French cinema-goers have once again demonstrated their cultural distance from their American counterparts by embracing Columbia TriStar's Evolution, according it a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that its domestic audience failed to appreciate

In its first week on release Ivan Reitman's alien/romantic comedy attracted a substantial 400,000 admissions, placing it second in the French national box office chart, while stateside the film's entire run amassed a comparatively meagre $37m.

Gallic sensibilities were less taken with Dimension Films' otherwise popular Spy Kids (a $105m gross in the US). Distributed in France by Bac Films it opened on the same day as Evolution, July 18, and with a similar number of prints, but could only entice 150,000 cineastes to sample its pleasures.

In an otherwise bullish market (up 33% compared to the same week last year), Shrek is still delighting French audiences, passing the 2 million admissions mark in its third week.

In a summer season normally dominated by US releases, local favourite: Amelie From Montmartre is displaying phenomenal legs, clinging on to fourth position in its 13th week (the smallest drop, 22%, compared with the previous week, of all titles in the top ten). With 6.7 million tickets sold, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's offbeat romantic tale is now second only to Warner's La Verite Si Je Mens the 2001 French charts.