Gaumont is a major player in the French film industry, which means…well, jack. Their revenue for the first quarter of 2012 is roughly what “The Avengers” pulled in on opening day.
Nonetheless, they’re important to the French, who have an insane Internet piracy law called Hadopi, and who just finally woke up and kicked our favorite international political punching bag, Nicolas Sarkozy, to the curb.
Hollande is apparently not a big fan of Hadopi (please tell us the motto of this agency is “The Girl Is Hard To Get”), so the head of Gaumont came out and insisted that not a single French film had been pirated last year, to considerable skepticism:
The statement may not be (read: it’s probably not) entirely true. As French site Numerama points out, Seydoux preceeds that proclamation by saying that the ALPA detected 110 million incidents of audiovisual piracy and sent 8.7 million notices to Hadopi, the government office that deals with the law of the same name. “We can hardly believe that in this volume not a single incident involves the pirating of French films,” Numerama declared. According to the ALPA and Gaumont, illegal downloads of movies (presumably only international films) saw a 50 percent reduction in the last year.
We hate to break this to Gaumont, but they’re not exactly Warner Brothers. In fact, we find it pretty credible that, in actual fact, nobody bothered to steal Gaumont’s films because they’re as much of a crap factory as our own Hollywood studios. Their biggest hit, “The Intouchables” is basically “Scent of a Woman” with a “social conscience” (although the Maserati scene is really funny).
So basically you just announced there’s a reason people make fun of French film. Good job!
(Image courtesy Omnysce on Flickr)