How to win back the French audience in theaters?

– CANNES 2022: No fatalities due to the decline in presences in France; digitalization of marketing and dematerialization of ticketing are indications cited by professionals

Magali Valente, director of cinema at the CNC; Aurélien Bosc, CEO of Cinemas Pathé Gaumont; Philippe Martin, producer, Les Films Pelléas; François Clerc, distributor, Apollo Films; Julien Marcel, managing director, Allociné; Christine Beauchemin – Flot, co-president, Syndicate of Art, Essay and Repertoire Cinemas (SCARE) (© Eric Bonté / CNC)

Participants in the CNC’s round table discussion on 23 May at the Cannes Film Festival analyzed the results of the CNC’s study on the “French who are less at the cinema” presented the same morning (see news). Nobody wants to give up in the face of the decline in attendance, which is not simply due to the competition of the platforms’ offer.

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According to Giuliano MarcelDirector General of AlloCiné, “The CNC-Vertigo study presented this morning shows however that more than half of the viewers have returned to the cinema as before the crisis, which is a very encouraging sign. Furthermore, a recent AFCAE study showed that Subscribers to the platform’s offerings consume more cinemas in theaters than non-subscribers. This is another good news. “

Filippo Martino, producer of arthouse films with his company Pelléas and who produced the latest films of Pietro Salvadori and of My Hansen-Amorestates: “I released my first film in 1992 during the wave of the arrival of private film and TV chains. But today the wave of competition from platforms is even stronger. Unlike other producers, I have not created a series department. , I choose to recreate value in auteur cinema. We have to change our working habits for the release of films, put the exhibitor at the center of our release: we have to think differently about provincial tours, about the show in theaters “.

The trailer remains the main source of information for viewers, both seen in cinemas and on the Internet. But as described Francois Clercdistributor at Apollo Films,

“The notoriety index of the films of the week before their release has been decreasing for three years: for the same investment, a distributor has less notoriety for his film. As for tours with the director in the province, I have always organized hundreds of them. recently with Jean-Pierre Ameris Where is it Louis Julien Petit. They are essential. The film Retirement home from Tommaso Gilù brought together 80,000 spectators on provincial tours “.

“There is one area where France is very lagging behind, it is the digitization of online marketing and ticketing,” he points out Giuliano Marcel. Only the Pathé Gaumont circuit is ahead with 70-80% of online ticket sales, while the rest of the halls are more at 15%. The American or German circuits are at 50%. As a joke I often say that the important thing lately is that my mom is on Skype and for her buying a ticket online has become very easy. “

Aurelien BoscCEO of Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, talks about the circuit’s experience in this sector: “We are working on an individualized communication: our viewers create their account and we can set up personal communication, with push notifications on their phone, film proposals adapted to their tastes This new way of communicating with the customer generates a different bond with the distributor and allows to increase ticket sales by 7 to 10% per customer reached digitally. “

Independents have also anticipated this digitization of ticketing and communication. Hence the manufacturer Filippo Martino developed Ariane two years ago: a platform for distributors to analyze audience data and behavior to increase the visibility and attractiveness of films on digital media. “We can test trailers, adapt a digital marketing campaign based on what works or not, understand better the audience present online and therefore the young audience. As a producer of arthouse films, I cannot bear a 30% drop in admissions. on my movies without doing anything! “

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