Here’s a shot in the arm for French cinema: Gaumont’s award-winning crowd-pleaser Untouchable has catapulted to the top of the French box-office heap for 2011 in less than four weeks of release. The studio announced today that the film has now sold over 8.2 million tickets, making it the No. 1 film this year. Another French film, Pathé’s Rien A Declarer (Nothing To Declare), is sitting in the 2nd spot in France for the year with just over 8.13 million tickets sold. The two local pics are running ahead of such fare as the Harry Potter finale, Steven Spielberg’s Adventures Of Tintin and the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean 4.
Gaumont’s Cécile Gaget tells me that Untouchable is experiencing a “Titanic phenomenon” whereby moviegoers are returning to see it multiple times. From directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, pic stars François Cluzet as a wheelchair-bound aristocrat who hires an out-of-the-ordinary assistant played by Omar Sy. The film recently won the Grand Prize at the Tokyo Film Fest with the stars sharing acting kudos. Gaumont says the film is also doing brisk business in Switzerland and Belgium. The Weinstein Co acquired Untouchable in North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South America and China and also took English-language remake rights.
Pathé’s Nothing To Declare, meanwhile, hails from director and star Dany Boon whose Welcome To The Sticks rode a juggernaut locally back in 2008 to become the highest-grossing French film ever and to land sandwiched between two James Cameron pics on the list of all-time biggest overall grossers in the territory.