LOIC VENANCE via AFP
CINEMA – We have long believed that it was the fault of the fear of the Covid and that this bad patch was going to stop. But more than a year after the end of the confinements and the reopening of the cinemas, the rooms have by far not regained their attendance of the “world before”. A Yougov poll conducted for The HuffPost at the beginning of July is trying to understand the reasons.
43% of French people surveyed say they have not gone to the cinema since May 2021, the month which marked the lifting of restrictions in places of culture. If the youngest (18-24 years old) are those who have returned the most to dark rooms, the proportion of those who shun them exceeds 50% among those over 55 years old.
A recent report by the CNC (National Center for Cinematography) goes in the same direction: between January and June 2022, theaters only totaled 72.95 million admissions, or 30.6% less than over the same period. of 2019. And this drop is more or less similar when compared to the 2017-2019 average.
“Seats are too expensive”
Last fall, the professionals we interviewed still wanted to be confident, impatiently awaiting Christmas and the end-of-year holidays. At the beginning of the year, they pushed back their hopes in the spring with the release of the big blockbusters Doctor Strange, Top Gun Where Jurassic Park. If these last two examples recorded more than 2 million admissions in June, the fact remains that we are now halfway through the year and the finding is still the same: cinemas have lost nearly a third of their attendance.
In our survey carried out by Yougov, 38% of French people confirm that they have changed their habits since the Covid crisis, going less or not at all to the cinema. Movies, it is now on television that they prefer to watch them for 38% of them – a proportion which is around 50% for those over 55 years old. Another third (32%) opt for one (or more) streaming platforms instead. Only a quarter of respondents choose cinema as their preferred medium for watching a film.
Asked about the reasons for this lack of interest in cinemas, the majority (57%) mention “places [qui] are too expensive” regardless of their age group, region or CSP. At a time when purchasing power is more than ever the main concern of households, sometimes spending more than ten euros for a cinema ticket is a major obstacle. Like an echo, the 4-euro screenings of the Film Festival organized from July 3 to 6 attracted large numbers, with a peak of more than a million spectators in theaters on Wednesday alone.
Comedies are still popular
In addition to overpriced seats, French people who leave cinemas cite as a second reason the fact that they “watch films differently” – including on television or on streaming platforms while Netflix has just announced that it has passed the bar of 10 million subscribers in France.
Third is programming that doesn’t appeal to them. If the CNC counts as many films in theaters each week in 2022 as before the crisis, spectators do not seem to find their happiness there. “When you go to the cinema, what genre(s) of film do you usually watch?”, they were asked. Comedies, they answer at 53%. Next come detective films (38%) and animated films (29%) ahead of blockbusters or auteur films. “The offer is not in phase with what the spectators expect. They want lightness. They don’t want films about facts of society”, outlines the boss of a cinema in the Dordogne in an article by BFM who wonders “why cinema no longer attracts the public in theaters”.
At the dawn of summer and school holidays, the family Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru has just signed the best start of the year, ahead of Jurassic dinosaurs and Tom Cruise’s supersonic planes in Top Gun. Enough to regain hope? Next will come the blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder this Wednesday, July 13, the adaptation of the animated series Miraculousthe most popular manga One Piece or the delightful action movie Bullet Train worn by Brad Pitt in what is shaping up to be the last chance summer for cinemas.
Survey carried out on 1032 people representative of the French national population aged 18 and over, according to the quota method, from July 8 to 11, 2022. In partnership with:
See also on The HuffPost: For or against Netflix in Cannes? Festival-goers are still divided