After a long dry spell, France’s cinema operators see some light on the horizon again. The reason is the currently published visitor numbers for 2022 – 152 million tickets were sold, which is still about a quarter less than pre-Corona times.
However, the upswing is palpable, even if a large part of it is related to the theatrical release of ‘Avatar 2.’ With 6.9 million viewers, the science fiction spectacle was the most-watched film of 2022 in France.”
This is the experience offered by premium cinemas like the CSR chain in Paris. David Baudry, the program director, proudly praises the new technology that immerses viewers in the movie. ‘Thanks to the additional side panels, the viewer’s peripheral vision is stimulated. For example, when you drive a car, you don’t always look left and right, but you still notice what could be going on there. It works the same way here.’ In order to win back the hearts of the viewers, new ideas like this are required.”
Other cinemas, such as the Méliès in Montreuil near Paris, rely on variety and quality in their film selection to attract viewers. From blockbusters to auteur films, there is something for every taste and at friendly prices – the normal cinema ticket costs 6 euros, while reduced tickets are available for 4 euros. This has convinced many film fans.
Stéphane Goudet, the cinema’s artistic director, marvels at the success of the project: ‘The project, launched 7 years ago, was to ask: what happens if we gather the average population and all the best films of the year in one place? And the very positive surprise is that we just had the third best year in our history.
2022 was the first year since the outbreak of the Corona virus that no cinema halls had to be closed for health reasons. Experts from the French state film promotion authority CNC cautiously describe 2022 as a transitional year that gives hope for new heights in the future. Hopefully, this success will not rely solely on American blockbusters…”