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International statistics

30 March 2021 à 10:34

French films at the international box office: February 2021

Despite the current context, in February 2021, more than 120 French productions hit the screens internationally, generating 438,000 admissions and €1.9 million in ticket sales.

The Girl with a Bracelet generated the highest attendance figures in this period, while only four other titles attracted more than 10,000 spectators outside France.

# Title Admissions Box Office Revenues (€) No of Prints No. of Countries Total Admissions Total B.O. Revenues
1 The Girl with a Bracelet 24,245 148,908 105 1 40,132 294,222
2 Poly 23,792 62,364 344 2 46,063 226,716
3 Two of Us 16,342 96,676 134 4 57,920 469,030
4 A Mermaid in Paris 14,629 155,928 54 1 74,356 458,407
5 2046 7,580 46,059 36 2 1,780,805 11,947,475
6 The Room 6,874 36,434 44 4 552,545 2,439,682
7 Irreversible - director's cut 6,772 25,122 71 1 6,783 25,252
8 Mama Weed 5,289 27,327 48 2 195,835 1,598,426
9 Night Shift 4,106 15,750 47 3 37,350 270,736
10 De Gaulle 3,472 22,540 33 3 43,929 329,148


With the possibility of a market recovery at the beginning of the year having faded after the postponement of cinema reopening dates in many countries, it was known that February was going to be a "transition" month without any major surprises. Professionals were already looking ahead to March, which was expected to bring good news with the arrival of spring. At the time of writing, we know that this horizon has receded once again, with governments talking about a possible relaxation of measures in April and May.

February was nevertheless marked by some encouraging news from the American continent. The world's former largest market (overtaken by China for the first time in 2020) can now count on theaters reopening in New York, a key city that usually weighs heavily on the local box office and represents a key stage in the launch strategy of films, especially those with the arthouse label. With the announcement of the Oscar nominations and a release schedule that is gradually expanding, despite reduced theater capacity and the appeal of platforms, the North American market is beginning its slow recovery. Just over the border, the Quebec government has also authorized the reopening of cinemas, making it the only major French-speaking market in operation in 2021. In the south of the continent, after a year of waiting, Chilean exhibitors can now raise the curtains. Brazil and Mexico, the two heavyweights of Latin America, have however been impacted respectively by the closure of theaters in the state of São Paulo, one of the most lucrative for the box office, and by the new temporary closures announced by the Cinemex chain, with the shuttering of 58% of its theaters. Further east, Hong Kong is experiencing its third phase of reopening, while 20% of Polish cinemas that participated in a two-week test remain open to the public for the time being.

 The performance of French films continues to be mainly linked to a release in a specific territory. The Girl with a Bracelet was the most viewed majority French production of the month. In its opening week, it accounted for 10% of weekly admissions in Spain; it was the only title to generate an average of more than 100 spectators per theater and to top the local ranking! More than 26,000 Spaniards have already discovered it (taking €163,000), making it the third biggest box office success since last summer in this country. Only a few hundred tickets separate it from the second ranked film, Poly, which attracted 23,500 Russians (€60,000 in ticket sales), a performance in line with Nicolas Vanier previous films. Despite being released on 335 screens, Poly was up against family films that had been out for several weeks, but which nevertheless continued to capture the largest share of this audience and theaters in operation.

 Only two other titles have more than 10,000 admissions outside France. The first is Two of Us. Released in Spain on February 19, it climbed to third place in the local rankings and, like The Girl with the Bracelet, managed to exceed an average of 100 tickets per print. Two attracted more than 17,000 Spaniards (€103,500), which puts the Spanish release ahead of the German (10,500 admissions and €93,500) and behind the Dutch (20,500 and €192,000) releases. At the same time, it was distributed in some theaters (physical and virtual) in North America. The second, A Mermaid in Paris, continued its Asian tour. This time, it made a stop in Japan and tallied 14,500 admissions (€156,000 in ticket sales), its second best performance after South Korea (27,500 and €165,000).

 Despite the current context, in February 2021, more than 120 French productions hit international screens, generating 438,000 admissions and €1.9 million in ticket sales. While last month's figures show a 68% increase, French cinema attendance fell by 30% in February. This decline is mainly attributable to minority productions, to the exploits of the Franco-Italian Pinocchio, and the Franco-Belgian Bigfoot Family which had caused the box office to soar in January, but whose results which were not repeated (to the same extent). Their contribution remains decisive however, as they generated half of the monthly score: Pinocchio attracted 163,500 new spectators in Brazil and the United States, Bigfoot Family 64,500, most of whom were in Latin America. Nominated 6 times for the next Oscars, the Franco-British film The Father (photo) raked in 130,000 admissions in Spain and is eagerly awaited in many territories, while the Franco-Hungarian Sunset was the first French production to be released in China in early 2021 (13,000 spectators). On the other hand, the number of spectators for majority French productions only fell by 8.5% compared to January.


The geographic distribution of admissions has thus been modified. In Brazil, more than 100,000 spectators chose a French production in theaters. If we consider only films majority-initiated by France, Spain remains in the lead (and French cinema just missed the 80,000 admissions mark, 10,000 more than in January), followed by Russia (32,000) and Japan (17,000).

On the other hand, their distribution according to genre is rather like the previous month. Fantasy themes continued to account for 41% of the monthly total of international admissions, followed by dramas (20%), while animated films (16.5%) exceeded comedies/dramatic comedies (12%).

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

This report is based on results recorded on March 18, 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 : 30 March 2021 à 10:34 CEST


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