July 7, 2022

“The new film with James Bond must prove that the future of cinema is in the cinema”

Eric Marti, managing director of the Comscore design office, analyzes the re-entry into theaters and the cinema market.

Has theater attendance since mid-May penalized auteur films?

I will not be so categorical. The 2020 and 2021 schedules were very atypical due to the Covid-19 pandemic. First of all, the phenomenon of the film “wall”, which had been so dreaded, did not take place. Every week between fifteen and twenty films (excluding covers) have been shown since the theaters reopened on May 19. And, since the Cannes Film Festival was held in July, we had ambitious arthouse films in the middle of summer, which revived arthouse during this period.

The market share of arthouse films has reached almost 21% over the past four months, compared to 22% over the same period of 2019. We have demonstrated in vivo that there can be auteur cinema in the summer , the public exists.

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Even though there have been a lot of disappointed hopes, we cannot speak of a collapse. Distributors ofAnnette of Leos Carax (UGC) or of Titanium by Julia Ducournau (Diaphana) could legitimately hope for 500,000 admissions but only reached 350,000. Films that came out before July 21 have a double penalty with the implementation of the health pass. Despite everything, since mid-May, some films have had a successful career such as The Father the Florian Zeller, Nomadland by Chloé Zhao or The Two Alfreds by Bruno Podalydès. Today, passing the bar of 500,000 admissions is already very good. We are no longer in the 1970s when it was enough to put Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo on the bill of Borsalino by Jacques Deray to exceed 1.9 million spectators in five weeks …

Is there a very strong polarization between the very big films and the others?

Contrary to popular belief, I believe that if a market is concentrated around a few films that together achieve 50% market share, all the others benefit. Dune, of Denis Villeneuve, obtained a 38% market share in the first week and with Black Box de Yann Gozlan, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings by Destin Daniel Cretton (Marvel Studios) and BAC North by Cédric Jimenez who continue a successful career, these four films are currently a real driving force, in different genres. On the other hand, if seven or eight films shared 50%, the market would be weakened.

Since the reopening of theaters, there have been twelve films which have achieved more than a million spectators in theaters, including four French films: Kaamelott, Alexandre Astier (2.6 million), followed by BAC North (1,8 million), OSS 117: Red alert in black Africa by Nicolas Bedos (1.6 million) and Goodbye idiots by Albert Dupontel (released after its launch on October 21, 2020). American films – which did not exist last year – have resumed their usual place thanks to the success of Dune (1,7 million), Fast and Furious 9 by Justin Lin, Cruella de Craig Gillespie, Black Widow by Cate Shortland, Conjuring 3: Under the Devil’s Empire by Michael Chaves, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Paw Patrol of Cal Brunker et The Croods 2: a new era the Joel Crowford.

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