As part of the Unifrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema which wrapped up over the weekend, the organising body responsible for promoting French film around the world announced export figures for 2009.

According to initial estimates, 66 million people bought a ticket to a French film somewhere outside France last year. The figure is at the top of the mid-range of the scale for the decade although it is still 22% below the record year of 2008, when 84.2million tickets were sold internationally.

In monetary terms, French films earned $ 503m (€ 350m) abroad in 2009 for a drop of 17% from 2008.

Of the 2009 admissions, 90% were for films that were majority French productions – this is compared to about 50% a few years ago. Among the top ten films in French, seven performed better outside the territory than in. Those include: Coco Before Chanel, The Class,I’ve Loved You So Long and Summer Hours.

The top three English-language films emanating from France included Taken (pictured, 22.2million admissions), The Transporter 3 (7.35million admissions) and The Duchess (971,000 admissions).

Taken is now the top ticket-seller abroad in the decade with a total of just over 31million admissions followed by Amelie with just over 23million admissions.

The US remains the strongest territory for French film with 24million admissions in 2009 for a total take of Euros 128m. Other strong territories included Japan and China, while attendance dropped in Russia, Italy and Brazil.