Gaul tix take a fall at the box office

CNC announces 15% drop in sales for first half of year

Gallic box office admissions fell to 175.9 million in the first nine months of 2005, down 13.4% from 195.9 million in the year-earlier period, as ticket sales continue the decline that began in January.

The Centre National de la Cinematographie announced the figures Tuesday, estimating a 10% drop for full-year figures compared with 2004.

The decline in admissions has been a source of worry for the industry since the beginning of the year, but the seriousness of the problem became apparent when the CNC announced a 15% drop in ticket sales in the first six months of the year.

And with September figures indicating a 15.4% drop in admissions, the market isn’t showing any signs of picking up. Poor performance by Hollywood pics and a lack of local sleeper hits are the reasons by the sagging B.O.

Both French and American pics, however, saw their market share rise slightly in the first nine months compared with the same period last year. U.S. films took the lion’s share with 54.7% of the market vs. a 49.2% market share in 2004. French films came in second, gobbling up 37.4% this year vs. 34.7% in 2004.

The largest drop so far was in June, when ticket sales fell 33% compared with June 2004. While the month was marked by a strong run by “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which bowed at the end of May, other Hollywood pics, such as “Sin City” and “Batman Begins,” failed to pull their weight.

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