The French have confirmed their return to cinemas in 2023

The French have confirmed their return to cinemas in 2023


Thanks to Super Mario Bros. Movie , Barbie and Avatar. The Way of the Water, the three films which attracted more than 5 million spectators in 2023 and thus strengthened the great return of the French to the cinema. According to the National Center for Cinema and Animated Images (CNC), attendance reached 180.76 million admissions in 2023, an increase of 18.9% compared to 2022. That is to say a shift of only 13% per year. compared to the historically high average of the pre-Covid-19 years from 2017 to 2019. This result “confirms the powerful dynamic initiated in 2022” , welcomed Dominique Boutonnat, president of the CNC, on Tuesday January 2.

French cinema recorded a very good level of market share, of 39.8% (American films reached 41.3%, and other nationalities 18.9%). According to the CNC, the recovery “is based on an incomparable diversity of film offerings” , as evidenced by the French success of Asterix and Obelix. The Middle Kingdom (4.45 million admissions), 2 (4.18 million), the two parts of The Three Musketeers (almost 5 million cumulative) and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival , Anatomy of a Fall (1.2 million), and The Animal Kingdom (1 million), but also, for American feature films, Oppenheimer , by Christopher Nolan (4.39 million), and Killers of the Flower Moon , by Martin Scorsese (1.26 million, according to Comscore), or even the Japanese animated film The Boy and the Heron , by Hayao Miyazaki (1.54 million, according to Comscore).

Which underlines “how curious and eclectic the French public is” , notes the president of the CNC. The year 2023 also saw its share of failures, like Life for Real , with Dany Boon, or the latest films by Woody Allen or Luc Besson. Ultimately, according to the Comscore analysis institute, the top 30 included 23 American films, 6 French and 1 Japanese.

In 2023, attendance experienced constant growth at the start of the year, and the summer was driven by the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, but the start of the school year in September and the end of the year proved more difficult due in particular to, according to the CNC, from the Rugby World Cup competition. The CNC did not note a link between the bedbug psychosis in the fall – which affected a handful of theaters, especially in Paris – and the drop in attendance at the end of the year. Marc-Olivier Sebbag, general delegate of the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF), also did not identify any “bug effect” on entries. “The exceptional weather and the postponement of a major American film expected in October, Dune 2, by Denis Villeneuve, had a much greater impact,” he says.

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