An overall rise has been observed in results for foreign-language French productions between December 2002 and January 2003, led particularly by two standout titles, "The Pianist" and "The Transporter."
The most notable development for January 2003, however, remains the confirmation of French films’ strong position in Spain. French films registered a total of 1,340,000 spectators in Spain in this period, including 325,0000 for French-language films alone – representing 39% of their admissions for the month.
In the United States, "The Pianist” is coming close to the $6 million mark at the box office, with 840,000 admissions registered. The film is still performing well in Spain, where it has attracted 540,000 spectators. Also in Spain, "The Transporter," released by Hispano Foxfilms January 17, clocked up 329,000 admissions in two weeks. Roman Polanski’s film and "The Transporter" have thus between them pulled in close to 2 million spectators and €12.7 million at the box office for the month of January. The Franco-Brazilian co-production "La Cité de Dieu" has made an impressive entrance into our Top 5, boasting a weekly average of 1,440 spectators per print in the United States, and has registered 230,000 admissions in Great Britain after one month in theaters.
Spain thus stands as the country with the highest attendance figures registered for French-language films for this period. More than 130,000 spectators in Spain saw "Wasabi," which was released January 10 by Columbia TriStar, with over 190 prints in circulation. Another winning title, "One Swallow Brought Spring" (aka "The Girl from Paris"), was released in around 50 theaters at the beginning of the month by Vertigo, and attracted 85,000 spectators. "Euro Pudding" continues its excellent run in Spain, with 51,000 admissions to its credit, placing the film at the top of our international charts, thanks to its 70,000 admissions score in Italy. Ditto for "8 Women," by François Ozon, which holds its ground among the month’s top scorers, also bolstered by its 48,7000 admissions registered in Spain. The modest but highly successful documentary "To Be and to Have" owes its positioning at number 4 to an excellent launch in Germany, pulling in 57,000 spectators in its first two weeks on the screens. And finally, the successful performance of "The Man on the Train" in Italy has taken it to 5th place in this month’s charts, with the film already amassing 261,000 spectators in the country since its release.
Titles in the Spotlight
An "Irreversible" release
"Irreversible” by Gaspar Noé was released in Poland January 24. Its distributor, SPI International, launched 12 prints of the film, and after one week in theaters, the film registered 17,666 admissions.
An Italian, two French-Canadians and 8 Women
It was the Canadian distributors Christal/Lions Gate films, Les Films Seville and the Italian Bim Distribuzione who released the largest number of French films in January 2003, with 5 titles each. "8 Women" was released by two of these distributors, Les Films Seville and Bim Distribuzione.
197 prints for "Wasabi"
In the most ambitious release offered to a French-language film this January, Columbia TriStar launched 197 prints of "Wasabi" by Gérard Krawczyk in Spain January 10. Riding high with €601,000 in the till, the film has jumped from 14th to 20th place in our international charts.
Note that from now on, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia are to be added to the 13 countries included in our international charts.
Head of Press, Communication and Public Relations: Magali Montet
International Press Officer, Unifrance Newsletter Chief Editor: Caroline Aymar
Economic Data Management: Julien Gaulier
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