Paris (AFP)

French cinemas experienced one of the best attendance rates in half a century in 2019, with 213.3 million admissions, largely driven by the success of American cinema according to the CNC.

Attendance in 2019 is thus "the second highest level since 1966 (234.2 M)", specifies the National Center for Cinema and the Animated Image (CNC) in its annual report published on Monday. The previous record was 2011 with 217.2 million admissions.

This is an increase of 6% compared to 2018 (200.5 million).

For six years, attendance at French cinemas has remained above the 200 million mark, despite competition from online video, YouTube and services like Netflix.

The rise in 2019 is partly due to a 32.7% increase in attendance for American films: 117.76 million admissions, "the highest level since 1957", at the height of Hollywood's golden age, underlines the CNC.

This year, lead "The Lion King" (10 M), "Avengers: Endgame" (6.9 M) and "Frozen II" (6.5 M). The market share of American cinema jumped from 44.1% in 2018 to 55.2% in 2019.

As for the market share of French films, it is down compared to 2018 (35% against 39.3%) with a drop in attendance of 5.7% (74.66 million admissions).

A single French film, "What have we done to God again?" is in the top 5 of 2019, with 6.7 million admissions.

The CNC also notes that the year 2019 is marked by a high number of films above five million admissions with five films above this threshold, the highest level observed in the last ten years.

© 2019 AFP