France's Cinema Admissions Hit 43-Year High in 2010

Some 206.5 million tickets sold for the year, a slow but steady 2.7% rise from 2009.


PARIS -- French filmgoers remained enthusiastic about their “7th art” in 2010 with 206.5 million tickets sold for the year, a slow but steady 2.7% rise from 2009 but a 43-year record for the territory, national French film organization the CNC said on Wednesday.

The figures are above the 188.08 million average for ticket sales in the territory over the past 10 years and are the highest since 211.45 million tickets were sold in 1967.

Despite a disappointing December with a 13.5% drop in ticket sales compared to the year before, strong first semester results representing an 8.1% jump from 2009 managed to keep the Gallic box office afloat.

Digital cinema was all the rage in France in 2010 with more than 1,800 theaters now equipped with digital technology, 17% more than in 2009.

French cinema also continued its fast track through the third dimension with 24 films released in 3D compared to just 16 in 2009 and 3D releases selling more than 33 million tickets, 16% of total box office.

U.S. titles dominated the box office as Gallic films saw a slight 0.9% drop in ticket sales to 73.4 million and a 35.5% market share compared to 36.8% in 2009.

Hollywood titles, however, also saw their market share fall to 47.7% from 49.7% in 2009 with 98.5 million tickets sold in 2010.

Non-French, non-American titles however, gained in popularity with international cinema seeing a noticeable progression from a 13.5% market share in 2009 to 16.8% in 2010, the best since 1983.

Top titles included Inception, Twilight 3 and Alice in Wonderland plus French films Little White Lies, Heartbreaker and Of Gods and Men.