Gallic admissions rise on local fare

French films still dominate overall

PARIS — French theater admissions for the first seven months of 2001 stood at 132 million, up 9% on the same period last year, the French Exhibitors’ Federation (FNCF) said Monday.

July and August, traditionally quiet months for Gallic theaters, saw a 17% hike in ticket sales, although a plethora of U.S. films — 99, in contrast with 17 local films — reaped the greatest benefit.

But French films still dominate overall, occupying the first four box office slots since the beginning of the year.

Sequel strength

Comedy sequel “La verite si je mens! 2” (Would I Lie to You 2) still holds the No. 1 position, with 7.867 million admissions, closely followed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Amelie” with 7.714 million. Francis Weber’s “The Closet” is in third place with 5.266 million, followed by “Brotherhood of the Wolf” with 5.167 million.

The top U.S. film is the fifth-placed “Planet of the Apes,” which notched up 3.779 million admissions.

The FNCF pointed out that a hike in the number of French screens, an increase of 600 since 1998, has played its part in expanding cinema attendance.

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