Hollywood wins European victory

2003-03-21 18:50

Paris - Forget European qualms over the war on Iraq - the US film industry won the lion's share of the box-office in nine major western European countries in 2002, with "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", a Hollywood blockbuster based on a story by a British author, selling a whopping 38 million tickets alone.

US films upped their share of the market to 71 percent in 2002 compared to 65 percent in 2001, though in 2000 films from the United States registered 73 percent of ticket sales, the European Audiovisual Observatory said Friday.

The figures related to Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

The top European-made box-office hit was "Asterix: Mission Cleopatra", featuring Gallic heros Asterix and Obelix, which came in only 9th place with 19 million tickets sold, a huge 14.6 million of them in France.

Last year, "European films were unable to reproduce the exceptional results obtained in 2001", the Observatory said. In the United States, the market share for European films fell to 4.6 percent in 2002 against 5.7 percent the previous year.

Apart from the last "Asterix" movie, only two British-US co-productions made it to the top 20 - the latest James Bond movie, "Die Another Day" and "About a Boy," by Paul and Chris Weitz.

In the United States, the top all-European production was "Resident Evil" directed by Paul Anderson, in which Germany invested the largest stake.

The following are the top 10 box-office hits in 2002 in the nine countries:

- 1) "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (USA) by Chris Columbus: 38.1 million tickets sold

- 2) "Spider-Man" (USA) by Sam Raimi: 28.8 million

- 3) "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (USA/New Zealand) by Peter Jackson: 27.6 million

- 4) "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" (USA) by George Lucas: 26.9 million

- 5) ""The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (USA/New Zealand) by Peter Jackson: 22.7 million

- 6) "Monsters, Inc." (USA) by P. Docter and D. Silverman: 21.7 million

- 7) "Ocean's Eleven" (USA) by Steven Soderbergh: 21.6 million

- 8) "Men in Black II" (USA) by Barry Sonnenfeld: 19.7 million

- 9) "Asterix and Obelix : Mission Cleopatra" (France/Germany) by Alain Chabat: 19.3 million

- 10) "Die Another Day" (UK/USA) by Lee Tamahori: 17.9 million

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