In recent months French productions have found a lucrative niche at the box office of The Federal Republic of Yugolslavia (FRY), which consists of the republics of Serbia and Montenegro, successfully competing with both Hollywood blockbusters and local productions.
One reason for this trend is the fact that since the end of April this year local distributor Metro Film, which represents most French studios, has managed to hold the ticket price for French movies at an attractive $0.67 (Dinars 45) while other distributors' ticket prices average $1.18 (Dinars 80), which, although bringing in less money per ticket, greatly increased ticket sales.
The distributor was forced to raise prices for its latest releases such as Amelie and Tour Montparnasse to $0.96 (Dinars 65) but this has not prevented Amelie from holding in the top five for its first four weeks. The film, which opens in the UK on Oct 5, has sold 37,670 admissions in the territory, grossing $37,000 (Dinars 2.5m) to date.
The most successful French movie of the season has been Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups) which spent its first seven weeks in third place in the charts, yielding only to local hits Thunderbirds and Natasha. Brotherhood garnered 128,172 admissions in 20 weeks on release, making it the most successful non-local film this year, in terms of ticket sales.
However, Brotherhood's gross box office of $84,200, due to the lower ticket price, placed the French title behind Scary Movie which grossed $113,146 from 126,513 admissions over 30 weeks.
Three other French titles, The Closet (Le Placard) (30,630 admissions), The Crimson Rivers (29,793 admissions) and Belphegor, Phantom Of The Louvre (23,712 admissions) have also performed well in the territory so far. French-US co-production Just Visiting has sold 84,126 tickets to date.
The Yugoslav's taste for French movies has recently been recognised by an announcement from Unifrance Film and local distributors Metro Film, Tuck and Cobra Film that they will organize the first Festival of French Film in Belgrade from Oct 12 to Oct 14.