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International statistics

17 June 2022 à 18:13

French films at the international box office: May 2022

In May 2022, French cinema in international theaters was represented by more than 240 films in distribution and by more than 170 new releases, which attracted 1.4 million spectators and generated €8.2 million in box office revenues.

Petite Maman rose to the number one spot with 90,000 foreign spectators.

# Title Admissions Box Office Revenues (€) No. of Prints No. of Countries
Total Admissions Total Revenues
1 Petite Maman 90,051 744,147 362 12 262,844 2,016,501
2 Serial (Bad) Weddings 3 75,838 558,795 336 6 274,123 2,366,019
3 Pil 69,516 315,077 347 15 593,322 2,727,526
4 Kandisha 57,445 138,731 150 2 78,034 202,688
5 Spoiled Brats 52,528 415,573 344 2 108,145 837,367
6 Vortex 36,273 257,360 171 7 42,527 313,526
7 Eiffel 29,331 274,191 242 5 373,249 2,710,686
8 The Wolf and the Lion 28,764 200,984 370 6 1,764,064 1,718,493
9 The Murder Party 28,306 152,872 395 1 29,953 166,431
10 Paris, 13th District 27,135 216,540 236 14 180,237 1,363,176
11 Happening 27,045 231,544 311 11 155,327 1,107,990
12 Beautiful Minds 22,632 124 207 259 4 99,663 914,672
13 Yakari, A Spectacular Journey 21,352 99,856 141 6 373,018 2,534,619
14 The Velvet Queen 17,410 131,300 185 10 188,031 1,634,352
15 Vicky and her Mystery 17,196 97,514 254 3 351,605 1,388,749
16 Maigret 14,453 114,456 94 3 96,234 641,468
17 A Monster in Paris 14,000 89,901 266 1 1,628,273 9,755,320
18 Between Two Worlds 13,442 91,992 76 7 95,585 639,015
19 King 12,183 37,075 210 8 284,094 990,367
20 Love at Second Sight 12,038 18,929 NC 1 696,676 3,099,085

A very fragmented global map

The word "recovery" is being used in all markets, but an overall view that takes into account the local context of each country (measures in place to contain the pandemic, economic situation, film supply, attendance, etc.) highlights differences that, even more than in the past, are widening the gaps between countries. Among other things, the sector is suffering from the sharp drop in activity in large markets such as China, due to the latest wave of the pandemic, and Russia, because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which impacts the circulation and exhibition of films both locally and globally. Audiences are slowly returning to theaters and attendance shows a positive trend compared to 2020 and 2021, but remains fragile if compared to 2019. Despite the hold of Hollywood blockbusters and family films on screens and at the box office, some "auteur" successes prove that this genre, one of the foundations of French cinema, continues to be an asset when it manages to combine critical success and to attract filmgoers of all ages and cultures, for example Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma and The Worst Person in the World by Joachim Trier.

The French box office slows down internationally

French cinema appealed to 1.4 million spectators in May, less than half of the previous month's total (2.93 million). This is the lowest number of admissions since December 2021 (1.19 million). The major successes of the beginning of the year have already completed a large part of their international careers and there has been no immediate handover; expected launches, including those of Cannes titles, are scheduled for the coming months. In May, 244 French films were in release and there were 179 new launches, levels in line with those of February and March. For the first time in 2022, an auteur film, Petite maman, took the lead. It was also the first time that the title topping the monthly rankings didn't bring together than 100,000 moviegoers.

Western Europe remains the leading market

Europe accounted for slightly more than half of all French cinema admissions in May, and the western part of the continent's share of the total (62%) was dominant. After April's surge, Asia fell back, losing 10 points (6.3%), while Latin America made strong progress, increasing its share from 14.6% to 22.5%. Mexico became the leading foreign market in terms of the number of moviegoers for French films in May 2022, with 168,000 tickets (a first for a non-European country this year), ahead of the USA (113,000), the only other territory offering more than 100,000 admissions to French cinema.

Three genres neck and neck

 As in February and March, animation dominated the international scene in May. This time, it was only by a small margin, as comedy/comedy drama and drama followed very closely: in May 2022, each of the three genres was responsible for one in four French theatrical admissions outside our borders. That said, there were 23 animated films on release, three times fewer than for comedy and four times fewer than for drama, which enjoy dozens of runs. While French family films are still the most popular on the world market, fine performances such as those achieved by Petite maman and Vortex prove that there is still a public passionate about arthouse and festival films, even though the recovery looks more uneven for this type of production.

Majority-French productions ahead of minority titles

French-initiated films generated 62% of the admissions recorded during the month of May, losing only 3 points compared to the previous month, but no title registered more than 100,000 tickets. Minority-French productions saw their share increase significantly to 38% of monthly viewers and included two films that crossed the previously mentioned threshold Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness (125,000 admissions in 17 territories) and Abuela (122,000 in Mexico). French-language films continued to dominate the scene, generating more than three out of four admissions for French films in foreign theaters. 

The best performing French films

Neon launched Petite maman in four US theaters, which became 224 during its third weekend, for a total of $780,000 in box office revenues six weeks later, being 85,000 admissions. Céline Sciamma's latest film allowed France to enter the local top 20 and became the second biggest success of a majority-French French-language production since the beginning of the pandemic after Titane ($1.44 million and 150,000 admissions), also under the Neon banner. Petite maman garnered 262,000 foreign viewers (€2.02 million in revenues), 4.2 times more than in France, in over 30 markets. Still on the "arthouse film" side, 16,000 admissions in the United States (Utopia, €0.14 million) and 8,000 in the United Kingdom (Picturehouse, €71,000) and in Turkey (Baska, €15,000) allowed Vortex to join the monthly top 10. Serial (Bad) Weddings 3 took advantage of its continued run on the screens of French-speaking territories (notably 163,000 admissions and €1.39 million accumulated in Belgium, Belga) and new launches in Eastern Europe (the most successful in Slovakia, with 18,000 tickets and €0.12 million, CinemArt), to take second place in the May 2022 rankings. The last place on the podium went to Pil which continued its international career by breaking into seven foreign top 10s and claiming close to 600,000 admissions outside France. 31,000 Colombian (Babilla, €72,000) and 26,000 Peruvian (Star, €66,000) thrill-seekers flocked to Kandisha, a fantasy film released directly on VOD in France in July 2021. Spoiled Brats returned to the monthly rankings thanks to releases in Germany and Austria: proportionally, it was in the latter country that it attracted the most viewers (Luna Film, 11,000 and €92,000 vs. 42,000 and €0.32 million in Germany, Telepool), to the point of taking fifth place in the local top ratings on the weekend of its launch.

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


This report is based on results recorded on June 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.

Author : Andrea Sponchiado

Latest update : 07 July 2022 à 18:13 CEST


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