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Why do the French no longer go to the cinema?

Ticket price, health crisis and SVOD expansion, how do we explain the low cinema attendance in France?

The health crisis will have a major impact on the film industry. In addition to delaying the development of many projects, Covid-19 has also forced darkrooms to keep their doors closed for several months. Movie theaters remain closed due to 162 days in 2020 and 138 days in 2021. But while the situation around the world is improving, the recovery is more complex than expected for the seventh art. According to a CNC study, attendance at cinemas decreased in 2021 55% compared to 2019.

2019 was a very prolific year for cinema. Before the health crisis hit France hard, the commission noted that this was the second highest level observed in the past five years. 213.02 million tickets have been sold. In 2021, only 95.5 million spectators went to the darkrooms.

However, the year was marked by several notable events, starting with the Fête du Cinéma, school holidays in October and December and publications of Spider-Man: There is no room for home and others Death can wait. However, this was not enough to return to the post-Covid level. What are the reasons for the French disappointment with the big screen?

loss of habit

For many, the drop in visits to French cinemas is a direct result of the successive closings in 2020 and 2021. For people over 60, the loss of habits is the main reason for losing love for the big screen. . In fact, 51% big viewers Respondents make this argument. Among those aged 35-59, only 33% said they had lost the habitagainst only 31% are between 15-34 years old.

The consequences of losing this habit are numerous according to CNC. In factcinema trailer remains the main source of information On films for more than 50% of viewers. The opening of cinema advertisements only partially makes up for this low cinema attendance according to Vertigo and CNC. A vicious circle from which it is still difficult to escape, especially in the Paris region, where the spectators are 40% say they go to the cinema less often.

Ticket price in question?

While inflation hits consumers hard in France, movie ticket prices have a huge impact on the budget. Frequent criticism among spectators, movie ticket prices have risen in recent years. In April 2021, The average price of a cinema ticket is 6.69 euros, a price that can vary from simple to triple depending on the region and applicable discounts. In 2020, the average price according to CNC was 6.63 euros. Over the past ten years, he’s done that by 4.7%.

For the 36% of moviegoers who say they go to the movies less often, the budget for this entertainment activity is the biggest on the scale. These are mainly older spectators Between 35 and 60 years old who find the ticket expensive. Contrary to what one might think, it is not in the Paris area that we most complain about ticket prices. (33% vs. 37% for other regions).

Less attractive display

Could an outing program also explain this drop in attendance? The show has been more fragmented in recent months, with fewer blockbuster films than usual. but, Spider-Man: Far From Home Things started again with strong box office results. Since January, there has also been a traffic jam in the dark rooms. At Marvel, two long-awaited feature films were revealed to the public. Doctor Strange in a multiverse of madness It will not be the only movie from the house of ideas that will be shown on our screens this year. We must find Thor already in the fourth part of his adventures, while black panther 2 Without Chadwick Boseman it will land in November.

We are also waiting for the releaseAvatar 2 Many animated movies like Buzz Lightyear or even DC Comics like black Adam. Batman It also made a strong impression on the public when it was released last March. This is not enough for some viewers who point You can’t find any movie that satisfies them. This is especially true in 60 and over (30%). The Children between 3 and 14 years of age are not excluded 24%. It must be said that while Disney is moving away from cinemas in France, the entertainment offering is very limited.

Blame SVOD platforms?

Disney announced at the beginning of the week that the Christmas movie, an important event for cinemas, will eventually not be shown in French cinemas. In its struggle with CNC, over the media chronology, the company has finally decided to tighten the screw to win the case.

The result: these family products are found almost systematically on SVOD platforms. This was already the case for a good portion of Pixar’s films. This strategy will inevitably affect cinema attendance at the end of the year, but the presence of SVOD services is already being felt according to CNC.

among spectators who state that they go to the cinema very often or not at all, Prefer other media still accounts for 26%. Among them, 35% signed up for SVOD offers. This is mainly the case between 15-34 years old (36%).

The rise of this genre’s offerings isn’t new, but the restrictions have speeded things up dramatically. At the end of 2021, 10.5 million French people subscribe to Netflixagainst only 5.9 at the beginning of 2019. Same story for Amazon Prime Video, which now has 6.1 million subscribers in the region (1.3 in 2019).

On the other hand, CNC and Médiamétrie are procrastinating, if the first confinement leads to an explosion in the number of daily SVODists, the reopening of cinemas has slowed the phenomenon. The study identifies, however, that the introduction of the health card and vaccination card appear to have had a positive impact on the SVOD market.

The assessment of successes on different platforms is still vague, and it is difficult to know whether certain releases will have a negative impact on cinemas. Especially among subscribers of Netflix, Disney + or Prime Video, it is the series that generally gets their services. Thus, it is the first type of program to be watched on video on demand. The cinema captures only 20% of the monthly viewing time. The numbers are up sharply compared to last year, when the series accounted for 73% (September) of content viewed over a 31-day period.

It remains to be seen how 2022 will sign the audience’s return to the cinema. As we said above, many blockbuster movies are expected. Some have already hit the mark, like Top Gun: Maverick Who created the surprise by dropping the throne of the Dark Knight from DC.

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