You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gallic Film Producers Seek Out Foreign Coin

French film productions spent $202 million abroad in 2012

PARIS — The dwindling flow of Gallic coin to local pics didn’t stop French producers making films last year, but it did spur them to look abroad for financing.

Films lead-produced by French producers — a total of 209 pics in 2012 — spent €158 million ($202 million) in production coin overseas, up 89% on 2011.

According to a report by the CNC, the government-backed agency responsible for the production and promotion of cinematic and audiovisual arts, it’s the highest level since 2003, a year before the local tax shelter was passed.

However, money should flow back to France this year after the maximum tax rebate per film was increased from $1.2 million to $5.1 million.

France was involved in 129 international co-productions, up nine on 2011 — a 30-year record. These pics were co-produced with companies from 37 countries.

French investment in majority foreign co-productions rose by 6.1% to $354.3 million.

Although the average budget of French films went down, there were more pics budgeted above $19.2 million, which suggests an increased focus on the international market. But some of them failed to deliver solid performances.

Helmer Alain Chabat’s $48.4 million “Houba on the Trail of the Marsupilami,” a Pathe-produced comedy adventure, was France’s most expensive film. It was followed by Luc Besson-produced, $33 million actioner “Colombiana,” starring Zoe Saldana, and MK2-produced “On the Road,” Walter Salles’ $32.9 million adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic, toplining Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart. “Colombiana” had the biggest box office: $60.9 million worldwide.

The most expensive animated film produced in France in 2012 was Bibo Bergeron’s “A Monster in Paris,” again set up at Besson’s EuropaCorp. It was budgeted at $40.6 million and grossed $23.5 million in international markets, including France. Besson said last May that his company will not produce another animated film.

The biggest setback for French producers trying to tap local coin was the drop in TV financing. Investment from Gallic free-to-air and pay TV nets, which must dedicate 60% of their revenues to pre-financing French and European content, fell by 7.3% to $435 million.

Commercial net TF1 slashed its investment in films by 34% in 2012 to $43.6 million, pre-buying 17 pics with an average budget of $17 million.

TF1, France’s ratings leader, has been on local broadcasting authorities’ radar because it has been increasingly focusing money on bigger-budget, mainstream films that can take a big audience share in primetime, and hardly puts any coin in lower-budget, arthouse pics.

Paybox Canal Plus was again France’s biggest film backer, injecting $239 million into 130 films.

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content