15 January 2004 à 13:02
French films in the international arena (January-December 2003)
A review of box office results for French films abroad in 2003.
This annual review takes into account all available data for all territories monitored by Unifrance. The latest figures confirm observations made in the first six months of 2003, indicating that French film’s current success abroad can be attributed to a diversified movie industry offering both big-budget productions as well as auteur films and documentaries.
French films shot in foreign languages play a dominant role in the results, with 122.3 million euros in box office receipts against 98.5 million euros for films shot in the French language. The United States is the leading foreign territory for French films in terms of box office results, followed by Japan. It is nonetheless important to note that these two markets benefited above all from the release of major productions (such as “The Pianist,” “The Transporter,” “Taxi 3” and “The Travelling Birds” in Japan), which account for the largest proportion of their box office takings for the year. The number 1 French-language production, “Taxi 3,” thus clocked up more than 18 million euros around the world. It was in Japan that the film achieved its best results, registering 6.5 million euros on 123 prints distributed by Asmik Ace Entertainment. DVD Group in Russia released the film on 110 prints, bringing in 2.5 million euros for around 1.2 million admissions.
One of the surprise hits of 2003 was “The Travelling Birds” (also released as “Winged Migration”), which boasted 13.6 million euros in receipts, including 9.7 million euros in the United States, where its distributor, Sony Pictures Classics, released up to 202 prints of the film at the height of its run. This was followed by the film’s 1.5 million euros score in Japan, where it was released by Nippon Herald, and then by its fine performance in Australia, where New Vision raked in 1.08 million euros, representing around 200,000 spectators: an impressive run for this territory. “Euro Pudding” (also released as “The Spanish Apartment”), which was already released in a number of European countries in 2002, achieved its best results in 2003 in the United States. Released by Fox Searchlight, the film hit U.S. screens May 15 and finished up with 3.6 million euros in the till and topping out at 137 prints.
As regards foreign-language French productions, the uncontested leader was “The Pianist.” The film was released in 19 countries in 2003, while still showing in theaters in 14 other countries in which it was released in 2002. The film finished up with a total of 78.5 million euros to its credit in 2003, registering around 12.7 million spectators. It was a majority-French production shot in a foreign language that was second in line to “The Pianist” in 2003. Coming in as number 3 French film overall (all languages), “Swimming Pool” by François Ozon tallied 15.6 million euros in 16 countries. Here too it was the Untied States that generated the highest score with $10.1 million earned since its release July 2, 2003, by Focus Features.
“To Be and to Have” comes top of the class
The resounding success of “To Be and to Have” was confirmed as 2003 progressed. The film takes out 4th place in the Top 30 French-language films of the year, and bears witness, along with the fine performance of “The Travelling Birds,” to the major role played by documentary films in our charts. The film raked in 4.24 million euros for over 600,000 admissions, with a number of countries still awaiting its release. It has recently hit theaters in Spain, where initial results are, once again, promising (12,245 spectators to date on 20 prints in its first three days).
“The Transporter” still on the road
20th Century Fox’s distribution network has no doubt played a major role in the success of “The Transporter” by Louis Leterrier, with the film released by this outfit in some forty countries in 2002 and 2003. A wholly French production, produced by EuropaCorp, this feature takes out 3rd place in our charts for foreign-language French productions, credited with 10.6 million euros at the box office in 33 territories in 2003.
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Latest update : 23 April 2009 à 13:02 CEST