×

Hit by Riots, Strikes and Soccer, France’s Box Office Drops by 3% in 2018

In a year marked by civil unrest, strikes and the World Cup, France’s box office dropped by 3% to €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2018, according to Comscore France.

The number of theatrical admissions went down even further, by 4.3%, to 200.47 million tickets sold, but France remains Europe’s biggest nation of moviegoers, ahead of the U.K. (176 million tickets), Spain (92 million), Germany (90 million) and Italy (79 million), according to the CNC, France’s National Film Board.

Several factors contributed to the decline in French cinema attendance, including heat waves, strikes, World Cup soccer – which had audiences glued to their TVs in the summer – and, more recently, the “Yellow Jackets” protests against the government, the National Exhibitors Assn. said in its analysis of the box office results.

Although Hollywood had six titles in the top 10 – “Incredibles 2,” which was No. 1, plus “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” – it was a down year for U.S. movies in France. Admissions for American films dropped by 11% to 90 million tickets sold, which accounted for a 45% market share (compared to 50.6% in 2017).

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was cited by Comscore’s Eric Marti as the biggest flop of 2018 in France, where the pic grossed about $12 million. Box office in 2017 had been bolstered by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which came out at the end of that year and grossed more than $65 million.

As for French films, only 11 sold more than 1 million admissions – a decade low – but the market share of local films broke a four-year record to reach 40%, thanks to a handful of highly successful movies, according to the CNC.

Three French movies ranked in the top 5 in 2018. Two were franchise-based comedies from Pathé: “Les Tuche” (5.7 million admissions) and “La Ch’tite Famille” (5.6 million). The third was Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim” (4.2 million), Studiocanal’s star-driven dramedy about a men’s synchronized swimming team, which world-premiered at Cannes. “Taxi 5,” the action film released by EuropaCorp and ARP Selection, was the fourth highest-grossing French film of 2018 and ranked in the top 10.

2019 is expected to be a bigger year powered by Hollywood heavyweights. Among the anticipated releases of 2019 are Disney titles “Dumbo,” “Frozen 2” and “The Lion King,” as well as French films “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,” “Edmond” and “Nous Finirons Ensemble,” the sequel to “Little White Lies.”

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content