Strikes cause filmgoing to collapse

PARIS — The French public transit strikes last month blasted a hole in cinema traffic. Admissions in November were the worst for 10 years, falling 21.6% from 16.74 million in November 2006 to 13.12 million last month.

Attendance from January to the end of November dipped 4.7% against the same period last year, the Centre National de la Cinematographie reported. Audiences for the period declined from 168.28 million last year to 160.74 million this year. B.O. returns for the period dropped from approximately $1.47 billion to $1.4 billion.

April was a particularly disappointing month, suffering a decline of 41.4% on the same month in 2006. Admissions fell from 20.9 million to 12.25 million.

French-made productions were especially hard hit by declining box office, amounting to 36.7% of total films viewed, down from 43.9% last year. Hollywood productions saw their share rise considerably, from 44.9% in 2006 to 50.1% this year.

The CNC predicts total cinema admissions for 2007 of 181.13 million, around 5.7% down from 2006’s total of 192 million. This would tally to a year end box office of $1.59 billion.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more