While the party was in full swing on Croisette, a Twitter operator expressed the plight of his profession in the face of a collapsed cinema audience. They insisted on the vital necessity of enhancing the collective experience of cinema.
“Should we close all our cinemas and come to Cannes? Because frankly eighty admissions a day six halls and eighteen sessions! And we are, symbolically, on May 19, exactly one year after reopening. In short, I feel depressed and alone in the air-conditioned cinema . On May 19, as the Cannes Film Festival was shooting all-cylinders for two days – fireworks galore and the Patrols de France standing in front of Paramount – Périgord operator of the six-screen cinema complex ‘art et d’essai shares its mood on Twitter.
On Monday May 23, he restarted it, comparing two parallel worlds: neglecting part of the profession, which “He lives his best life in Cannes, in a bubble”, And the tenderness of the models who cry alone in the cinemas at their entrances “disastrous”. If he exaggerates the line a little, then Arnaud Vialle undoubtedly expresses the anxiety and fear for the future that he widely shares with his fellow exhibitors and distributors.
It is he who has not missed a festival that has been in Sarlat for twenty years. “Not heart to go to Croisette in such a dramatic context. Anyway, it wasn’t financially feasible”, He adds. He remembers those joyful days when he would discover several films a day with others, in the dark, and would like to have his head in the beauty of cinema, and that alone. But this festival remains a movie-watching franchise bubble, most of which will not exceed fifty thousand views. Let’s be realistic! Economic reality is light years away from the planet Cannes. »
While Croisette was excited about the funny zombie revival Cuts! And the Dirty Laundry of the Desplish family (brother and sister), Arnaud Vialle counted the number of admissions these two films had in Rex. ” At ten screenings, 41 people have come to see Hazanavicius since its release on Wednesday. As for Desplechin, on display since Friday, we’re also at 41 posts, over six sessions this time. It is simply a disaster. »
The deep evil of inflation
When asked about France information, Pierre Lisquiere, former president of the Cannes Film Festival, nevertheless wanted to be reassured: “We have all changed our habits but it will come back. You just have to keep producing and keep producing. “Arnaud Vialle does not believe in that for a moment.” It’s already been a year since reopening and we’re still at -30%, even if we’ve occasionally sailed between -25 and -45%. Not with eight movies a year, the Spider-Man, Doctor Strange where The best, that attendance will rise sustainably again. We’ll be enjoying Tom Cruise’s latest release for three weeks and then, once again, it’s going to be an air hole. »
However, he is not the type to cry wolf at the slightest warning, he is the one who took over the management of the cinema from his father who inherited it himself from his parents, the founders of Rex in 1957. But this time Arnaud Vialli thinks he knows it “ Evil is deep She notes that closing cinemas for seven months due to the health crisis has not helped. “ We could have stayed open with a scale and commitment to wearing a mask… From now on, habits were followed, people ordering on Amazon, watching movies on a stand and eating with Uber Eats… It’s going to be hard. Especially since the platforms haven’t delivered everything yet. »
so what ? The solution recently put forward by Jerome Seydoux, President of Pathé, a “premium” Cinema going in the right direction? In the eyes of Arno Vialli, this is a very bad idea. There is no doubt about turning a popular cultural pastime into class entertainment. ” If I am a worker, I will allow as many people as possible to come to the cinema at prices between 5 and 9 euros. If tomorrow the session is 24 euros, then there will be only cinemas in large cities owned by Pathé, Gaumont and others. In small towns and in rural areas, it can only be managed by municipal councils because independent private parties will not be able to do so. »
Teach the image, a priority
Should we then listen to the arguments of those who refer to the price of a movie ticket, and compare it to the costs of a month’s subscription to Netflix or Disney +? ” A family outing to the movies is the equivalent of a month’s subscription to Netflix, that’s the reality. But tell the distributors that the entry price must be reduced! This means a lower return on their investment… What we must value or risk disappearing is the collective experience of cinema. »
For this, Arnaud Vialle relies on the education of future spectators. “ Young people today take us to the nerds. It is necessary to strengthen and modernize image education systems and to teach children to come to the cinema in groups and discuss films. » He denounced the attempts of CNC (National Center for Film and Motion Picture) to train young moviegoers by creating TikTok and Snapshat accounts. “ This is not how they will affect young people. You have to go to classes, ask teachers in each discipline to go to the cinema once a year, followed by a discussion. »
Another contingency for Arnaud Vialle: making agreements with broadcasters to obtain the right to broadcast in theaters at the start of each season’s episode of a major series or providing event sessions for such a prestigious author’s film produced by the platform. Most recently, Pathé, co-producer of koda American edition of pregnancy family Streaming on Apple TV + and Oscar for Best Picture 2022And He had been granted an exemption to release the film in theaters for forty-eight hours. If the Rex boss realizes he doesn’t have all the solutions – notably to curb the infernal spin of the films on offer – he’s not wrong in his words when it comes to settling their accounts with “talent,” very little solidarity with distributors and exhibitors in turmoil. “ We’re gurgling about Tom Cruise in Cannes but he says it loud and clear: As soon as possible, he takes his hat off and goes to the movies to see the movies. The man is filming his exit in the cinema. Aside from Pierre Nene, who does the job, which actor or actress carries this speech loud and clear in France? I especially see people born thanks to cinema going to sell to Netflix or Amazon…”
Good news, in Cannes, not all film professionals put their heads in a champagne bucket. Most work. Even trying to save cinema in theaters. On Monday 23 May, on Gray d’Albion Beach, CNC collected a number of them to unveil a study demanded by the sector loud and clear: “Why do the French go to the cinema so often? To investigate the causes of the discontent of the spectators, we are already asking the cranes to combat them.” This was then painted during “Focus on Restoration and Regeneration of the Masses”.
The first two reasons given to explain why the audience does not return to the stage are loss of habit and price (given that CSP + are those who developed this element the most). Twenty-three percent of those questioned established a link between lower movie theater attendance and a movie showing that did not match their expectations. Proportionately, young adults returned more quickly than other age groups, with the most frequent frequency being 29-49 year olds. Magali Valenti, Cinema Director at CNC, wants to be confident: “ Remember that the health card expires only on March 14th. It’s very modern! The only month in which no health restrictions were imposed was April, with attendance of -23%, far from disastrous as it was – 45% in January… According to her, the crisis is a combination of several factors, some of which are structural (price, supply, etc.), others are cyclical (wearing a mask, health card, etc.), the responses provided must be short and long-term . Among the other paths: thinking about the presentation and programming, re-evaluating the collective experience in front of the platforms, in particular thanks to the “personalization” of rooms (that is, more comfort for a higher entry ticket), and better viewing of films thanks to digital and data marketing.