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You are here: HomeMoviePress releases › The 2017 Cinema Year in France : Audiences set the Tone
The 2017 Cinema Year in France : Audiences set the Tone


With a total of 41.8 million moviegoers in France, the 2017 cinema year drew in an additional 300,000 individuals, in spite of a slight drop in admissions when compared to 2016. This was no mean feat during a film year that noticeably lacked the big hit comedies seen in 2016. Clearly, the robustness of other film genres had compensated, with drama, fantasy and science-fiction films leading the way.

“The appeal of the cinema remains very dynamic, the result of a combination of factors that attract increasing numbers of viewers. The audience in 2017 was, however, different from previous years: they visited more occasionally and were increasingly targeted and tempted by new usages such as SVOD. The industry takes these new behaviours into account when promoting films in order to achieve a bigger box office,” said Marine Boulanger, Director of Cinema & Entertainment at Médiamétrie.


Film audiences are attending less often and are getting slightly younger

The average cinema-goer age is 38.6 years, making cinema the youngest of all media. Although slightly more French people went to the movies in 2017, they were less devoted.

Cinema-goers attended on an increasingly occasional basis: in 2017, 69.4% of French people said that they went to the cinema at least once a year, which was 1.4% higher than in the year before. Moreover, these occasional viewers1 accounted for 31.6% of admissions in 2017 – representing almost 3% growth in 3 years – and surpassed even the most devoted attenders2 in box office admissions (32% compared to 21%).

In addition, 13.8% of these occasional viewers were young people aged 15 to 24,which was 6% more than the previous year.

These large audiences continued to rate their usual cinema as highly satisfactory: 7.7 out of 10 in 2017, compared to 7.6 in 2016. Newer cinemas (built in the last 5 years) achieved the best scores, with an average of 8.1 out of 10. Such results once again reflect the commitment of moviegoers and also reward the efforts by cinema operators to foster this commitment.

Cinema-goers own multiple devices and subscriptions, follow content and are fans of SVOD

Users of multiple connectible devices and fans of content, cinema audiences are more likely than the population as a whole to adopt new technologies and be fans of film in all its guises. On average, they own more tablet devices, subscribe to Netflix more and use catch-up services more.

These viewers are very likely to use SVOD (subscription video on demand): 23.2% use SVOD, compared to 20% of the population as a whole. Furthermore, of those regular cinema-goers who have still to try SVOD, 10% said they intend to sign up to a service, i.e. 4% more likely than the population as a whole.

Another notable statistic attesting to the success of SVOD was that among occasional cinema-goers in particular, nearly a quarter (24%) said they visited the cinema less frequently since becoming SVOD users. This figure was 17% for movie audiences as a whole.

 Tell them and they will come ...

Out of almost 42 million cinema-goers in 2017, only 7.5 million had heard of a film one week prior to its release. And among informed moviegoers, 36% intended to go see it. To bring audiences into the cinema, therefore, it seems crucial to promote public awareness of films ahead of their release date. To this end, all media have a role in informing and attracting the maximum audience.

In 2017, the internet became the most powerful influencer for the first time. Given its specialist websites and the power of social networks, this media reached an average of 2.2 million spectators one week before the film’s general release. Next came TV, with studio recorded shows airing clips as well as hosting the film’s main characters. This year, cinema screens were ranked in 3rd place: the power of the trailer lies in revealing upcoming releases as well as appealing to an informed audience.

These rankings vary depending on the type of movie. Although the internet was essential for promoting American movies, TV was the preferred information medium to introduce French films. As regards promotion in the movie theatre itself, this appealed most to devotees of the cinema.

Similarly, the Internet was by far the preferred media for action and science-fiction movies, whereas animation films could rely on the effectiveness of the cinema and the film poster to increase awareness and boost box office.

… and hit films will be guaranteed

Once again in 2017, the film offer were an audience winner: on average, viewers rated their satisfaction as 7.6 out of 10. The top ten feature length films included: See You Up There (8.5) and Lion (8.5), both book adaptations, the first from the title of the same name, and the second based on an autobiography. Women were the stars of historical fiction Hidden Figures (8.5). Also receiving high praise with a score of 8.5 was dramatic comedy Patients, directed by Grand Corps Malade. Finally, the top score (8.6) went to Coco, the Pixar Studios (Disney) feature length animation about memory and transmission.

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