Tied with 2018, box office receipts abroad for French films reached around 244.4 million euros ($ 272 million) out of 40 million admissions in 2019, according to a report unveiled by UniFrance.
The organization said the global soundtrack for French films was stable and highlighted the large representation of French films at major festivals and on major streaming services. Italy was again in 2019 the first foreign market for French films, followed by Germany and Spain. The new General Director of UniFrance, Daniela Elstner, said that the soundtrack of French films in North America continued to decline in 2019. Indeed, North America ranks fourth with 3.17 tickets sold, a 18% decrease compared to 2018.
The French mainstream comedy “Serial (Bad) Weddings”, which already ranks among the highest grossing films in France in 2019, was also the most successful French film abroad with nearly 23 million euros of global recipes. Directed by Philippe de Chauveron, the film follows a narrow-minded Catholic couple and their three daughters, who have married men of different faiths.
Even if it failed at the American box office, the action film “Anna” by Luc Besson is still the second most profitable French film abroad with 22.8 million euros. The Studiocanal family film “Mia and the White Lion” comes in third, followed by SND’s animated film “Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion” with respectively 22.1 million euros and 19.3 million euros. euros of income abroad. Two other animated feature films, “Minscules 2” by Futurikon and “Terra Willy” by Bac Films, rank fifth and sixth. The top 10 of the greatest French overseas hits is completed by “Le Grand Bain” by Studiocanal, directed by Gilles Lellouche; “An Officer and a Spy” by Playtime, directed by Roman Polanski; Focus Features “Nevada” directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre; and “Non Fiction” by Playtime, directed by Olivier Assayas.
In terms of admissions, “Anna” and “Mia And The White Lion” lead the way with over 4 million tickets sold. The performance of “Anna” is still well below the usual score of Besson films, in particular “Lucy” which had collected 331 million euros outside France in 2014.
“Independent cinema is suffering at the moment, not only French films, but also European and international films. However, France has been able to preserve its position of strength thanks to the richness and diversity of its local production, ”said Elstner, who noted that France produces more than 700 films a year in the world and ranks after the States. -United second in the world. film supplier.
The box office figures were unveiled Thursday by UniFrance at a reception organized at the French Ministry of Culture. Minister Franck Riester delivered a speech highlighting the crucial role France plays in promoting world cinema, as well as in funding and producing diverse films and ensuring that these films travel internationally, including in the main festivals.
For the second year in a row, Playtime is the leading independent sales company in terms of admissions, with “An Officer And a Spy”, “Non Fiction” and “Who You Think I Am”, after four vertically integrated French brands, Studiocanal , SND, Orange Studio and Gaumont.
For the first time, UniFrance has joined forces with TV France International, the organization promoting French television content, to organize a conference on the strategies of streaming platforms on January 15. The event brought together 17 buyers of VOD platforms, including Netflix and Amazon, as well as 27 sales companies. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris takes place from January 16 to 19.
“Online platforms are opening up new strategic perspectives for French TV content. They are one of the key drivers of our sector, and although they are more and more present every September at our Rendez-Vous in Biarritz, we thought it was important to organize a dedicated event for them ” , said Sarah Hemar, Managing Director of TV France Internationale.
“Doing this in collaboration with UniFrance helps to strengthen the attractiveness of French creativity in this extremely valuable sector,” added Hemar.
Hervé Michel, the president of TV France, underlined that “sales of global rights packages were the second largest export territory in 2018, with a worldwide turnover of 27.3 million euros”.
“International competition has also intensified significantly, which is why we must more than ever increase the visibility of our content, in particular with these VoD services”, declared Michel.