U.S. pics down 8% in Europe in ’01

European fare has best year since '97

LONDON — The market share of American movies in Western Europe dropped to 66% in 2001, down from 74% the previous year, according to figures published by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

European movies enjoyed their best year since 1997, with “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Amelie,” “The Others” and “Manitou’s Shoe” making the top 20 in terms of admissions.

The EAO classes “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (the pic’s Euro title), the year’s No. 1 movie, as an American, not a British pic.

In the U.S., European pics also increased their market share, from 3.6% to 4.5% — still short of the 5.5% registered in 1999 and the 5.4% in 1997.

The EAO’s figures for Western Europe are based on admissions in eight countries — Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

Full statistics on 2001 admissions across these countries, plus Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey can be found on the EAO’s Lumiere database, at lumiere.obs.coe.int.

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