Cinéac, a company that tracks box office results, issued a report showing Quebec films’ share of the domestic market has plunged to 4.8 per cent.
“It's been a disastrous year, really, 2012 has been really tough for our national cinematography because the market share dropped from 9.9 last year to 4.8 this year,” Pascale Dubé, executive director of Cinéac, told CBC News.
It’s not that Quebecois have stopped going to movies — Hollywood blockbusters like The Hunger Games and Skyfall had strong box office, as did films from France.
But Quebec failed to produce domestic films with the box office clout of Oscar nominee Monsieur Lazhar or Starbuck, which won the Golden Reel for top box office earnings in 2011.
Only two Quebec movies earned more than $1 million — hockey-themed Les Pee Wee 3D, which only came out in December, and mafia-heist flick Omertà.
“Usually Quebec movies are able to go over the million — four, five titles usually over the million dollars — and the top one usually racks in over $3 million, so this year it's particularly low,” Dubé said.
Films such as L'empire Bosse and Ésimésac were considered box office flops.
Dubé says there are still lessons to be learned from such a poor year.
“The tragic mistake is to try to repeat a recipe; most of the time it doesn't work. I think creativity is here but we probably need to expand our views on what a Quebec movie should be,” she said.
In English Canada, the share of box office cornered by domestic films is often lower than in Quebec – between three and five per cent of the domestic box office, though 2011 was strong because of Barney's Version. Telefilm announced working group Wednesday to devise strategies to boost audiences for Canadian films.