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Gallic B.O. dips 9.3% in 1st half

World Brief

French box office figures for last month slumped 21% compared with June 2002. Ticket sales for 2003’s first half dipped 9.3%, according to figures published Tuesday by the Centre National de la Cinematographie.

Of 87.8 million tickets sold, 47.1% went to U.S. movies, fractionally down from 2002’s 47.4%. French pics’ market share stood at 42.3%, a slight dip on last year’s 42.9%.

The figures released confirm industry fears that 2003 is shaping up to be a lean year at the box office.

The absence of Gallic blockbusters like last year’s “Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” and “Taxi 3” has contributed to the slump, say exhibs, while transport strikes and a heat wave kept people out of theaters in June.

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