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by Peter Knegt
December 28, 2011 12:53 PM
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Here's The Very French Top Grossing Foreign Language Films of 2011

Kristin Scott Thomas in "Sarah's Key." Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
This week at Indiewire we're offering a series of charts reflecting the big winners at the box office this year. Today's chart takes on the top performing foreign-language films in the U.S.

When all is said and done, it's likely that the foreign film most remembered in 2011 (in the mainstream, at least) is Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist." While the film is indeed a French production, it's essentially dialogue-free.  Silence may be in essence a foreign language, but it doesn't quite count here. Which leaves a number of French-speaking French films to dominate the list.

Gilles Paquet-Brenner's "Sarah's Key" -- starring Brit Kristin Scott-Thomas playing an American (but mostly speaking French) -- led the list, taking in a very impressive $7.7 million stateside. Released by "The Artist" distributor Weinstein Company, the film is one of the 30 highest grossing foreign language films ever in America, and the fifth highest grossing French film.

"Key" is joined in the top 10 by four other French films, Quebec's "Incendies" ($2.1 million) and three films from France - "Of Gods and Men" ($3.9 million), "Potiche" ($1.6 million) and "Certified Copy" ($1.3 million).

Other major successes included Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Spanish-language "Biutiful," which grossed over $5 million in 2011 after an Oscar qualifying run in late 2010 (which resulted in a best actor nod for Javier Bardem).

Check out the full list below, and note that these charts will lead up to more significant analysis of the year's winners and losers next week (including extensive takes on the foreign language films), so check back.

The Top 10 Grossing Foreign Language Films of 2011

  • The Weinstein Company
    1 of 10

    1. "Sarah's Key"

    Country: France
    U.S. Gross: $7,693,651
  • Roadside Attractions
    2 of 10

    2. "Biutiful"

    Country: Mexico/Spain
    U.S. Gross: $5,101,237
  • Sony Pictures Classics
    3 of 10

    3. "Of Gods and Men"

    Country: France
    U.S. Gross: $3,954,651
  • Sony Pictures Classics
    4 of 10

    4. "The Skin I Live in"

    Country: Spain
    U.S. Gross: $2,991,663
  • Sony Pictures Classics
    5 of 10

    5. "Incendies"

    Country: Canada
    U.S. Gross: $2,071,334
  • Music Box Films
    6 of 10

    6. "Potiche"

    Country: France
    U.S. Gross: $1,618,844
  • Samuel Goldwyn
    7 of 10

    7. "The Double Hour"

    Country: Italy
    U.S. Gross: $1,514,942
  • Fox Searchlight
    8 of 10

    8. "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan"

    Country: China/U.S.
    U.S. Gross: $1,348,205
  • IFC Films
    9 of 10

    9. "Certified Copy"

    Country: France
    U.S. Gross: $1,340,615
  • Lionsgate
    10 of 10

    10. "No Eres Tu, Soy Yo"

    Country: Mexico
    U.S. Gross: $1,339,911

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2 Comments

  • juleslefrog | January 11, 2012 7:05 PMReply

    I've seen 8 out of the 10 films mentioned, and I agree that Sarah's Key was the best of the lot (followed by Of Gods & Men and Certified Copy). I hope A Separation will have great BO as well!

  • Film_Shark | December 28, 2011 3:53 PMReply

    I agree that 'Sarah's Key' was an excellent foreign film. Kristin Scott Thomas is an amazing actress. She speaks flawless French. The little girl who plays Sarah is good too. Here is my movie review of this touching film: http://www.examiner.com/movies-in-boise/sarah-s-key-movie-review-review