TV auds say ‘Non’ to U.S. pix in Gaul

'Batignole,' 'Ski' outperform 'Shrek'

PARIS — Local fare trounced U.S. movies on French television in 2004.

Repeating its theatrical success, box office smash “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” drew the year’s biggest TV audience for a film, 12.6 million people — 54.4% of the viewing public.

Both World War II-set “Monsieur Batignole” and yet another rerun of 1979 cult Gallic comedy “Les bronzes font du ski” outperformed “Shrek,” which drew 10.3 million viewers and just failed to make it into French TV’s all-genre top 20.

Fourteen out of the 20 most watched films were French, compared with seven out of the top 17 last year, according to media research company Mediametrie.

As expected, soccer dominated the French TV charts, with matches from the 2004 European Championship occupying the top five slots. Some 15.3 million people, 59.9% of the audience, saw France beat Switzerland — France’s most watched program.

As ever, leading web TF1 aired 89 out of the top 100 shows. Because some Euro 2004 matches aired on rival webs, TF1’s score was down slightly on last year’s 95. After falling back 1.2% in 2003, the web’s overall market share inched 0.3% ahead to 31.8%.