French_flagTicket sales in France reached 104.2 million between January and June this year, according to state body Centre National de la Cinématographie. Box office hit €640 million ($813 million).

The admissions rise was choked off in June though, partly because of the World Cup and partly because of weak film releases. June admissions fell by 4.4% year-on-year to 10.7 million.

Hollywood increased its market share to 52.3% over the first six months. France’s share of the box office fell to 38.5% compared with 40% in 2009. This is despite local films such as holdover Le Petit Nicolas grossing €5.7 million and L’Amacoeur (Heartbreaker), starring Vanessa Paradis, earning €4 million through les tourniquets.

I’m told that French producers are feeling the pinch just like everybody else. Last year, the average French production cost €5.1 million to produce compared with €6.4 million in 2008.