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International statistics

14 April 2020 à 10:00

French films at the international box office: March 2020

In March – as screens around the world began to fade one after the other – a sentimental drama continued to appeal to English-speaking markets, a historical drama attracted Latin American moviegoers and a comedy brought German spectators together.

In March, one French production garnered more than 140,000 spectators at international theaters.
# Title No. of Admissions Box Office Revenues (€) No. of Prints No. of Countries Total Admissions
1 Portrait of a Lady on Fire 144,274 1,158,096 532 15 1,365,961
2 An Officer and a Spy 56,821 309,579 427 14 1,362,234
3 The Truth 46,768 371,679 214 10 570,958
4 The Specials 42,283 267,915 328 12 842,963
5 Les Misérables 40,337 270,302 259 19 459,556
6 Cuban Network 36,545 145,444 466 3 36,545
7 Who You Think I Am 32,080 88,431 164 2 444,372
8 The Best is Yet to Come 26,304 143,570 145 2 144,616
9 The Wolf's Call 24,163 141,233 336 1 183,812
10 The Translators 18,302 90,310 272 4 174,997
11 10 days Without Mum 18,189 113,800 94 3 68,129
12 Father 12,936 41,228 31 1 12,936
13 MILF 10,191 35,003 173 1 43,158
14 The Mystery of Henri Pick 9,554 59,768 40 5 522,870
15 A Good Doctor 8,070 35,167 105 1 24,850
16 The Lost Prince 6,163 54,847 99 5 56,080
17 It Must Be Heaven 5,992 29,733 39 5 154,311
18 Spread Your Wings 5,904 36,349 92 4 294,214
19 My Stupid Dog 5,772 18,596 46 1 65,117
20 La Belle Epoque 5,604 36,615 79 10 775,025

In March, French cinema registered 765,000 international admissions (€4.51 million in box office revenues), with majority productions accounting for 81% of the monthly result (618,000 tickets sold and €3.87 million at the box office). Admissions were down 73% compared to February 2020 and 82% compared to March 2019 (4.19 million moviegoers). Only one title attracted more than 100,000 spectators (compared with 6 the previous month) and the Top 3 titles tallied 248,000 admissions, compared with 940,000 in February and 763,000 in January 2020. Portrait of a Lady on Fire once again led the rankings, still followed by An Officer and a Spy. The Truth, which dominated the podium in October 2019, returned to the Top 3.

The spread of Covid-19 across the five continents led to the adoption of governmental measures that impacted cinema theaters' activity. Initially, several countries opted for the reduction of theater capacity and for regular disinfection of the venues. Subsequently, the reinforcement of these measures led to the closure of theater complexes, either through the effect of national and/or local decrees, or through the choice of the exhibitors themselves who were facing a diminished moviegoing public and the withdrawal of films, as all actors in the film industry were impacted.

After China, Italy was the first country to approve the shuttering of cinemas. In mid-March, some 40 other nations announced similar measures. By the end of the month, projectors were switched off in more than 70 countries and the last few remaining exhibitors still in operation were in South Korea, Japan, Sweden and Taïwan.

Many French film releases, initially scheduled for March, were cancelled, postponed to a later date, or moved to online platforms.

In one month, the total number of weekly admissions of French films in international theaters dropped from 766,000 to 5,900, the number of films exhibited from 104 to 25, and the number of new releases from 46 to 3.

 Several of the titles listed in this ranking were enjoying fine international and local theatrical careers, which came to an abrupt halt within a few days. Portrait of a Lady on Fire achieved a rare feat for a French-language film in markets that are traditionally difficult to access. In the USA, it was programmed by 330 theaters and reached a total of $3.76 million in box office revenues, the equivalent of more than 410,000 spectators. The $5 million threshold, which no French-language title had reached since Love in 2012 ($6.74 million, 830,000 admissions), was within reach. Launched simultaneously in 52 theaters and on VOD, Céline Sciamma's latest film marked her best European debut in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but finished at £554,500 (about 77,000 cinemagoers) three weeks into its run.

 After Mexico (64,500 admissions and €242,500), An Officer and a Spy landed in another Latin American country, Brazil, where it attracted more than 10,000 spectators the week of its release (€42,000). The following weekend, films disappeared from theaters: the distributor of An Officer and a Spy announced that it will be available on TVOD in April. In Mexico, despite a fine local career, Who You Think I Am saw its attendance plummet by almost 70% between the second and third week, with a total of 68,000 tickets sold (€192,500). Another similar case: The Specials in Spain, which lost 57% of its admissions between weeks one and two, with just over 100,000 tickets sold (€547,000). Cuban Network got off to the best start of the month with 31,500 admissions in Russia (€116,000), but this figure is also its cumulative total, as Russian theaters temporarily ceased their activity ten days after its release.

 At the beginning of March, The Truth appealed to 26,000 Germans (€204,000) and, despite the overall drop in attendance, achieved the best average number of admissions per print for the week. Like Cuban Network, The Truth was no longer on release by mid-March.

This analysis is based on the results dated April 8, 2020. As figures are constantly being consolidated, the graph automatically created by the site will differ from the table in this news item.

Author : Andrea Sponchiado

Latest update : 13 May 2020 à 10:00 CEST

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