Intouchables overtakes The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain as most seen French language picture.

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s comedy Intouchables has overtaken The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain in the global box office chart as the most theatrically viewed French-language picture in history outside of France.

According to state-backed French film export body Unifrance, Intouchables’ global box office hit 23.2m admissions this week, putting it ahead of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Audrey Tautou-starrer Amélie, which had held the top slot for more than a decade with 23.1m. The figures do not include the French box office which currently stands at around 20m admissions.

Unifrance managing director Régine Hatchondo told the French press over the weekend that she expected Intouchables to eventually generate more than 25m admissions worldwide.

The film is due to be released in the UK on Sept 21 and is also due to hit cinema screens in Australia and New Zealand later this year.

Unifrance noted the film had sold 8.5m tickets in Germany, a record for a French-language film in the country and has also done well across the rest of Europe in spite of the economic crisis.

It garnered 2.48m and 2.47m admissions in Spain and Italy respectively, the number of entries for Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands stood at one million for each country and in Austria, 700,000 tickets have been sold.

Further afield, there had been 1.7m admissions in South Korea, a country where French films are traditionally popular.

In the US, The Weinstein Company has so far wound in one million theatrical spectators for the film. Harvey Weinstein told the French press over the summer it was his “objective” to put the film into the Best Picture Oscar race.

The comedy, starring François Cluzet as a wealthy tetraplegic opposite Omar Sy as his unlikely assistant from the wrong side of the tracks, has yet to overtake The Fifth Element and Taken as the most seen French production.

These English-language productions produced by EuropaCorp generated 35m and 31m admissions at the international box office respectively.