14 June 2002 à 13:02
Asia: 10 million spectators for French films in 2001
A review of the performance of French films in Asia in 2001.
For the first time, the monitoring of results in the eight major territories of Asia (Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia and Singapore) gives us a precise picture of French films' position in this part of the world.
In 2001, French productions attracted 10 million spectators and raked in 68 million euros in ticket sales in Asian theaters. Asia thus represents over 20% of admissions to French films worldwide, and close to one quarter of box office receipts.
The leading market for French films in Asia is still obviously Japan, which, as well as expressing more strongly than ever its enthusiasm for French auteur films, has in the past year seen multiplex theaters welcoming more commercial films. The result: close to 2 million spectators were registered to French-language films, with box office receipts totaling €45 million, equivalent to the results for French films in Lyon, Marseille, Lille and Toulouse combined!
In the other countries in the region, French films captured around 2% of the market and played a less substantial but nonetheless significant role in the exhibition landscape, which is characterized on the whole by:
- a highly competitive environment dominated by American films
- generally weak national movie industries (with the exception of Korea, Hong Kong and India)
- the absence of any Arthouse theater network - the language barrier, even more of an obstacle in Asia
French films in Asia nowadays benefit from the high reputation of films directed or produced by Luc Besson, which for the past 10 years have paved the way for more commercial French films to achieve success in this part of the world. Within this nonetheless delicate context, French films have managed to make their mark, little by little, with between 5 and 15 films released per year per country. They attract interest either by relying on their own particularities (as "quality films" or festival award-winners), or by playing the competitive game with the dominant national industries (local or American) via English-language productions (such as "Kiss of the Dragon") or genre films (such as "Brotherhood of the Wolf," "Vidocq" and "Yamakasi").
This mix of film genres is currently hitting the mark in Korea, where French films have successfully held their ground for a number of years now, crossing the 2 million spectators threshold in 2001. Other markets are progressively opening their doors to French fare, such as Indonesia (1.3 million spectators) and India (900,000 spectators), countries with very high populations where a film's success rapidly takes on astounding proportions. Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore remain receptive to French films, although their theatrical markets are highly competitive.
Latest update : 23 April 2009 à 13:02 CEST