July 4, 2022

Covid-19: in the cinema, the ban on popcorn is not so anecdotal

COVID-19 – On social networks, the announcement made some smile, relieved to no longer hear their chair neighbor chewing loudly. However, for cinemas, the ban on the sale of drinks and sweets will have significant consequences on turnover.

This Monday, December 27, Jean Castex and Olivier Véran announced a new series of measures aimed at limiting the 5th wave of the coronavirus epidemic and the spread of the Omicron variant. If the consumption of drinks and food in bars and restaurants will no longer be done standing, but imperatively seated, it will be completely “prohibited in all cinemas, theaters, sports facilities and public transport, including long distance. ”, Indicated the Prime Minister during a press conference in Matignon.

16% of cinema turnover

No more selling popcorn, chocolate bars, candies and other sodas in movie theaters. If this prohibition is obviously less onerous than a complete closure of the screening places, it remains that it is not anecdotal for all that. We know that around 1 in 2 French spectators buy food or drink during their cinema screening. And according to a CNC study in 2014, the sale of confectionery and drinks represents 16% of the turnover of cinemas.

“We only earn 30% on the sale price of cinema tickets. Popcorn is the consolation prize for operators. If there were no confectionery, a third of cinemas in France would undoubtedly close their doors ”, argued Rod Assous, owner of the independent cinema L’Élysée in Chantilly, at Parisian in a survey of popcorn, the “movie theater cash machine”.

On May 19, when the places of cultivation were reopened after exiting the confinement, the same decision to ban the confectionery was taken. “There is no reason for there to be double standards between the standards imposed on restaurants”, had justified Roselyne Bachelot when restaurants could only serve their customers in outdoor terraces.

“Normal” attendance for Christmas

If the exhibitors will have to ignore these revenues from Monday, January 3, 2022 and for a period of three weeks, the attendance of the Christmas holidays was on the other hand satisfactory. Spider-Man: No Way Home has already gathered 4 million people and “a lot of films are doing well” assures Richard Patry, president of the National Federation of Cinemas of France, to FranceInfo.

“The last two weeks that we have just gone through, we are like 2019, that is to say that we have returned to normal”, blows the boss of several cinemas in Normandy. “But this is not the case if we take the average since the reopening, we are around -25%.”

If cinemas are going to be able to keep their doors open, with the upcoming releases of Belle, The King’s Man: Première mission Where Waiting for BoJangles, the entertainment world has to face new cancellations. Among the other measures that will come into force on Monday, January 3, Jean Castex announced the ban on standing concerts as well as a gauge of 2,000 people for indoor gatherings.

The Orelsan tour, which was to start on January 15 at the Zénith in Caen, will be partly canceled. ”“ It is impossible to postpone so we will cancel again. Orelsan will be forced to cancel the start of his tour, at least until January 25, ”has already announced Live Nation France general manager on RMC, Angelo Gopée. And the wave of cancellations is expected to continue.

See also on The HuffPost: Teleworking, gauges, vaccine pass … Jean Castex’s announcements regarding the Omicron variant