French titles showing pluck in U.S.

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PARIS -- French films are seeing the U.S. boxoffice through rose-colored lenses, with Edith Piaf biopic "La Vie en Rose" off to a strong start in the territory and other Gallic titles following suit, according to French film promotion body Unifrance.

Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose," a Picturehouse release, surpassed boxoffice expectations, earning $172,000 on eight screens during its opening weekend and more than $2 million cumulative.

Four French films already have earned over $1 million since Jan. 1 and Unifrance expects annual numbers to soar thanks to such strong first trimester results.

Francis Veber's comedy "The Valet," released stateside by Sony Classics, started off with $67,000 on just six screens when it opened April 20 and has since taken in more than $1.5 million on 82 screens.

Daniele Thompson's "Avenue Montaigne," France's candidate for an Oscar nom, made $30,000 on just two screens during its mid-February opening weekend and has made close to $2 million since its release. And Americans have shown their love for Paris with multi-director short film compilation "Paris, Je t'aime" breaking the $2 million mark after a $40,000 opening weekend.

Other strong opening numbers include Luc Besson's "Angel A," with $30,000 on six screens, and Italian Emmanuel Crialese's Charlotte Gainsbourg starrer "Golden Door," with $28,000 on just two screens.

Denis Dercourt's quiet thriller "The Page Turner," released by Tartan at the end of March, made $19,000 in its first weekend and has since amassed $200,000 on 15 screens.

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