French Film Production Up 13.5% in 2010

Thirty-one more films were made in 2010 than in 2009, according to CNC report.

PARIS -- It was la belle vie for French cinema in 2010 with a 13.5% jump in film production to a record 261 movies made last year, according to figures from the national French film organization CNC.

The country invested 1.44 billion euros in its famed seventh art form in 2010, a 31% rise from 2009 and just under 2008's record of 1.49 billion euros. Thirty-one more films were made in 2010 than in 2009. Two hundred and three of films produced were of French initiative, close to the current record of 203 films in 1981. 

Alain Chabat's Le Marsupilami was the most expensive movie made last year for 39.38 million euros, followed by Olivier Megaton's Colombiana.

The country's movie stars have no reason to go on strike as starring roles represented an average of 6.8% of spending on films for a total of 64.1 million euros. Supporting roles represented 15 million euros in spending. Writers, however, receive just 3.8% of the cost of a film, a percentage that has tripled since 2003.

France's TV channels represented 32.4% of total financing for its film industry with pay TV giant Canal Plus laying out 194.57 million euros for 155 films, 18.1% more than in 2009 and the most in the past decade. France Telecom subsidiary Orange invested in 26 movies with 23.38 million euros. Public channels France Telecom represented 53.2% of investments from the country's main terrestrial channels. Only 38 French films of the 261 produced were not funded by the country's TV networks, most of which are documentaries. Co-productions were more popular with 118 films made, 25 more than in 2009.

However, with more money spent and more films produced, will all of these titles find a home in French and international theaters?

"We need to be attentive to the risks tied to such an overheating of production and the difficulties in releasing these films that will need to find their place in theaters," the CNC said on Wednesday.