French films at the international box office: February 2022

French films at the international box office: February 2022

In February 2022, French cinema in international theaters was represented by more than 210 films on screens, and by more than 180 new releases, appealing to 3.61 million spectators and generating €18.7 million in box office revenues.

Little Nicholas' Treasure brought together 413,000 foreign spectators, while three other titles attracted more than 100,000.
# Title Admissions Box Office Revenues (€) No. of Prints No. of Countries Total Admissions Total Revenues
1 Little Nicholas' Treasure 413,501 1,577,356 292 2 444,312 1,866,951
2 The Wolf and the Lion 324,752 2,255,356 1,882 11 1,086,800 6,520,019
3 Around the World in 80 Days 282,013 2,113,739 810 9 1,088,390 6,194,916
4 Vicky and her Mystery 141,849 545,784 285 7 251,930 1,001,190
5 Pil 99,650 656,028 961 3 293,849 1,213,831
6 Superwho? 82,623 663,300 408 5 82,623 663,300
7 Beautiful Minds 36,004 369,278 203 3 59,092 612,197
8 Lost Illusions 30,398 179,562 150 5 94,224 653,997
9 Retirement Home 29,906 304,070 44 2 29,906 304,070
10 The Speech 29,100 173,584 228 2 95,727 573,900
11 Family Swap 28,097 101,504 143 2 242,229 1,364,495
12 Fantasies 27,932 122,948 334 5 71,622 305,828
13 Benedetta 27,195 110,063 190 12 322,870 2,016,053
14 Délicieux 23,394 169,463 181 6 328,610 2,396 909
15 SamSam 21,843 38,089 192 1 174,801 934,963
16 Between Two Worlds 19,016 118,166 122 4 44,192 298,763
17 Everything Went Fine 18,670 148,009 120 5 67,868 491,874
18 Hold Me Tight 16,114 99,413 70 1 19,083 121,740
19 The Big Hit 15,580 95,347 118 6 81,575 631,152
20 Happening 15,227 93,826 87 6 54,705 331,291


A recovery on the horizon?

The positive signals that characterized the latter part of January were amplified the following month. By early February, Quebec moviegoers could once again see movies on the big screen and, with the exception of Hong Kong, where theaters were still shuttered, theaters were open in the rest of the world. The health measures in place have gradually been relaxed, although not in a uniform manner: candy bars are back and theaters are approaching full capacity. Denmark went even further, being the first country to act on the lifting of restrictions! Moreover, highly awaited movies started hitting screens. Box-office figures show that only a handful of titles monopolized spectators' attention and captured the largest volume of admissions. Attendance is certainly on the rise, but it will still take time and, above all, a certain stability in the pandemic situation before the right foundations for a real recovery can be laid.

A spectacular increase for the French box office abroad

 In addition to the number of films in theaters and the increase in new releases compared to the previous month, French cinema box-office jumped in February 2022 by totaling 124% more spectators than in January 2022 (1.61 million), and its admissions were even slightly higher than those recorded in February 2020 (3.47 million). The leader of the month, Little Nicholas' Treasure was far ahead of its competitors, attracting 413,000 moviegoers (223,000 for the previous month's Around the World in 80 Days). This encouraging performance was also achieved thanks to the minority-French film Fireheart and its 975,000 viewers.

Eastern Europe became the leading market

Europe accounted for 2 out of 3 admissions for French cinema in February, and during this month it was the central and eastern part of the continent that took the lead (52%). Among the other geographic zones, only Latin America was above 700,000 admissions and 20% of market share.  Poland became the leading foreign market in terms of audience numbers for French films in February 2022, with 568,000 tickets, just ahead of Russia (539,000). Mexico and the USA followed with 382,000 and 370,000 admissions respectively, while 7 other countries brought in over 100,000.

A month dominated by animation

  Fireheart and its stunning arrival, as well as Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness and Around the World in 80 Days, enabled animated films to return to the forefront: with 21 films in release, this genre attracted nearly 1 in 2 foreign viewers to French cinema in February 2022. Comedy also accounted for more than 1 million tickets (31.2%), while among the other genres, only adventure/crime/thriller had a cumulative total of more than 0.5 million admissions and a market share of over 10%.

Minority-French productions gain ground

French-initiated films generated 53% of the admissions recorded during the month of February, down 29 points compared to the previous month, led by 4 titles exceeding 100,000 tickets. Minority productions saw their share increase to reach 47% of the monthly audience thanks to the new releases Vaillante, which passed the one million mark, and Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness, which garnered 243,000 admissions, not forgetting The Worst Person in the World, which continued its successful career by attracting 337,000 new moviegoers. French-language films continued to dominate the scene, generating 3 out of 4 admissions for French cinema in foreign theaters.

The best French performances

Little Nicolas's Treasure was the undisputed leader of February. For 4 weeks, it was shown in more than 200 Polish theaters and was among the 3 most seen films in the country. With 413,000 admissions (Kino Swiat, €1.58 million in box office revenues), it became the biggest French-initiated success in a foreign market in the "post-Covid" era, and the one that has attracted the most spectators in Poland since Nicholas on Holiday in 2014 (Kino Swiat, 626,000 and €2.45 million). The Wolf and the Lion and Around the World in 80 Days were the first majority-French productions to cross the symbolic threshold of 1 million total international admissions since the outbreak of the pandemic! Around the World in 80 Days attracted 215,000 Germans (StudioCanal, €1.51 million), while The Wolf and the Lion scored $1.22 million at the box office in the USA (Blue Fox Entertainment, around 133,000 admissions) and 344,000 tickets in Italy (01 Distribution, €2.21 million). Polish audiences once again confirmed their interest in family films by offering Vicky and her Mystery its best career outside France, with 131,000 admissions and 5th place in the local top 10 during its opening week (Best Film, €0.5 million). Pil  is another ambassador of French animation: it tallied 150,000 tickets in Mexico (Zima, €0.36 million) and charmed 25,000 Danes (UIP, €0.3 million) and 24,000 Swedes (Noble Entertainment, €0.23 million). Among the titles of the monthy top 10 who launched their international tours, we can mention Superwho?, discovered by 82,000 movie buffs outside France, including 37,000 Belgians (Alternative, €0.32 million), 22,000 Spaniards (DeAPlaneta, €0.14 million), and 11,000 Czechs (Bontonfilm, €0.07 million). Meanwhile, Beautiful Minds continued to distinguish itself in French-speaking Switzerland where 38,000 spectators came out to see it (JMH, €0.46 million). This score equals that of The Velvet Queen (Filmcoopi, €0.48 million) and places these two productions on the third step of the podium of the most-seen French films in French-speaking Switzerland since the first reopening of theaters in June 2020.

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This report is based on results recorded on March 10, 2022. Since our statistics for film releases are continuously being updated, the graphics generated automatically on our website will differ from the chart featured in this article.


Article by  Andrea Sponchiado



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