France produces about 160 films per year. French movie
posters come in these dominant sizes. (French sizes are released in metric,
so the conversion to inches is approximate)
- measures 40 x 60 cm or 15.7 x 23.6 inches - this size is used a lot
and varies an inch or so each direction.
- measures 60 x 80 cm or 23.6 x 31.5 inches - sometimes called 'Affiche
Moyenne' or Medium Poster - this size is used os lot.
- measures 60 x 160 cm or 23.6 x 63 inches - quite often referred to as
a door poster, or French insert. It's half the size of the Grande vertically.
Issued on major titles only and primarily issued in the 80s and early 90s.
Half Grande - 80 x 120 or 31.5 x 47.2 inches - This is also half
the size of the Grande but horizontal. This size is generally used as reissues.
- measures 120 x 160 cm or 47.2 x 62.9 inches - this is a the predominatly
used size. It is issued in one piece and varies slightly an inch or so.
Grande - measures 160 x 240 cm or 62.9 x 94.4 inches - normally issued
Other sizes used that we have not been able to find
a name for:
120 x 160-180 cm or 47.2 x 62.9-70.8 inches - French
Bus Stop posters vary in length but are easy to tell because of their ads
across the bottom of the poster.
Plus banner sizes of 120 x 320 cm(47 x 126 inches),
240 x 320 cm (94 x 126 inches), and 300 x 400 cm (118 x 157 inches)
French lobby sets are normally 8 to a set BUT can have 6,
8, 10, or 12 cards. Sometimes up to three sets are issued with different images
for the same film. They are usually labeled Set A, B, and C. They normally
measure 21cm x 27cm which is about 8.4 x 10.7 inches. The cards are printed
on thin, glossy paper and the name of the film is usually printed in a white
box in a corner in French.
French poster quite often have totally different artwork from the American
and while the poster is printed in French, quite often they change the title
(so it's not just a French translation of the American title) with the American
title listed in parenthesis underneath. Notice: the poster on the left was
released as Red Sonja. It's reported that the French film industry had so
much trouble with Bridgett Neilsen that they renamed the film after Arnold
Schwarzeneggar's character - Kalidor.
There are quite a few American stars that have made French
movies that are never released in America. There are also some American television
shows that are released in France as movies. Notice the poster on the right
which was the TV serial Incredible Hulk in the US. This is actually the second
film release, notice in parenthesis (Hulk 2).
The French movie industry is known for co-producing films
with other countries. Therefore, it is quite common to see posters that are
Italian/French movies, German/French movies or African/French movies, etc.
making it extremely difficult to catagorize.
French also import a lot of foreign movies beside American so it is also quite
common to see, for example, a Japanese film printed in French.
One last note: the French produce posters that are less restrictive
in their artwork, so sometimes you have posters that are racier than American
versions. It is not unusual to find nudity or racier insinuations.
Here are French
posters in our archive