The vogue for comic book-based films is not limited to Hollywood.  The French comedy Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra has sold over 13.8 million tickets making it the most successful French-made film in 35 years.  The film, which stars Gerard Depardieu as the rotund Obelix, has continued to draw in major audiences in its ninth week of release.

Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra is based on the series of comics by Goscinny and Uderzo, which have sold more books worldwide than any other comic property.  The humorous antics of the Gauls fending off the Romans have a near universal appeal outside the US, and several animated films have been made from Asterix characters.  Miramax is planning on releasing the film in the U.S. sometime this year, and its stellar performance in France makes a timely U.S release much more likely.