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Gallic pix gelled well o’seas

Admissions up in seven key foreign markets

PARIS — While French cinema pulled in increased market share at home in 2001 (Daily Variety, Jan. 3), pics also exported well, according to figures released by Unifrance this week.

In the seven key foreign markets for French pics — U.S./Canada, U.K., Quebec, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany — admissions to French films were up 46% over 2000, while ticket sales to films made worldwide in French jumped nearly 120%.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Amelie,” not yet released in Italy, notched up 7.2 million admissions — a hefty portion of the nearly 18.9 million key market admissions.

Christophe Gans’ “Brotherhood of the Wolf” and Francis Veber’s “The Closet” also bolstered the key market total.

Though foreign admissions to French films made in a language other than French were down 4%, two English-language Gaul films presented well in foreign markets: Luc Besson’s “Kiss of the Dragon” and Patrice Chereau’s “Intimacy,” co-scripted with Hanif Kureishi.

According to Mediasie.org, French films released in Asia in 2001 will have accrued over 8 million admissions, including 2.6 million in Japan and 3 million in Korea.

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