France Box Office 2014: Homegrown Hits Take Top Spots, Hollywood Films Hold Steady

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Comedies did well, but runaway hit 'Serial (Bad) Weddings' left everyone else at the altar

Homegrown hits topped the French box office in 2014, with Serial (Bad) Weddings, Supercondriaque and Luc Besson's Lucy taking the top three spots.

While romantic comedy Supercondriaque, starring beloved local comedian Dany Boon, and Lucy, an English-language action adventure starring new Paris resident Scarlett Johansson (she married French journalist Romain Dauriac in October, shortly after the birth of their daughter), boasted more than five million admissions each, it was Weddings (Quest-ce que a fait au Bon Dieu) that dominated the box office. 

France focuses on the number of admissions to determine the best box-office performers.

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The clash-of-cultures comedy Weddings filled more than 12 million seats throughout the summer, hanging out in the top 10 for more than 20 weeks following its April 16 release and bringing in upwards of $104.6 million at the French box office. The story of a Catholic family facing four daughters marrying disparate immigrant men was a surprise hit produced by TF1 for under $13 million, making it the biggest domestic box office success since 2011’s Intouchables.

That hit launched star Omar Sy to the position of France’s favorite personality in an annual poll, and his follow-up Samba, a romance with Charlotte Gainsbourg and reteaming with Intouchables directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, landed in the ninth spot with 3,045,459 tickets sold.
 
Hollywood’s big franchises still fared well. Sequels and series rounded out the top 10, with the Dawn of Planet of the Apes at number four, How to Train Your Dragon 2 in fifth, X-Men: Days of Future Past at number six, Rio 2 in the seventh spot and Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1 rounding out the top 10.
 
The Maze Runner was a surprise hit here, selling 3,072,109 seats to come in eighth on the list – handily beating other dystopian teen thrillers Divergent (in at number 29 with 1,432,126 admissions) and the ninth-place Hunger Games with 2,862,478 tickets.
 
Further down the list, other local comedies fared well, with kid comedy Les Vacances du Petit Nicolas nearly beating The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and lowbrow comedies Babysitting, Le Trois Freres, Le Retour, and Fiston all besting Captain America: Winter Soldier.
 
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Some laughs just don’t translate: Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s cop comedy 22 Jump Street, which scored on U.S. screens, sold only 546,656 tickets to come in below the top 50.
 
A January debut paid off for Yves Saint Laurent, the first of the two dueling biopics about the late designer. Jalil Lespert’s version brought in 1,536,466 admissions, with Bertrand Bonello’s September release Saint Laurent trailing with just 235,513 tickets despite a splashy Cannes premiere and being the country’s foreign-language Oscar submission.

Here are the top 10 box-office performers in France for 2014 (in number of admissions as of Dec. 18):

1.      Serial (Bad) Weddings 12,237,274

2.      Supercondriaque 5,230,493

3.      Lucy 5,194,115

4.      Dawn of Planet of the Apes 3,752,287

5.      How to Train Your Dragon 2 3,366,761

6.      X-Men: Days of Future Past 3,285,735

7.      Rio 2 3,233,263

8.      The Maze Runner 3,072,109

9.      Samba 3,045,459

10.    Hunger Games – Mockingjay: Part 1 2,862,478

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