoring international statistics, far above the previous record set in 2008 (83.2 million admissions). These results can be primarily attributed to the outstanding performance of three films: Taken 2 (473 million admissions), The Intouchables (29.9 million), and The Artist (12 million admissions and 5 Oscars). These three titles accounted for 65% of all admissions to French films abroad. The Intouchables is the most successful French-language production in international theaters to date, while Taken 2 boasts the best performance of all time by a French production outside France.
At the same time, there was another significant development in the market: for the first time, results for French films abroad exceeded those registered in France (82.1 million admissions in France compared to 138.4 million abroad), which may indicate the necessity of increasing support for the international market. Finally, the number of French films exhibited on foreign screens (which includes films initially released over several years) continued to rise in 2012, with 537 titles playing in theaters abroad (against 511 in 2011 and 431 in 2010).
While these fine results attract the curiosity of buyers and foreign media, they must not be allowed to mask the increasing structural difficulties that we encounter as we endeavor to extend the visibility of French films around the world. French films face greater and greater difficulties in accessing foreign theaters and remaining on the screens for any extended period; the presence of French films on foreign television networks is decreasing, and the VOD market is still in its infancy. This is why UniFrance Films must intensify its efforts in 2013 on both the commercial and political fronts, and continue work undertaken in 2012 to consolidate French film's traditional markets in Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe, North America, Japan, and South Korea, while also strengthening relations with emerging markets, such as Mexico and Brazil, as well as China, Indonesia and India. Our association–bolstered by our more than 900 members (including producers, sales agents, and artists' agents), whom we wish to thank for their involvement and commitment–must anticipate market developments and raise awareness among foreign exhibitors and buyers of VOD platforms of all that our film production industry has to offer.
For further information about our activities at UniFrance Films, download the attached 2012 Annual Activity Report.