Dark clouds over northern half of France have silver lining for French exhibitors’ annual La Fête du Cinéma running June 24-27.

The 28th edition of France’s La Fête du Cinéma, offering cut-price tickets in theatres over a four-day period, has posted a 43% jump in attendance to 2.7 million spectators this year.

“The mediocre weather over a part of the territory undoubtedly helped” commented the National Federation of French Cinemas, organiser of the event which ran June 24-27 this year.

It noted the wide and varied selection of films on offer at the cinema during the period had also played its part.

Pictures opening during the period included The Angels’ Share, Ice Age 4, The Dictator, Snow White And The Huntsman as well as local titles Happiness Never Comes Alone (Un bonheur n’arrive jamais seul) and Granny’s Funeral (Adieu Berthe).

The opening Sunday, which was marked by torrential rain over much of northern France, was the festival’s best day. Close to 800,000 spectators participated in the event, a 66% hike on last year’s figures.

Under the initiative, cinemagoers buy one ticket at the full-price and are then able to access all subsequent screenings during the period for €2.50. The average cost of a cinema ticket in France is currently €6.32 but can be as high at €10.70 for evening screenings.

Launched in 1985, La Fête du Cinéma has generated some 70 million entries to date, according to the organisers’ figures.