French films enjoy surge in popularity in France (but US movies suffer)

The popularity of French films is on the rise in France, while Gallic interest in US movies drops, new figures reveal.

France is known for being a nation of cinephiles and in 2017 it was French films that proved the most popular.

According to the latest figures from the French centre for cinema, the CNC French films increased their market share to 37.4 percent of cinema tickets sold in France in 2017, representing a rise of 2.6 percent on the previous year.

This amounted to 78.2 million ticket sales for French films in France in 2017 — the highest share the country's own films have enjoyed since 2014 — out of a total of 209.2 million.


The cast of Luc Besson's Valerian. Photo: AFP

Films including Dany Boon's police comedy RAID Dingue, Luc Besson's space epic Valerian, Philippe Lacheau's and Eric Toledano's C'est la vie! helped contribute to the stellar year for French movies.

On top of that, French cinemas enjoyed their third highest year for admissions in the past 50 years and the industry marked its fourth year in a row that more than 200 million ticket sales were recorded.


"Movie theater attendance remains at a particularly high level," said Frédérique Bredin, president of the CNC.

"After an exceptional 2016, spectators have once again benefited from an impressive offer of French films very rich in all genres," he added.

However it wasn't such good news for the US film industry, with the popularity of American films in France falling by 8.6 percent, representing a share of 48.8 percent in 2017 compared to 52.4 percent in 2016.

Unsurprisingly one of the two US films that did draw in the crowds was Star Wars: The Last Jedi which sold 5.2 million tickets, coming second to Despicable Me which sold 5.6 million tickets in France.

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