“Attendance in 2021 has nothing to do with what we experienced in 2020”, notes Saturday, October 9 on franceinfo Éric Marti, CEO of Comscore France, leader for data and analysis of the global box office. This attendance at movie theaters “is much closer to the pre-Covid 2018-2019 standards”, he says. “The love of the French for the cinema is not denied”, despite “a few jerks” in particular with the implementation of the health pass.
franceinfo: Have the spectators returned to the theaters as before the confinement?
Eric Marti: Yes and no. There was a massive return of spectators to cinemas from the reopening of May 19, but which was even more confirmed in the second half of June when certain health restrictions were lifted and which was obvious at the beginning of the year. ‘summer for 3-4 weeks, from the beginning to the end of June-beginning of July, where we had found attendance levels that corresponded to the years before the Covid crisis. Since then, there have been some ups and downs. It is true that the application of a health pass could have been experienced more or less well and had a definite impact on films and on cinema attendance.
“But each time, we noticed a rebound capacity and a kind of wave which was confirmed after a week or two weeks, depending on the case in the cinemas.”Éric Marti, Managing Director of Comscore France
And attendance in 2021 has nothing to do with what we experienced in 2020. It is much closer to the pre-Covid 2018-2019 standards.
Do the French spectators accept, without difficulty, the wearing of the mask, the limited gauges and the sanitary pass?
As soon as the rule is clear and well established, the public adapts and goes to the cinema. What is much more complicated are changes overnight or with very little anticipation. And there, it generates confusion. Uncertainty is a real poison. As long as there are rules and the rules are easy to explain, the public can accept them and integrate them into their consumption pattern. The love of the French for the cinema is not denied, on the contrary.
The latest James Bond has finally arrived on screens, after a delay of a year and a half. Can a film like that be enough to pull cinema in France upwards?
A little anecdote about this film: it had six release dates in two years, but it’s finally on the screens. The start-up in France is encouraging, in the rest of the world, particularly in England, it has made the biggest historic starts. In France, it’s pretty good. But it’s not a single movie that makes the weather shine in theaters. If we look at what happened in September, before the release of James bond, attendance was driven by four films: two American films Dune and The Legend of Shang-Chi, and then two French films, BAC Nord and Black Box. Cinema is a flow activity. People have to go to the cinema, to go even more to the cinema.
How many tickets for this James Bond?
He made just under 300,000 admissions on his start between Tuesday night’s previews, and then his first day on Wednesday. This is a good number for a James Bond, knowing that he was released at the very beginning of October, the previous two had started a little stronger. But in a context of a much higher market since it was released around the eve of All Saints’ Day and November 11, they are among the strongest dates of the attendance market over the year. So the boot is comparable to a good James Bond boot. And we hope it will last.
And other “unifying” films are expected?
We have an extraordinary program this October because we will indeed have Eiffel next week. The following week there is Illusions lost and Venom, in two very, very different styles. Then we have a movie like The divide, which was presented at Cannes, we have Barbaque so we have a program which is extremely rich and which should be able to satisfy all audiences.