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International statistics

19 March 2020 à 10:01

French films at the international box office: February 2020

In February—prior to the closure of a large number of movie theaters around the world as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak—a French romance made a hit in the USA, while a historical drama charmed audiences in Germany and Mexico, and a comedy and a drama drew crowds in a string of international markets.

In February, one French production attracted over 450,000 moviegoers in theaters abroad.

International box office results for French films (excluding France)
January 27–March 1, 2020
# Title Admissions Box Office Revenues (€) No. of Prints No. of Countries Total Admissions
1 Portrait of a Lady on Fire 483,807 3,656,866 708 22 1,217,751
2 An Officer and a Spy 263,156 1,745,042 949 15 1,296,394
3 The Specials 193,099 1,337,507 565 18 719,912
4 Les Misérables 193,040 1,186,530 647 32 419,210
5 La Belle Epoque 114,735 615,869 422 17 769,130
6 Spread Your Wings 102,361 504,242 399 5 279,627
7 Ducobu 3 78,964 695,155 45 2 78,964
8 The Translators 78,670 499,335 753 7 116,712
9 My Family and the Wolf 73,069 290,862 129 1 73,674
10 Alice and the Mayor 55,279 354,563 109 4 123,046
11 Love at Second Sight 53,337 199,933 121 2 365,894
12 The Lost Prince 49,879 451,871 80 4 49,879
13 10 days Without Mum 49,678 379,650 100 4 49,678
14 The Lion 43,534 367,559 149 6 43,534
15 Fahim, the Little Chess Prince 43,393 160,669 433 5 154,227
16 Who You Think I Am 38,086 111,847 198 5 379,028
17 It Must Be Heaven 35,759 186,789 142 8 148,044
18 The Room 28,478 161,124 154 7 386,130
19 The Truth 22,507 134,245 136 11 506,060
20 The Mystery of Henri Pick 21,104 130975 87 6 513,316


French films registered a total of 2.79 million admissions in international theaters (taking €17.6 million) in February, with majority-French productions accounting for 82% of this monthly figure (2.33 million in ticket sales, taking €15.2 million). These attendance figures show a rise of 16% over results for January 2020, but a decline of 26% compared to February 2019 (3.81 million admissions), the year that Astérix: The Secret of the Magic Potion and Mia and the White Lion together raked in a total of 2 million admissions. Six titles attracted more than 100,000 spectators in this period, similar to last month's results, with the Top 3 titles drawing a total of 940,000 admissions, against 763,000 in January 2020 and 802,000 in December 2019. An Officer and a Spy lost the top spot in the charts to Portrait of a Lady on Fire, while The Specials stood firm in third place, almost on a par with Les Misérables, which appeared on the Top 3 podium for the first time.

 Portrait of a Lady on Fire was the French film most seen by international audiences in February. Back in December, this film was programmed in the USA for exclusive screenings in Los Angeles and New York, where it generated $118,500 in ticket sales (around 13,000 admissions). Ticket sales at this event equated to an impressive average of close to $60,000 per theater, ranking as one of the best results for a foreign-language film on a limited release in the United States in the past twenty years. Portrait of a Lady on Fire was released on February 14 in 22 sites, which was upped to 130 sites in its second week, then to 268, and crossed the symbolic $1 million threshold in box office receipts in just ten days! It was still showing in 334 sites in its fourth week, registering a total of $3.34 million in ticket sales (360,000 admissions). The film also achieved its best opening in Europe in the United Kingdom in this period. Launched simultaneously in 52 theaters and on VOD services, it took £340,000 in its opening week, representing around 50,000 spectators, ranking as the week's best average score (£6,500, with over 900 admissions). Since 2010, only three majority-French productions shot in French have topped £300,000 in their opening week in the United Kingdom. This film directed by Céline Sciamma now posts a running total of 1.22 admissions and €8.85 million in ticket sales outside France.

 An Officer and a Spy lost the top spot in our charts this month, with close to 270,000 admissions registered across fifteen international markets. While it is showing in 331 theaters in Russia—its second biggest release outside France after Italy (437 sites)—it is in Germany where this historical drama has best succeeded in making its mark. Screened in 81 theaters, it attracted around 70,000 German moviegoers (€594,500), compared to 37,500 admissions in Russia (€171,000). On another continent, 40,000 ticket sales were registered in Mexico (€164,000) from 180 sites. Although the latest offering from Roman Polanski has enjoyed a less successful opening than the director's previous films, only just breaking into the local Top 10, it is worth noting that with the exception of Just a Breath Away (167,500 admissions, for €390,000), no other French-language film has been as popular with Mexican audiences in its opening week since January 2019. An Officer and a Spy currently boasts 1.3 million admissions and €8.33 million in receipts in international theaters, with its upcoming release scheduled in Denmark, Finland, and Turkey.

 The Specials held tight in third place this month. It opened in 170 theaters in Spain, drawing 70,000 spectators (€359,500), a performance that nonetheless falls short of those registered by the Nakache-Toledano directing duo's previous films, which all attracted over 125,000 spectators in this market in their opening week. This comedy saw its release expanded to around twenty new sites in its second week, and looks set to easily cross the 100,000 admissions mark, a threshold already reached in The Netherlands (151,500 admissions, and €1.3 million) and Belgium (113,500 admissions, and €808,500). In these two markets, The Specials stands out as the most popular French film shot in French of the past five years. In Denmark, it racked up 36,500 admissions (€391,000), and is still showing in over twenty theaters after five weeks on the screens. In Lithuania, three weeks after its release, it remains among the local Top 10 titles, with over 18,000 (€106,500) to its credit. The film now posts a total of 720,000 admissions and €5.31 million in ticket sales abroad, and will soon hit theaters in Greece, Slovenia, and Turkey.

 While not quite matching the score of The Specials, Les Misérables came very close to sharing third place in our charts, and appears for the first time in the Top 3. It enjoyed its most successful openings in The Netherlands and Poland. Including preview screenings, it took €213,000 in 58 sites in the Netherlands (over 25,000 admissions) and 25,500 admissions in Poland (€435,500), which appears to be following suit with its final results in Germany (56,000 admissions and €433,500 at the end of its run) and Spain (53,500 admissions and €315,500). The recent winner of four César Awards in France, including Best Film, Les Misérables has so far charmed 419,000 moviegoers in around thirty foreign markets (€2.94 million), and its international career is far from over, with upcoming releases in Argentina, Finland, Hungary, and India.

This report is based on results registered on March 11, 2020. As the figures relating to film releases are constantly updated, the graphics generated automatically on our website will differ from the chart featured in this article.

Author : Andrea Sponchiado

Latest update : 13 May 2020 à 10:01 CEST

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