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Gauls return to H’wood pix

French fare slips 7% to 34.2% on attendance of 185 mil

PARIS — Hollywood’s share of the French box office went back up to 52.4% in 2002, having dipped below 50% in 2001.

French fare slipped 7% to 34.2% on attendance of 185 million.

France’s biggest box office hit was Alain Chabat’s “Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra,” which notched ticket sales of 14.5 million.

But in contrast with a record-breaking run of Gallic box office hits in 2001, only three other French pics garnered more than 2 million admissions — Francois Ozon’s “8 Women,” the Thomas Langmann-produced actioner “Le Boulet” and Cedric Klapisch’s “L’Auberge espagnole.”

U.S. pics dominating the French box office included “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Spider-Man” and “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.”

The estimates published Monday by the Centre National de la Cinematographie differ slightly from figures released by Gallic exhibitors org the Federation National des Cinemas Francais.

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