To analyse. Is the “definitive and lasting” return of the spectator to the cinema, this beloved being of French cinema, finally recorded? The spirit of the times has changed: the deadly refrain “people don’t go to the cinema anymore” sung at the beginning of autumn is no longer appropriate.
After a difficult return to school, and a more than confusing month of September (only 7.38 million admissions), spectators have found their way back to theaters since the end of October (more than 14 million admissions). The recovery consolidated in November and the year 2022 could end with a total number of admissions close to 150 million – against around 200 million at the end of the 2010s, 2019 having been exceptional with 213 million admissions. Countries like Spain, Italy, England or Germany are experiencing much more worrying declines in attendance.
We have never scrutinized the figures so much, like nurses at the bedside of the patient, drawing the temperature curve at the foot of the bed. At present, professionals are trying to prepare for the future, which does not look easy. To survive, theaters must be able to offer a wide variety of works, from art and essay films, even research, to entertainment, and it is these big productions (especially American) that were lacking the day after the reopening. cinemas in France, on May 19, 2021, after more than three hundred days of closure due to a pandemic. The lack of blockbusters is one of the reasons why multiplexes are suffering more than independent cinemas.
In France, in 2022, cinema in theaters will have experienced ups and downs, but in the end the virtuous cycle of the ecosystem has taken over, with a variety of feature films achieving good scores: a few auteur films, The Night of 12by Dominik Moll, See Paris againby Alice Winocour, or even the innocent, by Louis Garrel, works for the general public such as Novemberby Cédric Jimenez, and simone ; The journey of the century of Olivier Dahan, finally some mastodons such Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise (over 6 million admissions). Not to mentionAvatar. the way of the water, by James Cameron, in theaters since December 14.
It is therefore necessary to chase away some untruths. To claim that the viewer has become lazy since the pandemic, jumping from one platform to another from their couch, is obviously reductive. The reality is more complex, you can be a movie buff in front of your computer because you have discovered a nugget that is not accessible otherwise. Social networks have thus become a place for sharing rare works. We can appreciate the immediacy of the platform (and its lower cost), while remaining attached to one or more rooms, whose programming we appreciate.
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