No June gloom at French boxoffice


PARIS -- Gray skies haven't cleared up in Gaul, but the French movie business is putting on a happy face as June admissions jumped 12.6% from 2006 totals with a total of 13.35 million tickets sold, according to state-funded film organization the CNC.

The burst in ticket sales, however, wasn't enough to make up for the drop in moviegoing over the past few months, with admissions for the first six months of 2007 reaching 93.1 million, a 9.6% decrease when compared to the first six months of 2006. That year saw the best first semester results in 25 years.

Admissions also dipped 6.5% over the past 12 months compared to the same period last year, for a total of 178.8 million.

French films accounted for a 44.3% market share for the first semester of 2007, less than the 46.8% share national titles boasted for the first part of 2006.

Audiences opted instead for U.S. films ,which saw a first-semester market share rise from 43.1% in 2006 to 46.2% for the first six months of 2007. Yet both U.S. and French movies showed promise over the past 12-month period, with Gallic titles taking a 43.4% market share (vs. 39.1% the year before) and U.S. films 45.8% (compared to 43.8% the year prior).

The market share for "other films" dropped from 17.1% to just 10.8% over the past 12-month period.

The top films for the first semester of 2007 include "Spider-Man 3," with 6.3 million tickets sold; "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and "La Vie en Rose," with 5.1 million admissions each; "Taxi 4," with 4.6 million; and "Shrek the Third," with 3.1 million.