Since this morning, Sunday March 19 and for three days, going to the cinema will only cost €5 in all theaters in France and regardless of the cinema. The traditional Printemps du Cinéma, organized each year by the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF), the main representative of exhibitors, is back with a price that has been revised upwards – it was €4 last year – due to of rising costs.
Cinemas are not immune to inflation either, and the soaring prices of electricity and general charges justify, according to its general delegate Marc-Olivier Sebbag, an increase in the tariff, “who had not been seen for seven years”. A ticket price which nevertheless remains lower than the average price of an entry (7.50 €), he underlines, and on which the operators now rely to support attendance.
Admissions up 40% since the start of the year
After the long period of theater closures due to the Covid epidemic, these promotional operations, which take place twice a year, had helped bring the public back to the theaters. Last year, the Printemps du Cinéma attracted 2.15 million spectators, 70% more than the previous week, and the FNCF hopes to do better this year. Since the beginning of 2022, attendance seems to be regaining color, driven by blockbusters and a few French successes.
According to statistics from the National Film and Moving Image Center (CNC), admissions increased by 40.1% in January and February compared to the same period last year. A rebound linked in part to the success ofAvatar. The way of the water (released December 14, 2022) and the Marvel franchise, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Quantumania, but also to two French films, Asterix and Obelix. The middle Empire And Alibi.com 2 who were at the top of the rankings in February.
Movies far from filling up
However, these French blockbusters are far from full. With 4.4 million admissions in six weeks, the latest opus by the heroes of Uderzo and Goscinny has not succeeded, despite its star cast, in repeating the feat ofAsterix and Obelix. Mission Cleopatra, by Alain Chabat (14 million admissions) and to raise a franchise that has continued to lose momentum in recent years. Especially with a pharaonic budget of 65 million euros, it would not have reached its break-even point for the moment. Just like Philippe Lacheau’s film which already has 3.5 million admissions but was no doubt hoping to do better in another context.
Despite the good starts this week of Creed III and of Scream VI, cinema attendance is still suffering from the effects of the Covid crisis and competition from platforms with a decline of 18.6% compared to the 2017-2019 average before the pandemic. The Printemps du Cinéma should temporarily boost admissions and benefit promising films such as the latest François Ozon, my crimethe comedy The Small Victories by Mélanie Auffret or the theatrical release of the great winner of the Oscars Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The president of the National Federation of Cinemas, Richard Patry, said he was optimistic about the resumption of cinema attendance “in view of the program of distributors and the diversity of films arriving”.