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The 2016 Cinema Year : The keys to success


A very good year in terms of entries, 2016 was also very good in terms of viewer numbers: 41.5 million people, namely 1.5 million more than the previous year, went to see films released in cinemas last year. “The power of cinema cannot be denied and is a result of a combination of factors that attract ever more viewers. In our study, we analyse all the elements that make cinema an increasingly dynamic medium”, declares Marine Boulanger, Director of the Médiamétrie Cinema Division. 

The 2016 Cinema Year : The keys to success

Cinema viewers: larger in number, younger and more connected

Attracted by a cinema programme that offers a wealth of cartoons, science fiction, action or comedy movies, occasional viewers1, which, in particular, includes families, have never been seen so present in cinemas. In 2016, they represented 68% of the past 12 months’ cinema viewers, namely 28.3 million people in France. Furthermore, they count for 30.4% of entries for the year, a high percentage which confirms the dynamism of the cinema medium.

2016 films also won over regular cinema viewers2, which constituted 32% of the past 12 months’ viewers. This public of film lovers is varied, comprising people from 50 years and over, 15 to 24 year olds and students, population groups which it is particularly important to encourage.

In general, cinema goers are younger, more Parisian and of a higher SPG than the overall population. These viewers are particularly keen on new technologies. They are multi-connected and are fans of content. Thus, 64% of 15-24 year old cinema viewers use replay every month and 59% of them consult streamed content.

Loyal viewers satisfied with their cinema

Regular and occasional viewers are particularly satisfied with their cinema which, on average, they rate at 7.6 out of 10 (7.8 for the under 15-year-olds). A result which reflects viewers’ attachment to the medium.

In addition to appreciating their cinema, viewers are loyal to it: 66% of them only use one establishment in the year.

The Parisian viewer tends to use more establishments in the year than the overall population (2.8 compared to 1.7). Greater cinema goers than average, they continue to follow this activity when they are travelling in other regions or in the suburbs.

The keys to success in cinemas: the story, the actors, the trailer, etc.

In order to attract viewers to cinemas, it is important, first of all, to make the films known. The reputation of films is a result of a clever combination that calls upon all types of media in order to inform the largest number of viewers.

Cinemas themselves are the first place where viewers can discover forthcoming releases via trailers and promotional supports (posters, flyers, magazines, etc.). Two other media provide a powerful support for cinemas when it comes to informing the public about forthcoming films: the Internet and Television. Internet, with its specialist sites and the power of social networks which play a recommendation role, especially among Millennials. Television, with studio shows. in the broadest sense of the term. which broadcast extracts or hosts one of a film’s actors, are particularly effective at reaching occasional viewers.

Once informed, viewers can decide to go to the cinema. What are their main motivations for choosing a film?

In 2016, the eclectic selection of films won over audiences: viewers gave an average satisfaction score of 76% to the films of the year. Among the top of the list of their favourite feature films is the winner of the Palme d’Or of the 2016 Cannes Festival I, Daniel Blake (95%), Zootopia (94%), the Disney animation film, and the French comedy Demain tout commence (90%). Hits which can be explained, among other things by a combination of several factors that attracted viewers to cinemas: a privileged genre, a fascinating story, a premium cast and an attractive trailer. 


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