Animation industry in France - Statistics & Facts

French animation has a long and proud history. One of the longest in the world in fact, as some of the foundational technologies and early animated movies were created in France, as far back as the late 19th century. France remains a leader of the animation industry even today, facing giants such as the United States and Japan.

France has established itself over time as a respected producer of animated content. French feature films, in particular, generate international interest, both among critics and audiences. Each year, the industry approves several animated films which will be shown in cinemas. Although inconsistent over the past few years, this number rose to seven feature films in 2018. Total annual production costs vary widely each year as well, peaking at more than 160 million euros in 2016 due to the release of two exceptionally expensive movies that year: "The Little Prince" and "Animal Kingdom: Let's Go Ape".

The animation sector is also in full expansion as the number of active companies in animated movie production in France has exploded, ranging from 68 in 2004 to 133 in 2017. The same is true for the annual payroll of the movie production sector, which reached a total of 171 million euros in 2018.

The French public is particularly fond of animated films and does not hesitate to rush and see the latest release with family or friends. Fans of animated films can be found in all age categories, although children make up a large share of the audience. More than thirty animated films of all origins are screened on average in theatres in France, almost 14 percent of them French. Between 2014 and 2018, the “Minions” movie was the most popular animated feature at the box office, followed by "Despicable Me 3" and Pixar’s "The Incredibles 2".

The broadcasting of animated content on television is not to be outdone and has increased by more than 3,000 hours since 2008, mostly broadcast on television channels like France 4 or Gulli. France distinguishes itself from the rest of the world by broadcasting an annual total of nearly six thousand hours of animated programs for younger viewers on television, which is almost twice as much as in the United States.

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Animation industry in France

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