Aftera few lackluster years, fortunes at French major Gaumont are on the rise.
Announcing2004 figures on Monday, the company reported revenues of Euros 88.6m ($115m), a26% increase over 2003, and profits of Euros 9.7m up from Euros 2.8m theprevious year.
Ina press release, the world's oldest film studio noted that the jump was spurredon by an overall healthy box-office year that resulted in strong revenue growth for its exhibition circuit Europalaces. The group of theatres reported Euros 407.7min revenues up from Euros 380m in 2003.
Followinga string of not so noteworthy films, Gaumont produced and released two hitslast year: L'Enquete Corse and 36,Quai Des Orfevres which garnered 2.6mand two million admissions respectively.
Thecompany also signed lines of credit in the past year worth Euros 108.2m and isaggressively pursuing production with films that fall into the Euros 4m-23mbudget range.
Onthe upcoming slate are such projects as Chris Nahon's Empire Of The Wolves starring Jean Reno, Papa from Maurice Barthelemy and starring Alain Chabat ina departure from his usual comedic roles, L'Amour Aux Trousses with up and comer Jean Dujardin, The Trail from Himalaya director Eric Valli and Palais Royal from Valerie Lemercier and starring CatherineDeneuve, Lambert Wilson and Mathilde Seigner.
Alsoon deck are the latest from Michel Gondry, The Science Of Sleep starring Gael Garcia Bernal and the next FrancisVeber project with Daniel Auteuil, Virginie Ledoyen and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Gondry, whose EternalSunshine Of The Spotless Mind won anAcademy Award this weekend for best original screenplay, began shooting TheScience Of Sleep earlier this yearin Paris. In addition to Bernal (Motorcycle Diaries), it co-stars Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Thefilmwill be in French and English, and tells the story of a man who falls in lovewith his neighbour and begins to confuse dreams with reality.