French gov’t curbs exhib pass

Pols force indies in

PARIS — The government will rein in the massively successful all-you-can-see cinema passes in a controversial move sure to anger France’s leading exhibs.

French Parliament voted Wednesday to change the law to force UGC, Gaumont and MK2 to include indie exhibitors in the scheme and guarantee them a fixed revenue on every admission using a cinema pass.

More than 200,000 passes have been sold since UGC launched its Carte Illimite in March 2000, and Gaumont and MK2 launched their Le Pass six months later, drastically cutting the price of multiple admissions.

Indie exhibitors complained that the passes would put them out of business and destroy France’s unique subsidy system, by which a percentage of each ticket sold is plowed back into the film industry.

Pascal Rogard, head of the authors, directors and producers association ARP is delighted.

“We have been fighting for this for over a year,” he said, “it is a great victory.”

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