New 3-D animation film of Asterix proves a bulwark against domination of Hollywood heavyweights
While we all love American films, it’s a reassuring sight to see when countries can produce a film that sells better than the latest mass-released commercial effort from the other side of the Atlantic and no other country in Europe has as strong a film industry as France.
But even in the home of the seventh art itself, the ubiquity of Americana is unavoidable and the fact is that most of the best-selling films emanate from California’s movie factory. One of the bigger worldwide series of films has been The Hunger Games franchise, but the latest instalment has been well and truly whipped into second place at the French box office by a worldwide success story of Gallic origins.
The comic-book strip Asterix has spawned several real-action films, as well as animated versions, but this time is the first that it gets a 3-D animation treatment. Managing without the services of any of the big-name stars that made the films of the last decade or so such a success (such as Alain Delon, Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve), the film registered 842,999 spectators in it first week of release (935,180 with preview audiences). Second-placed film The Hunger Games clocked up 773,633 punters in the same period while Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was the third most attended film in France in the same week with 245,113 new views for its third week of release.
Omar Sy’s (of Les Intouchables) new comedy Samba about an African immigrant is still bringing in a lot of attendees too, with over 3 million spectators so far.