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Yesterday, we wrote about a new report on employment in France’s animation industry, which was presented at the Rencontres Animation Formation convention. The same event saw the launch of a separate document, which focuses on French animation’s production and its market.

The document, which builds on research published earlier in the year, was published by the CNC (France’s national film board) and Animfrance, the trade association that represents the country’s animation producers. It sheds light on the state of France’s animation industry — one of the biggest in Europe, and certainly its most well-documented — in 2019, before the coronavirus hit.

Here are five takeaways:

  • The industry’s output has fallen since its peak in 2016. In that year, 388 hours of French animation were produced; in 2019, the number was 295. However, this marked a small increase from 2018, when 289 hours were produced.
  • Production costs are at an all-time high. While the overall spending on French animation budgets in 2019 — €237.4 (USD$287.5) million — was lower than in 2016 and 2017, the cost per hour of animation produced hit a record €805,200 ($975,200). This is a 42.5% rise from 2010 rates.

    CNC, Animfrance
    Cost per hour of French animation produced, in thousands of euros (note: the comma in the figures indicates what a period would indicate in English). Source: CNC and Animfrance

  • Foreign investment is also higher than ever. In 2019, international spending — in the form of co-productions and pre-sales — stood at €62.3 ($75.5) million, or 26.2% of the total investment in French animation. This proportion was up from 20.5% in 2018.
  • More than a fifth of budgets came from the CNC. The government organ funneled €51.0 ($61.8) million into animation production in 2019, accounting for 21.5% of the total spend.
  • In France, American animation is far more popular than homegrown films. Eleven French animated films and 14 from the U.S. came out in France’s theaters in 2019. The former sold 2.4 million tickets between them, while the latter shifted 25.5 million. For the first time, non-French European animated films also outsold French ones. (These numbers all refer to new releases.)

    CNC, Animfrance
    Number of tickets sold (in millions) by new French, American, European, and other animated films in France in 2019. Source: CNC and Animfrance

The full document can be read as a PDF (in French) here.

Image at top: The 2020 feature “Petit Vampire,” which was produced in France.

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