1.1 Definition and scope of study
Cinemas are where films are shown. In fact, after production and distribution, a film's exploitation comes down to its screening in cinemas in front of an audience. There are several types of exhibitor, distinguished according to different criteria:
- small-scale or industrial : this criterion depends above all on the number of screens, which creates the difference between single-screen cinemas, miniplexes (several screens) and multiplexes (more than eight screens);
- independent or salaried operator: salaried operators are dependent on the major national and international groups that dominate the market (Gaumont Pathé, UGC, MK2, etc.).
Driven by the production of American blockbusters, but also by Bollywood's high productivity, the global cinema market expanded rapidly until the health crisis of 2020. After reaching a record value of $42.3 billion in 2019, market sales fell by over 72% in 2020. By 2022, this figure had risen to $25.9 billion. The Asia-Pacific region has the largest market share (at 37%), followed by North America (29%). Despite the rise of streaming and video-on-demand platforms, the industry still manages to attract a sizeable audience thanks to innovations that enable an ever more immersive experience. As a result, the number of tickets sold has been rising sharply since 2019 (+87% between 2022 and 2020).
In France, Europe's largest market, cinema has had a strong cultural importance since its beginnings, as evidenced by the number of French pioneers (Étienne-Jules Marey, Émile Reynaud, Louis Lumière among many others). This tradition has endured to the present day, and France is home to one of the world's greatest film festivals: the Cannes Film Festival.
Cinema attendance is still reeling from the health crisis, although the number of screenings has caught up with 2019. The cinema-going population, which refers to the population of people aged three and over who have been to the cinema at least once in the year, is also growing, on the verge of catching up with the average near Covid-19, fluctuating between 65% and 69%. In recent years, French films have been answering the call from American films, which have long been the most widely screened films in France.
Although the number of establishments has remained relatively constant for over a decade, the number of screens is growing strongly, due to the rise of multiplexes, which offer more attractive business models than single-screens and miniplexes. The French landscape is thus experiencing a period of upheaval worthy of the best American movie scripts.
1.2 A heavily affected but fast-growing global market
The global cinema market is still in a state of flux, having experienced a historic drop in **** due to the health crisis. It fell from $**.* billion in ****, a record, to $**.* billion in **** (***) before reaching $**.* billion in ****.
evolution of global cinema market size World, **** - ****, in $ billions Source: ****
The global box office ...
1.3 France, Europe's leading market
After two years marked by a sharp drop in revenues, these finally topped the billion euro mark in ****, but have still not exceeded **** figures.
Box-office receipts for cinemas in France France, **** - ****, in current €M Source: ****
The decline observed in **** is mainly due to the health restrictions of the first quarter ...
1.4 Theatrical market hit by COVID-19 crisis
Between temporary cinema closures, reduced capacity and the implementation of strict sanitary protocols, French cinemas had a difficult year in ****. Indeed, the Covid-** crisis left its mark on ****, particularly as far as the cinema market was concerned: a total of *** days of closures were recorded throughout the year.
As can be ...
2.1 Cinema attendance still reeling from the health crisis
A large part of producers' income depends on revenues from films shown in cinemas (***), so cinema attendance is a major determinant of producers' business.
Attendance at French cinemas fell by **.*% in ****, to just **.* million admissions, compared with over *** million admissions in ****. The year **** was also marked by very low attendance, but ...
2.2 A mostly occasional and increasingly numerous audience
The cinema-going population is defined as all individuals aged three and over who went to the cinema at least once during the year. Regular movie-goers are defined as those who go at least once a week, regular movie-goers as those who go at least once a month (***).
Structure of cinema-going public France, ...
2.3 A predominantly older, female and inactive film-going population
Demographically speaking, seniors (***) still account for the majority of cinema-goers, with **.*% of admissions.
French cinema attendance by age group France, ****, in Source: ****
However, if we compare these figures with the shares of these age groups in the French population, we see that * - ** year-olds and ** - ** year-olds are over-represented in ...
2.4 French films steal the show from American films
In France, the majority of films shown in cinemas are French or American, and have been for a long time. American films are generally more widely distributed than French ones, but this is not always the case. For example, in **** and ****, French films were shown more than American films.
Films shown ...
3.1 Market structure diagram
3.2 More and more screens in France, but a relatively constant number of cinemas
The number of active screens in France has risen steadily in recent years. Indeed, as we can see from the following graph, the number of screens rose from *,*** in **** to *,*** in ****, an increase of **%. The increase slowed in **** due to the health crisis, but did not stop there (***). The increase then ...
3.3 The decline of single-screen cinemas and the breakthrough of multiplexes
Small cinemas are still in the majority in France, even if the trend is downward. As can be seen from the graphs below, single-screen cinemas will still account for **.*% of the total number of screens in ****. However, the share of establishments with fewer than * screens is tending to decline inexorably, to ...
3.4 Public funding
The CNC is a key player in the French film and audiovisual landscape, and is also involved in financing these sectors through grants. In ****, the CNC disbursed ***.* million euros in support. The breakdown by sector was as follows.
Breakdown of CNC support by sector France, ****, in Source: ****
Cinema therefore benefited most ...
4.1 The rise of mutliplexes in France
According to the CNC definition, a multiplex must have at least eight screens. Today, multiplexes account for almost **% of the total number of cinemas. As shown in the graph below, the number of multiplexes in France has risen from *** in **** to *** in **** (***).
Number of multiplexes in France France, **** - ****, in number ...
4.2 Steadily rising prices
Changes in average ticket prices contribute to fluctuations in box office receipts. Prices vary according to the category of establishment (***), as well as according to programming and broadcasting mode. Generally speaking, the average price of a cinema ticket has been rising for many years.
average box office per cinema admission France, ...
4.3 Innovation at the heart of cinema offerings
To face up to the new competition from streaming platforms and on-demand cinema offerings, cinemas are having to renew their offer. As a result, cinemas are modernizing with the aim of renewing the customer and movie-goer experience, integrating *D, for example. *D technology has been widely used in cinemas since the ...
4.4 Pathé Gaumont, France's largest cinema exhibitor
Pathé Gaumont! is the leading cinema operator in mainland France, with a total of ** locations across the country, followed by CGR with ** and UGC with **. They are followed by CGR, with ** locations, and UGC, with **. The exhibitors shown in the chart below are those with more than *% of box-office receipts in ...
5.1 The CNC's leading role in the industry's supervision
CNC's role in the industry :
The Centre National de la Cinématographie was created in ****. Its role is to manage the State's financial support for the film industry. Among the CNC's most important prerogatives are [***]:
support for film production and distribution; creation and modernization of movie the aters ; production of programs ...
5.2 Regulations governing the activities of movie theaters: the Code de cinéma et de l'image animée (French Code of Cinema and Moving Images)
The CNC also establishes a legal framework for the activity of movie theaters. In addition, the French Code de cinéma et de l'image animée provides a precise regulatory framework for movie theaters. The following list of regulations is not intended to be exhaustive, as they cover a very broad ...
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