French 'Class' gets high marks

450,000 tickets sold in first week

PARIS -- Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or-winner "The Class" is earning high marks among French moviegoers, rising to the top of the Gallic boxoffice with 450,000 tickets sold during its first week in theaters.

"The Class," released on just 368 screens, beat out Christophe Barratier's big-budget musical "Faubourg 36," which sold 438,976 tickets on 594 screens.

"The Class," which averaged 1,215 moviegoers per screen, is France's submission for the 2009 Oscars.