The French box office hit a high in 2009 with admissions rising by 5.7% on the previous year to 199.7m. It is a record for the decade, just ahead of 2004’s 195.5m admissions.

The second half of last year saw an impressive 11% on the same period last year. The top 20 films overall brought in 77.3 million moviegoers with eight of those films released in the second half.

Historically, France’s biggest local successes are released in the first part of the year, particularly in February; however last year the top local film, Le Petit Nicolas, was released in September and sold 5.5m tickets.

While Le PetitNicolas came in fourth overall, the top three films at the 2009 box-office were American: Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (7.8m admissions), Avatar (7.8m) and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (6m). 2012 rounded out the top five with 4.6m tickets sold.

Other local films to have helped drive the box-office included LOL (3.6m admissions), Coco Before Chanel(3m), OSS 117: Rio Ne Repond Plus (2.5m) and Neuilly Sa Mere! (2.5m).

Since 2004, which was previously the decade’s record year, 47 new multiplexes have opened, leading to increased attendance figures. However, while large cities have seen film attendance grow, smaller and mid-sized cities have hit a plateau or suffered, according to information released by French exhibition body, FNCF.