Consolidating the return of spectators to cinemas after the pandemic is the mantra of French exhibitors. France is certainly one of the territories where the recovery in attendance is the best. With 180.76 million admissions in 2023, it shows a gap of only 13.1% compared to the historically high average for the years 2017 to 2019. And, in January, according to the National Center for Cinema and Image animated, the decline slowed down to -8.6% compared to the same month of 2023. However, the shortage of American blockbusters linked to the scale of the writers’ and actors’ strike in 2023 in Hollywood risks penalizing theaters around the world.
Taking advantage of the decree of October 27, 2023, which relaxes the conditions for the evolution of unlimited cards, UGC, which played the pioneer by launching the first unlimited card in France, on March 29, 2000 – at the time when you had to pay 98 francs per month over twelve months – announced, Wednesday February 7, four new offers.
It will thus market UGC Unlimited Weekend, unlimited cinema from Monday to Friday, as well as UGC Unlimited Weekend, valid from Friday to Sunday. Two subscriptions which “adapt to the pace of life of our spectators” , underlines the group, but above all offered at a price of less than 20 euros per month.
Another target, those who go to the cinema in groups, in a group or with their children: for 49.90 euros per month, UGC Famille will allow you to invite up to three people to each screening. Furthermore, for opera and cinema lovers, UGC Illimité/Viva l’opéra! will provide access to films and Viva l’opéra! unlimited for 34.90 euros per month. Finally, it will be possible to benefit from the UGC Unlimited – 26 year old subscription coupled with the Canal+ – 26 year old offer for less than 26 euros per month.
Alongside these new features, UGC is increasing the price of its current subscription plans by 2 euros per month, but they now include an accompanying price of 8 euros for subscribers. The UGC Unlimited Duo card increases by 3.10 euros to 39.90 euros. For all, the initial commitment period is reduced to six months.
According to Brigitte Maccioni, CEO of the UGC group, “encouraging the curiosity of spectators by exposing the full diversity of films is at the heart of the ambition of our company” . Bruno Lasserre’s report, “Cinema and regulation”, submitted in April 2023 to Bercy and Rue de Valois, highlighted the extent to which unlimited cards help to boost theater attendance. “Subscription allows you to take more risks, to see more more fragile films,” explained the former vice-president of the Council of State, soon to be tried, moreover, for complicity in moral harassment. At UGC, which owns 521 theaters in France and 74 in Belgium, spectators with an unlimited card represent by far the main contingent of the public, while those who pay the full price (14.90 euros) constitute less than 20%. spectators.