×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ticket turbulence

Legislation seeks to limit French cinema passes

PARIS — French indie exhibs and arthouses, directors and producers are crying victory over new legislation to restrict the unlimited-entry cinema passes that have taken France by storm.

The new rule, added to a bill in the lower house of parliament Wednesday, requires a price to be set for each cinema entry. This means authorities can calculate the percentage of ticket intake plowed back into the industry under French law.

It also forces large exhibitors, who introduced the $14-a-month cards last March, to open up the passes to small exhibitors and guarantee them a cut of the take.

The Assn. of Directors & Producers (ARP) and the French Assn. of Art Houses (AFCAE) said the move “maintains balance among exhibitors and guarantees creative diversity.”

UGC was the first to introduce the carte illimitee, followed by Gaumont, MK2 and Pathe. Moviegoers have snapped up 200,000 of them since March.

Film industry upset

But the French film industry has been up in arms, fearing the passes would upset the complex funding of French cinema production and end the arthouse as they know it.

Patrick Brouiller, president of the arthouse org, told Daily Variety that if the new bill meant the end of the cards, “so much the better.”

“How can the French claim that cinema is a cultural exception, that cannot be sold like soapsuds, and then allow these cards, which sell films like unlimited consumer merchandise? Even the Americans, who are the ultimate free-marketeers, never dared go so far,” he said.

The major exhibitors have refused to comment on the bill.

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at the The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

  • US actor Donald Sutherland attends the

    Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Grace Lumière Festival Opening

    LYON  — The 11th Lumière Festival in Lyon, France, opened on Saturday with a celebration of its 10-year anniversary, a tribute to past Lumière Award recipients, and rousing standing ovations for Frances McDormand and Donald Sutherland, who are among the high-profile actors and filmmakers being feted this year. Dedicated to heritage cinema, the festival was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content