U.S. films dominate French boxoffice

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PARIS -- French filmgoers treated themselves to a large portion of "Ratatouille" and other U.S. fare in 2007 with stateside films taking a 49.9% market share at the Gallic boxoffice compared with 36.5% for local movies, according to French film body the CNC's annual estimations.

The body estimated some 178.1 million tickets were sold in the territory in 2007, a 5.6% drop from 2006's impressive 188.7 million tally. CNC estimates also point to just short of 65 million tickets for French films sold last year, a 22.8% dip from ticket sales for Gallic titles in 2006.

U.S. titles represented 88.9 million tickets sold, a 6.6% jump from the year before. Non-French, non-American movies represented 13.6% of the total 2007 boxoffice, compared with 11.2% in 2006.

The CNC attributes the slight rise in foreign movie popularity to the huge success of "The Lives of Others," which sold more than 1.5 million tickets.

The Paris-set U.S. animated hit "Ratatouille" was the audience favorite, selling 7.7 million tickets, followed by "Spider-Man 3" with 6.3 million, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" with 6.2 million, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" with 5.8 million and "Shrek the Third" with 5.5 million.

France's homegrown hit "La Vie en Rose" was the sixth-highest-grossing film for the year with 5.2 million tickets sold.

Other top Gallic moneymakers in the territory included "Taxi 4," "Hunting and Gathering" and "Le Coeur des Hommes 2."