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French flix up, auds down

Local pix take 42% of total b.o. bucks

PARIS — Local films increased their share of the box office in France for the first quarter of 1999, but overall audience figures were down, the French Centre National de Cinematographie reported Tuesday.

French films took 42% of the box office compared with 38% for the same period last year, with 32 million entries. American films pulled in 35 million entries.

However the total 75 million entries was down 18% on the same period in 1998, partly due to the absence of big crowd-pullers.

The CNC also reported that during the first eleven months of the year, 15 multiplexes opened in France, taking the total number to 60.

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