France's annual Spring promotional drive 'Printemps Au Cinema' clocked up 2.5 million spectators, who took advantage of the cut-price ticket offer at cinemas across the country.

The three-day figure meant no change compared with the 2003 promo drive and was a touch disappointing after a strong start on Sunday, when numbers were up 15%. For three days (14-16 March) ticket prices at all the country's 5,300 cinemas are reduced to Euros 3.50, which represents a discount of up to 50% compared with the top prices in Paris.

The French National Cinema Federation (FNCF), which organises the event, said that Monday was down 3% and that a particularly sunny Tuesday saw a 20% drop.

Yesterday (17 Mar) - new films are released on Wednesdays in France - saw local title Les Choristes as the strongest opening film. In Paris the music drama set in a boarding school notched up 2,441 spectators on 24 screens on its opening session. It was comfortably ahead of The Runaway Jury, which recorded 1,083 ticket sales at 17 theatres.