Box office: French cinemas are having their worst month for more than twenty years

Despite the anticipated film releases like The Batman Where Notre Dame is burning the number of admissions has never been so bad in March since 1999.

A record from which French cinema would have done well. With 13.19 million spectators, attendance at French cinemas recorded its lowest level for the month of March since 1999, according to CNC estimates relayed by Le Film Français. Neither the Printemps du Cinéma, which took place this year from March 20 to 22, nor the release of highly anticipated films such as Notre Dame is burning and The Batman, failed to raise the bar.

One bad news augurs another, the cumulative results for the first quarter of 2022 show that the phenomenon is not really a mishap. From January to the end of March, 36.9 million tickets were sold this year, a lower result than in 2020, a year marked by the emergence of covid. At the time, cinemas had been increasingly deserted as concern grew over this mysterious epidemic from China. The cinemas had also been closed on March 14, two days before the announcement of general confinement, depriving the theaters of two weeks of operation. And despite everything, the first quarter of 2020 had recorded 38.3 million admissions, against 36.9 million this year. For comparison, over the same period in 2019, theaters sold 59.1 million tickets.

Among the films which nevertheless pulled out of the game, The Batman, which reached 2.7 million admissions and took the top step of the podium. The French movie Retirement home, which charmed 900,000 spectators after the million admissions in February, is following in its footsteps. Followed byUncharted, which came out in mid-February can be proud of having attracted nearly 900,000 souls.

The rest of the podium shows a more subdued hexagonal cinema. Notre Dame is burning Jean-Jacques Annaud’s shock film, which was expected to be a bulldozer, convinced only half a million spectators over its two weeks of operation in March. Building permit, Maigret and Despite himself superheroes share the following places.


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