Magazine article Screen International

French Films Double Int'l Admissions in 2014

Magazine article Screen International

French Films Double Int'l Admissions in 2014

Article excerpt

Jump fuelled by Luc Besson's English-language sci-fi thriller Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson

French productions drew 111 million spectators internationally in 2014, against 50.8 million in 2013, the country's cinema export body Unifrance revealed in its annual international box office report.

The 119% year-on-year hike was due in large part to Luc Besson's English-language sci-fi thriller Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, which generated 53.7 million entries internationally.

Besson figured twice in the top ten of global admissions for French films with his Normandy-set comedy The Family, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, coming sixth after it generated 1.9 admissions at the tail-end of its release campaign in early 2014. The film, which was released in 2013, drew 10.4 million spectators globally in total.

Total global receipts for French films came in at [euro]640 million ($742m) in 2014, against [euro]298.7 ($346m) in 2013.

The rebound follows a poor year for French productions in 2013 when global entries plummeted more than 60% to 50.8 million after a record year in 2012, which had been rocket charged by Taken 2, Intouchables and The Artist.

Within the 111 million figure, 91 million admissions stemmed from majority French productions.

Other titles to have performed well internationally included multicultural comedy Serial (Bad) Weddings, with 6.8 million foreign entries, half of them in Germany, and Beauty and the Beast, which generated 4.4 million admissions outside of France, proving particularly successful in Japan, Italy and Russia.

In total, 520 French films were released in cinemas abroad last year, 14 of which drew more than one million entries.

They included Olivier Dahan's biopic Grace of Monaco, which despite been panned by international critics was France's fourth most successful film export in 2014, generating just over three million admissions globally. It proved particularly successful in Asia, drawing 800,000 spectators in China and another 550,000 in Japan.

Other globally successful titles included feature-length animation Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants - which sold 2 million tickets abroad, 810,000 of them in China where it had a wide release - and comedies Superchondriac and Nicholas on Holiday, which drew 1. …

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