French turnstiles enjoy May bounce

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PARIS -- Spring showers brought May filmgoers in France, with admissions up 12.6% from the same period last year despite a steady drop in cumulative ticket sales, national film body the CNC said Tuesday.

A total of 16.5 million people headed to French theaters during May, for a total of 79.7 million admissions for the first five months of the year, a 12.6% drop from 2006.

While French theaters saw strong ticket sales in May, total admissions in the territory dropped 7.5% to 177.2 million during the past 12 months.

French films, which had a 48.5% market share for the first five months of 2006, fell to 47.4% in 2007 but upheld their growing popularity over the 12-month period, with a 43.9% share compared with 38.8% the previous year.

U.S. films represented 42.8% of the market for the first five months of 2007, compared with 41.4% in 2006, and 44.9% over the past 12 months, a slight but steady rise from a 44.3% share the year before.

Films from other countries proved less popular, representing just 9.8% of the market for the first five months of the year compared with 10.1% in 2006 and 11.1% of the market over the past 12 months versus 16.9% during the year-ago period.
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