Laurent Tirard’s Petit Nicolas is poised to become the most successful French film of 2009.

The Wild Bunch Distribution release is less than 100,000 admissions from taking the top spot as it enters its fifth week. It has clocked up 3,553,206 admissions to date.

In a rare feat, the film increased by 11% last week and is expected to pass current French number one, LOL, in the next few days. As of today, LOL is in fourth place overall for the year just behind Ice Age 3,Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and Up. Petit Nicolas currently lies fifth.

Petit Nicolas, a family film based on the book by Rene Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempe, is produced by Fidelite and focuses on the adventures of a precocious little boy whose world is turned upside-down when he believes he’s overheard his parents discussing the arrival of a new baby. Maxime Godart, Valerie Lemercier, Kad Merad and Sandrine Kiberlain star.

The film had the third best opening day among local films for 2009 when it was released on September 30 and has continued to build.

According to Wild Bunch, it bested Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s just released Micmacs when that film debuted on Wednesday and was second only to the Michael Jackson concert film, This Is It, for the day.

It is performing particularly well in the provinces, Wild Bunch Distribution chief Jean-Philippe Tirel told ScreenDaily.