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International statistics

03 March 2021 à 10:40

French films at the international box office: January 2021

Despite the current difficulties, around 100 French productions were shown on movie screens around the world in January 2021, generating 624,000 admissions and €3.57 million in ticket sales.

How to be a Good Wife is the film with the highest attendance figures in this period, while only four other titles attracted more than 10,000 spectators outside France.




Box Office Revenues (€)

No. of Prints

No. of Countries

Total Admissions

Total B. O. Revenues (€)

1 How to be a Good Wife 30,408 230,356 127 2 155,139 1,176,189
2 Perfumes 19,703 118,470 91 1 35,663 240,523
3 #Iamhere 16,340 101,516 432 1 55,658 334,298
4 Simple Passion 16,290 57,695 245 1 16,290 57,695
5 Poly 13,905 81,057 241 1 22,271 164,351
6 Portrait of a Lady on Fire 9,664 92,896 52 5 1,492,858 10,909,176
7 My Donkey, My Lover & I 6,809 41,049 95 1 73,472 622,111
8 Fahim, the Little Chess Prince 6,770 38,844 165 2 199,025 1,144,999
9 Only the Animals 6,361 58,522 20 1 18,014 157,454
10 Yakari, A Spectacular Journey 5,572 14,736 36 2 218,858 1,722,255

The start of the new year brought renewed hope. Not only did it put an end to one of the worst years for the movie sector in history, but, in addition, the month of January was expected to see the gradual reopening of movie theaters across the five continents. However, as we know, this was not the case. The new upsurge in the pandemic caused the majority of governments around the world to extend and/or tighten measures already in place, including the postponing of reopening theaters. Countries in which theaters were open have had to juggle difficulties such as the shortage of films, a decline in attendance figures, a reduction of audience capacity, and restricted opening hours.

In Europe, spectators can currently buy movie tickets in Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Scandinavian countries (excluding Denmark), the former states of Yugoslavia (excluding Slovenia), Luxembourg, and Romania. While in the north of the American continent, theaters show no signs of reopening at this point, those in South America are starting to show films again, such as in Argentina and Venezuela, as well as Brazil and Mexico, where the reactivating of the theatrical market is slow and hampered by many obstacles. Movie theaters are also open to the public in the majority of the countries of the Gulf region, and in Asia and Oceania.

 The performance of French films continues to be directly linked to their release in a specific territory, as seen in the figures for the Top 10 titles. There are exceptions nonetheless, such as How to be a Good Wife, the majority-French coproduction with the highest attendance figures in January and the only title to exceed 30,000 admissions outside France. This film is currently benefiting from a successful launch in Australia, where it raked in over AUD$560,000, for around 40,000 tickets sold, marking its best performance to date in a foreign market. Released in Spain early January, it opened at 9th place, registering 15,000 admissions (€88,500). The release of How to be a Good Wife coincided with the reopening of theaters in a large number of markets in the summer of 2020, including Poland, where it tallied 27,000 admissions (taking €102,500), and Switzerland (24,000 admissions and €308,000). The film's current running total stands at over 155,000 admissions abroad (€1.8 million) from around twenty international markets.

Only four other titles passed the 10,000 admissions mark outside France.

 The first of these productions is Perfumes. Launched in Spain on December 30, it reached 10th place in the Spanish charts and ranks among around ten titles that registered an average of more than 100 spectators per print (which is highly indicative of the current state of the market). The film will soon hit 20,000 admissions and €120,000 in ticket sales in Spain.

 The second titles is #Iamhere, which opened on more than 430 screens in South Korea, boosted by the star-power of its lead actress, South Korean Doona Bae. Even though the film jumped to the number 2 spot on its opening weekend, it had to settle for just 16,500 admissions (€101,500), as national attendance figures dropped to just one tenth of last year's records from the same period. It is worth noting that in 2015, director Éric Lartigau's previous film The Bélier Family, achieved outstanding results in this market (122,000 spectators and €743,500).

 The third in the list is a film that has not yet been released in France (originally scheduled for January 13, but postponed). In Russia, Simple Passion benefited from a wide release in 245 sites, the third most ambitious opening offered to a French film since last summer, and sat at 10th place in the local charts. More than 16,000 Russian moviegoers have already come out to see the film (€57,500 in ticket sales).

Last but not least is Poly. Released in Spain the same day as Perfumes, it posts a total of 14,000 admissions (taking €82,500) to date.

Despite the challenging situation at this time, around 100 French films were screened in international theaters in January 2021, generating 624,000 admissions and 3.57 million.

Compared to December 2020, the number of spectators for French films rose by 68% in January. Given that films majority-produced by France account for one third of this figure, this clearly indicates that this increase can be firstly attributed to the successful reception of coproductions majority-financed by France. The Franco-Italian film Pinocchio is credited with 42% of the month's theatrical revenues: released in the USA on Christmas Day, it posted over 1.66 million in ticket sales (180,000 spectators) and also attracted 130,000 Brazilians (€315,000). Two other major players in these results are the Franco-Belgian film Bigfoot Family, which sold 1.38 million tickets in international theaters (€6.87 million), and the Franco-British The Father, which enchanted audiences in Spain, reaching 108,000 admissions (€433,000).


The achievements of these films delineate the geographic distribution of admissions: in Spain, Brazil, and the USA, over 100,000 moviegoers chose to see a French title. If we consider only films that were majority-initiated by France, Spain stands out as the leading export market in this period (with just under 70,000 admissions), followed by South Korea (30,000 admissions), and Australia (25,000).

A similar observation can be made with regard to film genres. Fantasy themes account for 42% of our monthly figures for French film exports in January, followed by dramas (20%), comedies/dramatic comedies (17%), and animated films (14%).

--> This report can be downloaded in PDF format below
(French version only).

This report is based on results recorded on February 11, 2021. Since our statistics for film releases are continuously updated, the graphics generated automatically on our website will differ from the chart featured in this article.

Author : Andrea Sponchiado

Latest update : 08 March 2021 à 10:40 CET


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