Cinema crisis: "If you lower the price of tickets, we will no longer have the possibility of investing", warns the president of the National Federation of French Cinemas

Cinema crisis: “If you lower the price of tickets, we will no longer have the possibility of investing”, warns the president of the National Federation of French Cinemas

The movie theater “it is cheap”, assures Richard Patry, president of the National Federation of French Cinemas as the Film Festival began on Sunday July 3 until Wednesday July 6. For a single price of 4 euros, spectators will be able to enjoy the latest theatrical releases. In the midst of depression, the sector hopes to revive cinema attendance, which has been at half mast since the Covid-19 crisis. 20 to 30% of spectators have not returned to dark rooms, depending on the profession. The price of seats is not in question, assures Richard Patry: “Find me a theater ticket for less than 7 euros. Go to the opera for less than 7 euros”he replies. “If you lower the price of tickets, we will no longer be able to invest” and of “build the world’s first cinema park”he said.

franceinfo: Have you quantified the number of spectators who did not return to the cinema?

Richard Patry: We are missing some of our viewers. The numbers prove it. We are missing between 25% and 30% of the spectators who have not yet returned to the cinema. So if we take the glass half full and if we are optimistic, we think it’s great. If we compare to other countries in the world, it’s great. Spain is at minus 50%, Italy minus 70%. So for us, that we are at 25-30% less, it’s already a miracle. But it is true that we would like to find our spectators and that the French are returning massively to cinemas.

How to go up the slope?

People have changed their habits because of the Covid crisis. Maybe it had already started before, we must not hide it. It is also the massive arrival of platforms. With the Covid crisis, people were told: “Stay at home! The cinema can be dangerous”. And then habits change. Some of our viewers struggled to come back. And those who came back come a little less because there are also economic problems. Indeed, you always have the impression that the cinema is expensive, whereas it is not expensive.

A cinema ticket can go up to 15 euros. For an equivalent sum, we have an entire catalog of films online. It’s not too expensive, do you think?

Studies say that indeed, some people think cinema tickets are too expensive. People who think movie tickets are too expensive are the ones who don’t go. Those who go to the cinema absolutely do not mention the reason of the price as a brake. The average price is 7.05 euros. The 15 euros you are talking about is the full price. Less than 19% of people pay this full price. This means that 81% of spectators pay less than full price. If you look objectively, for a movie that cost millions, what gives you that much for two hours in exceptional viewing conditions?

“Go to the Foire du Trône with 7 euros, you’ll see how long you’ll last. Find me a theater ticket for less than 7 euros. Go to the opera for less than 7 euros.”

Richard Patry

at franceinfo

So you’re not going to lower your prices?

If you go down, you no longer have the means to build the first cinema park in the world. France undoubtedly has the most beautiful cinema park in the world. If you lower the price of places, we will no longer have the possibility of investing. Today, we can clearly see that the 75% of spectators who have returned to theaters are expecting welcoming, modern places, since they want the experience to be exceptional. They want to see films that also cost a lot of money to produce. I do not think that the solution is in the price of the places, not only.

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