France's film council (CNC) has revealed very healthybox-office figures for the first eight months of the year. In total, 133.57 millioncinema tickets have been sold since the beginning of the year.

This represents a 22% increase over the same period in 2003.Overall, the projection is for a 15% increase over last year by the end of2004.

August saw a 12% rise compared with the same month in2003. The continued drawing power of Shrek2 and Spider Man 2 helped propelthe month along with new arrival TheVillage.

Curiously, market share for both French and American filmsis down. In the first eight months of last year French films held 39% of themarket compared to 34% this year while American films are down to 49% from51%.