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MK2 joins cheap pic pass ranks

Exhib conforms to keep up with competish

PARIS — French exhibitor MK2 has joined the ranks of UGC, Pathe and Gaumont and will launch a cheap cinema pass in September.

“We can’t let ourselves be crushed by UGC, otherwise we will disappear,” Marin Karmitz, head of MK2 told the French daily L’Express.

Karmitz would not reveal what his strategy would be, but said that it would be “a better deal” than the UGC “carte illimitee,” a monthly cinema pass that allows moviegoers to see as many films as they want for $14.

Gaumont and Pathe offer the same pass, but only in the Atlantic coastal town of Nantes, site of stiff competition among France’s three leading exhibs.

The French Culture Ministry and the Competition Council are looking into the passes, which indie exhibitors believe will put them out of business. There are also concerns that the passes may upset the funding of French cinema production, which gets a percentage of every ticket sold.

MK2 has 44 screens in Paris.

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