Welcome to the Box Office, the show’s weekly meeting place Soft Power. Every week, we peel the trends of the culture and the biggest successes of the moment. In partnership with the GfK study institute for books and video games and CBO Box Office for the cinema.
Prix Médicis for Christine Angot, Prix Fémina for Clara Dupont-Monod, scandal for Camille Laurens
Booksellers and publishers in competition are awaiting the award this Wednesday of the Prix Goncourt and to a lesser extent the Prix Renaudot. The Medicis prize, for its part, has already been awarded on Tuesday: Christine Angot was rewarded for “Le voyage dans l’Est” (Flammarion). And the Femina prize went to Clara Dupont-Monod for “Adapt” (Stock).
At this stage, few award-winning writers – it’s still too early to see the effect of prizes on sales – or finalists are not yet in our partner GFK’s top 25 “Fiction” sales. Nominated for the Goncourt, Anne Berrest is in 17th place; nominated for the Renaudot, Amélie Nothomb is at the 23rd but she was number 1 in sales at the beginning of the autumn.
So we are waiting for the prices.
Nothing will be simple this Wednesday for the juries of Goncourt and Renaudot after an author Camille Laurens, member of the Goncourt jury, who not only voted for her little lover François Noudelmann. But in addition, she murdered one of her main rivals, Anne Berest in her column of the World of Books. How are such obvious conflicts of interest possible in France? Camille Laurens no doubt thought that it would go unnoticed, but the press spread it all: the members of the Goncourt jury, often modest and “copinard” writers, Didier Decoin or Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt for example, who had closed their eyes finally were forced to crack down. The lover François Noudelmann was ejected from the selection and the days of the chronicle of Camille Laurens in The world of books are also counted. The resignation of Camille Laurens from the Goncourt jury would perhaps be a significant gesture as well! At least if the writer, caught red-handed, had honor and ethics after what must be called the “Camille Laurens scandal”!
In a very good investigation by the OBS this weekend, Didier Jacob also compares the cronyism-clan-dismissal of elevators from Goncourt to the English Booker Prize or the American Pulitzer Prize. The solution for the Goncourt would be a rotating jury that would change every year, strict rules against cheating and bonds of subordination. Each member of the jury should also declare his possible friendship relations with the finalists to avoid conflicts of interest and be prohibited from voting for the books of his own publisher. These are minimum rules that should have been in place decades ago!
You’re going to tell me, it all starts with an initial error: the Goncourts were themselves very bad writers, socialites, wicked, misogynistic and homophobic with that. More than a century later, we are still there.
Eric Zemmour still at the top of the best-selling essays and documents
In Non-Fiction, fortunately, there is no misogyny, homophobia or malice as with the Goncourt brothers: Eric Zemmour remains at the top of the best sellers of the week according to GFK with France has not said its last word (self-published by Rubempré but multi-distributed by the Bolloré group). He caps the post The Traitor and the Void by Davet and Lhomme (at Fayard). Either way, very right-wing or very left-anarchist, these books are mediocre and disappointed us.
“Venom”: Let There Be Success
Great success for the new Sony Picture, Venom: Let The Be Carnage with nearly 700,000 entries in the first week in France, according to our partner CBO Box Office. As for the long-awaited The French Dispatch, by Wes Anderson for Disney, it got off to a good start on Wednesday with 43,000 admissions in France. In the credits, the most famous actors follow one another: Bill Murray, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Mathieu Almaric. The cast is Franco-American, like the film, directed by Wes Anderson. And yet, it doesn’t work. Is it the eccentricity of the characters, the stuffy side of the film, the mixture of genres, narrations, colors, formats – in short, the film is a failure, terribly boring and disappointing. We are waiting to know the opinion of the French public with the box office next week.
“Germinal”: literature continues to fascinate the audiovisual sector
TV series (now), French series this week, with the great success of Germinal, inspired (of course) by Zola’s novel, which topped the audience with its first two episodes broadcast on France 2 on Wednesday: almost 20% audience share and 4.4 million viewers. Nice score therefore for the story of a strike taking place in a coal mine in the north of France despite (or because of) anachronisms and wokisms, like a black tavern keeper, criticized by some and loved by others. And above all, misery of misery, the “chti” accent which has disappeared! He must have sounded too frank! In any case, a success which proves that after the releases on the big screen of the works of Balzac Eugenie Grandet and Lost Illusionsthe adaptations of literary classics do indeed attract the public in front of the screens.
Also note the release of the second season of This Way Up, available since last Monday on MyCanal. This short format (6 × 23 minutes) is still worn by Irish stand-up star Aisling Bea. Season 2 is pleasing since we are coming out of the depression in which the main character was plunged, but we won’t say more about it… It’s on Canal+ and MyCanal!
Video games: FIFA 2022 still at the top of sales and postponement of the release of Battlefield 2042
On the video game side, FIFA 2022 still dominates sales, on PS4 and Switch with its hypermotion technology which makes actions hyper-realistic.
We also note the postponement of the release of the game BATTLEFIELD 2042 announced by Electronic Arts to November 19, 2021. So suspense…
A technological comeback for ABBA
It is Adèle who is at the head of listening this Sunday with Easy On Mehis new title, released on October 15, which announces a fourth album for the end of the year.
The video, directed by filmmaker Xavier Dolan, has also been viewed 128 million times on YouTube.
Ed Sheeran’s new album, which we have already listened to, is also among the best listened to on Spotify World without forgetting a cover of Elton John remixed by Dua Lupa and the Australian electro group Pnau. Coldplay, Lil Nas X and The Weekend with Swedish House Mafia are also in the Spotify World Top 50.
And then, and then, we’re obviously waiting for ABBA’s new album, Travel which will be released on Capitol Music Group on Friday. It’s an event, because it’s been forty years since the band broke up. The two legendary Swedish couples have also divorced. “We took a break in the spring of 1982… and today we decided to start over,” explained the ABBAs in a press release. Forty years later… you have to prepare for your retirement.
Their return will not go unnoticed in any case: an album, therefore, already several singles and three months of new age concerts (and especially new technologies) are planned in London in the spring of 2022: and guess what, the ABBA will be present in digital avatars !
Equipped with 150 sensors, the members of ABBA agreed to shave their beards and rehearsed in helmets and drysuits, for their 3D modeling, can we read in the numerous articles published this weekend in the New York Times , the Financial Times or the JDD.
Benny Andersson, 74, and Björn Ulvaeus, 76, the two ex-bearded men in the band, have therefore returned to the studio: you will tell me, the best soups are made in old pots.
On the same subject of reforming a band, George Harrison once said that the Beatles would not reform until “John Lennon was dead”. It is perhaps wiser; you be the judge, with for example Don’t Shut Me Downone of Abba’s new singles, in the album to be released this Friday: Travel.
This box office is from the show “Europe, GAFAM and France with Clément Beaune, Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of European Affairs” of October 31, 2021.
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Review of literary prizes, their favorites and their scandals in the cultural box office