'A Little Something Extra'

Local audiences flocked to French cinemas in June where box office rose 28.9% rise in ticket sales on June 2023, totalling 13.2 million admissions, according to the CNC.

The ticket sales are the best for a month of June since 2013’s 13.8million admissions. They were boosted by the June 29 annual five-day Fête du Cinema exhibitors’ initiative that sees ticket prices of just €5. The first day garnered a record 1.4 million ticket sales, the best in more than 20 years for the event.

Despite a tumultuous start to the year with ticket sales falling year-on-year over the first four months of the year – down 7.5% in January, 16.4% in February, 3.6% in March and a whopping 36.2% in April – May saw a promising uptick with a 13.6% increase in admissions to 15.6 million, driven by the success of breakout hit A Little Something Extra.

The recent resurgence has kept the box office steady despite its early decline, owing mostly to a lack of major US blockbusters in the aftermath of the 2023 US strikes, with 84.5 million tickets sold over the first six months of the year, but still 7.2% down on the same period in 2023. French films dominated cinemas in the first half of the year with a 46.4% market share and just 31.9% for US titles. Comparatively, US titles accounted for 44.2% of total films last year, and French films 42.4%.

A total 55 films were released in June, down slightly from 58 in 2023, including 29 French titles and seven US films

While Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2, released on June 19 in France and already a $1bn hit worldwide, has sold 3.2 million tickets in France to date, its June tally of 1.9 million wasn’t enough to top Pan Distribution’s reigning champion for the month A Little Something Extra that sold 3.2 million tickets in June alone. It has now crossed the 8 million admissions mark.

Fashionably late to June’s top five films was Pathé’s historical epic The Count of Monte-Cristo, a rare Friday opening on June 28 that sold 659,000 in three days during its opening weekend and took the fourth top spot for the month.

Sony’s Bad Boys: Ride Or Die and Disney’s Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes rounded out the top slots.

July and August will be unprecedented for France’s distribution sector, particularly in the Paris region that will welcome the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rereleases with English subtitles of popular French hits are planned including UGC’s 2001 release Amélie and Gaumont and Studiocanal’s 2011 release The Intouchables. 

Pan Distribution is releasing an English-subtitled version of A Little Something Extra in Paris and popular holiday destinations like the south of France.

July releases include Despicable Me 4, Twisters, Deadpool & Wolverine, The Price of Money – A Largo Winch Adventure, and The Garfield Movie. But as year Barbie and Oppenheimer powered July 2023, last year will be a hard month to surpass. 

August, which is typical for France in the summer months, is especially light on could-be blockbusters this year, before September brings Venice-opener Beetlejuice Beetlejuice, Wolfs, and Horizon: An American Society.

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