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News in brief

08 July 2003 à 12:06

French Box Office: May-June 2003

The latest at the French box office

A festive season for French films

Even though movie attendance has been particularly sluggish over past weeks - not surprising, given the recent heat wave - French films, with numerous titles currently showing, have nonetheless stood their ground in the home market. While some results are disappointing, French productions are by no means the most serious casualties of the overall decline in movie admissions.

Several titles, in fact, made excellent progress during the recent Cinema Festival, held Sunday June 22 through Tuesday June 24. 3 million spectators patronized the country's movie theaters over these 3 days, 22% less than last year. The fact that the Music Festival was held the evening before the event, coupled with unusually high temperatures for this time of year, can partially explain the low figures. The Cinema Festival worked wonders for a number of French films, however, including "Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose?," debut film by Eric Lartigau, starring the comedy duo Kad and Olivier. Produced, sold and distributed by Gaumont, the film has registered 757,528 admissions and raked in €4.2 million at the box office, thanks to an increase of 70 % during the Cinema Festival.
Another French comedy to have benefited from the Cinema Festival is "Le Bison," first film by actress Isabelle Nanty, in which she stars alongside Edouard Baer. Released the same day as "Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose?," the film, which was produced by Claude Berri, and sold and distributed by Pathé, has attracted 457,271 spectators to date, for €2.5 million (up 57% during the festival).
In another vein altogether, "Le Mystère de la chambre jaune" by Bruno Podalydès, produced by Why Not Productions and sold by Wild Bunch, is coming close to the 400,000 admissions mark (€2.2 million) after 2 weeks on the screens. And then there is the animated film "Les Triplettes de Belleville" by Sylvain Chomet (presented Out of Competition at Cannes this year), which has got off to a fine start given the generally poor market conditions at this time. Having attracted considerable attention at Cannes, the film, produced by Les Armateurs and sold by Celluloid Dreams, is coming close to hitting 300,000 admissions (€1.7 million) 2 weeks after its release, and looks set for a lasting career due to excellent word of mouth. Thus, while the Cinema Festival broke no records this year, it did succeed in giving a boost to certain films before the summer season kicks in.

Among titles released in May this year, two films presented at Cannes and released during the festival continue to attract audiences in France. "Swimming Pool" by François Ozon (presented in Competition), produced by Fidélité and sold by Celluloid Dreams, registered 673,636 admissions at the end of June (€3.8 million) and should finish up with close to 800,000 admissions. The opening film at Cannes, "Fanfan la Tulipe" by Gérard Krawczyk, produced, distributed and sold by EuropaCorp, has well and truly crossed the million admissions threshold, boasting 1,121,488 tickets sold at the end of June (€6.2 million).

Several films released in the first quarter of 2003 completed the major part of their run in the months of May and June with excellent results to their credit, creating something of a stir in the market. This is especially the case for the surprise hit "Chouchou" ("Darling"), a comedy by Merzak Allouache starring Gad Elmaleh (3.8 million admissions for €21.2 million, up by 1,087 % during the Cinema Festival!), as well as "Frenchmen" by Marc Esposito (close to 1.5 million admissions for €8.4 million) and "Moi César, 10 ans 1/2, 1.39m" ("I, Cesar") by Richard Berry (just under 1 million spectators for €5.6 million). Two first films by women directors also put in fine performances. "Il est plus facile pour un chameau" by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi (Gemini) registered some 400,000 admissions (€2.2 million) and Pascale Pouzadoux attracted 250,000 spectators (€1.4 million) with her film "Toutes les filles sont folles" (produced by Alta Loma and sold by Vision International).

Showing in theaters this summer:

The good news is that French films are back out to conquer the screens this summer. Indeed, several eagerly awaited titles have held off until the summer season to hit the screens. One of these is "Mariées mais pas trop," the latest film by Catherine Corsini after "Replay," boasting an original cast including Jane Birkin, Emilie Dequenne and Pierre Richard (slated for release July 9). July 30 will see Philippe Le Guay's new film "Le Coût de la vie" unveiled, starring Vincent Lindon, Fabrice Luchini and Lorànt Deutsch, and on August 6 it will be over to "Rencontre avec le dragon" by Hélène Angel, starring Daniel Auteuil, Sergi Lopez and Emmanuelle Devos to win over local audiences.
Towards the end of the summer holidays we will see the release of 2 films presented in Competition at Cannes: "Les Egarés" ("Strayed") by André Techiné, starring Emmanuelle Béart (August 20) and "La Petite Lili" by Claude Miller, starring Ludivine Sagnier (August 27).

Other titles that could well make a splash this summer are "Nos enfants chéris" by Benoît Cohen, starring Romane Bohringer, Mathieu Demy and Laurence Côte, which is already heralded as one of the season's finds, as well as "L’Outremangeur" by Thierry Binisti, "Va, petite!" by Alain Guesnier, "Mes enfants ne sont pas comme les autres" by Denis Dercourt, "Les Filles, personne ne s’en méfie" ("Girls Can Get Away with Anything") by Charlotte Silvera, "Une employée modèle" ("A Model Employee") by Jacques Otmezguine, not to mention "Père et fils" by Michel Boujenah.


Film Released Prints Admissions Box office (EUR)
Taxi 3 January 969 6,150,841 33,829,625
Chouchou March 402 3,852,902 21,144,032
La Beuze February 408 1,934,481 10,639,645
18 ans après February 630 1,512,859 8,312,298
French Men April 400 1,492,488 8,184,142

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