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Studies & Market Reports

19 May 2009 à 12:36

2008 a record year for French films abroad

Key statistics for French films in the international arena in 2008.

Key statistics for French films in the international arena in 2008.

- 84.5 million admissions

- €421 million in box office receipts

- 401 films released in theaters

- 16 countries in which French films registered over 1 million admissions

- 8 countries in which French films captured a market share of over 5%

- 15 films registered over 1 million admissions

84.5 million admissions: a new record for French films abroad

2008 has stamped itself as French films’ best-performing year since Unifrance began monitoring results in foreign territories in 1994, with 84.5 million spectators and €421 million in receipts registered abroad. A positive trend observed between 2006 and 2007 (admissions up 8.5%) accelerated between 2007 and 2008 (up 25.1%), reaching a historic high in 2008. 401 French films were released on foreign screens in 2008, against 377 in 2007. French films attracted almost as many spectators in foreign theaters as in the home territory in 2008 (86.2 million admissions in France). These high figures are largely due to the success of French majority productions (84.5% of admissions). 3 films shot in the English language nonetheless turned up trumps, accounting for 34.3% of admissions between them: Babylon A.D., Taken, and Transporter 3.

The United States takes the lead, with Russia in second place, despite the economic crisis

Attendance figures for French films in 2008 are strongly dominated by the United States, which claimed 22.6% of admissions, marking a rise of 3% over 2007. In 2008, 42 films hit the screens in the USA, including 33 French majority productions. Western Europe’s market share stabilized, (37.6% in 2008 against 36.6% in 2007), while attendance increased (24.6 million admissions in 2007 against 31.7 million in 2008). In terms of regional markets, Western Europe remains the number one export zone for French films, ahead of North America. Numerous countries showed a rise in admissions to French films compared to 2007: Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Great Britain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, to name but a few. South America’s market share fell back by 1%, although admissions rose from 8.4 million in 2007 to 9.7 million in 2008. And finally, Eastern Europe lost 4%, dropping from 18.4% of admissions in 2007 to 14.5% in 2008. However, with 7.5 million admissions registered, Russia remains a strong market for French films, in 2008 standing out as the country with the second highest admissions figures.

15 films broke the million admissions barrier

Fifteen French titles attracted over 1 million admissions in foreign territories in 2008. All film genres were included in these results, including action films (Babylon A.D., the year’s top performer, with 10.5 million admissions), general interest comedies (Astérix aux jeux olympiques - Asterix at the Olympic Games, in second place with 9.4 million admissions), and thrillers (Taken, in third place with 9.2 million admissions). Other winning titles include Transporter 3 (91 million admissions), Bienvenue chez les Ch'tisWelcome to the Sticks (4.2 million), Igor (3.7 million), The Duchess (3.4 million), Le Scaphandre et le papillon - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2.2 million admissions in 2008), Oxford Crimes (1.8 million), Be Kind Rewind (1.5 million), Persepolis (1.4 million admissions in 2008), Caramel (1.3 million admissions in 2008), La Visite de la fanfare - The Band's Visit (1.2 million), Chasseurs de DragonsDragon Hunters (1.2 million), and Il y a longtemps que je t'aime I’ve Loved You So Long (1 million).

A complete review of 2008 results is downloadable in PDF format below (111 pages).

Author : Jean-Rémi Ducourtioux

Latest update : 14 April 2016 à 12:36 CEST


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