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International statistics

30 April 2021 à 09:45

French films at the international box office: March 2021

Despite the present market conditions, March 2021 saw 130 French productions screened in international theaters, generating 506,000 admissions and €2.5 million in ticket sales.

The Translators was the most-seen film in this period, with one other French title also scoring more than 10,000 admissions outside France.

# Title Admissions Box Office Receipts (€) No. of Prints No. of Countries Total Admissions Total B. Revenues
1 The Translators 28,282 163,663 194 3 319,484 2,108,035
2 Only the Animals 10,581 61,896 76 2 32,586 254,897
3 Two of Us 5,467 32,289 80 5 64,297 505,999
4 My Donkey, My Lover & I 5,165 33,301 15 2 79,926 663,713
5 De Gaulle 4,957 32,681 31 2 49,682 365,833
6 The Barber of Siberia 4,194 11,615 0 1 2,420,063 5,863,594
7 The Girl with a Bracelet 3,953 22,659 61 1 44,085 316,881
8 Mama Weed 3,928 24,400 21 2 201,946


9 Breathless 3,790 34,944 14 3 157,209 971,039
10 Night of the Kings 2,801 18 ,202 7 1 2,801 18,202


The month of March has been eagerly awaited since the start of 2021, with many governments around the world anticipating the reopening of cultural venues at this time. However, as we now know, a new wave of the Covid pandemic has once again rewritten history and led to the postponement of the reopening of movie theaters. It is also important to bear in mind that the markets in which theaters had begun to reopen were forced to take a step backward, resulting in screenings being suspended for three weeks of the month in Bulgaria, Chile, Poland, Romania, and Serbia, and Iceland—countries where theaters had been authorized to reopen since May, 2020. And although it had been expected that April would be a transition phase similar to February 2020, it is now May that has become the focus of attention (and of hopes) for governments and industry professionals.

Since November, Spain, the only major Western European market where the public can see movies in theaters, has been the leading export market for French films. Around forty French titles—including five films not previously released—attracted 72,000 spectators in this territory in March. Indeed, the three top films in our monthly chart earned their high performances thanks to their release in Spain. In Quebec, the only major French-speaking market with theaters open to the public, registered 27,000 admissions to new French films, including My Donkey, My Lover & I, which posts the best debut for a French film in Quebec since De Gaulle in September 2020 (CAD$50,000 in ticket sales, representing 5,000 moviegoers, scoring an unhoped-for per-print average of CAD$3,500). In another key market, Russia, French films have been struggling to make their mark, with no new titles hitting screens since mid-February. The reality is that the theatrical market in France has been at a standstill for five months; as a result, recent and unreleased titles have been deprived of the exposure they would have gained from opening in their home market, meaning that they are increasingly scarce in markets outside France.

 The majority-French production with the highest attendance in international theaters in March 2021 was The Translators: this is the first time the film has achieved this feat, despite enjoying a long international career that began in 2019 (320,000 admissions and €2.1 million in ticket sales in around twenty foreign markets). In its opening week in Spain, released in around 160 theaters, the thriller by Régis Roinsard took 5th place in the local charts and was offered the most ambitious release for a majority-French production in Spain since March 2020 (The Room remains the only title to have reached 34,000 admissions and €213,500 at the Spanish box office). The Translators already posts nearly 25,000 admissions and €150,000 in receipts in this market. Last week, it sat at 3rd place in Bulgaria, bolstered by 3,500 admissions in 35 theaters. But while its attendance figures rose by 20% on its second weekend, this successful launch was unfortunately interrupted ten days later due to the imposed closure of theaters across the country.

 Only one other film attracted more than 100,000 movie enthusiasts outside France. After garnering over 11,000 admissions in Australia early in the year, Only the Animals was released on 70 screens in Spain, where it topped 10,000 admissions (€58,000). Also in Spain, Two of Us recorded excellent holdover results, and may well reach the 20,000 admissions mark (€113,000), ranking as its second best performance after the Netherlands (21,000 admissions and €192,000). As was the case in our February charts, it takes 3rd position in March.

Despite the difficult current context, more than 130 French productions were shown on international screens in March 2021, generating 506,000 admissions and €2.5 million in ticket sales. After a decline of 68% in international attendance figures last month, French films achieved a rise of 15% in March. While this is still a long way from the 624,000 admissions in January, the symbolic half-million admissions threshold has been passed. Productions majority-produced by France have been hit particularly hard, and did not manage to reach over 100,000 admissions mark in March (against 179,000 admissions in January and 162,000 in February). These productions' market share this month dwindled to 19%. By contrast, minority-French productions are credited with most significant fluctuations in March. Pinocchio raked in 189,000 admissions in Mexico (€453,000), while The Father, which is nominated for six Oscars, benefited from the gradual recovery of the North American theatrical market, taking $1.27 million after three weeks and generating 140,000 admissions in over 900 theaters.


The distribution of results according to film genres changed substantially in March in comparison with previous months. Dramas proved the most successful genre, accounting for 41% of spectators for French films, buoyed by the performance of The Father and Deux. And the success of Pinocchio shows no signs of waning, with the fantasy genre once again credited with 39% of the figures. As for thrillers, despite contributing around 9% less to the overall results than the abovementioned genres, they made their mark this month thanks to The Translators and Only the Animals. However, animation and comedy, in particular, suffered a blow from the closure of theaters in their traditionally most popular market region: Europe.

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

This report is based on results recorded on April 12, 2021. Since our statistics for film releases are continuously updated, the graphics generated automatically on our website will differ from those in the chart featured in this article.

Author : Andrea Sponchiado

Latest update : 30 April 2021 à 09:45 CEST


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