You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nice Truck Attack Has Minimal Effect on French Moviegoers

French moviegoers outside of Nice weren’t as affected by the devastating truck attack there Thursday as they were after last November’s terrorist bombings and shootings in Paris, which caused a drop in theater attendance.

While many theaters in Nice were shuttered after the massacre, box office held relatively steady in the rest of France, edging up 0.7% for the five days of Wednesday to Sunday, July 13-17, compared to the same weekend in 2015, according to figures from Comscore France.

The Nice attack possibly hasn’t had the same kind of impact on moviegoing in France because it occurred outdoors, unlike the targeting last November of Paris’ Bataclan theater, a prime cultural venue. Dozens of people were shot to death inside the Bataclan, and cinema attendance plunged for two weeks in Paris and its suburbs, said Marc-Olivier Sebbag, managing director of the Fncf, France’s national exhibitors association.

Now, however, new security measures such as metal detectors and bag searches at theaters have made them perceived as a safe place for entertainment, Sebbag said.

“I think people have realized we were at war and will be in a state of emergency for a while, so they’ve determined to continue their lives as freely as they can, even if they are being much more cautious,” Jocelyn Bouyssy, director of French multiplex chain CGR, told Variety on Saturday.

The main impact on moviegoing in France was in Nice itself, where some cinemas closed after the attack. Attendance on Friday night at the theaters that did stay open was 50%-80% down from Thursday.

“We’ve seen that box office is often affected in the region where an attack takes place rather than in the whole of France,” Sebbag said.

Meanwhile, French cinema circuits are pulling “Bastille Day” indefinitely, complying with distributor Studiocanal’s request over the weekend. The Idris Elba thriller, which was released in France last Wednesday, is about a bomb attack in Paris. Gaumont-Pathe, France’s biggest exhibition group, removed “Bastille Day” on Monday. UGC will follow on Tuesday. All French cinemas will comply, said Sebbag.

Given the number of advance bookings, it was impossible to move the release, a source at UGC Cine-Cite Les Halles, one of Paris’ biggest megaplexes, told French press agency AFP.

The agency quoted a Studiocanal representative as saying that “certain aspects of the movie are not in line with this period of mourning.”

In all, French cinema theaters sold 2.7 million tickets —  representing about $19 million in box office grosses — over July 13-17, vs. 2.68 million a year earlier.

Box office was buoyed by typically strong attendance Thursday, which was Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, helped by a big bow by “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which grossed $7.2 million for 20th Century Fox on 873 screens. That was the top performance of any international territory for the new “Ice Age,” outranking bows in Russia ($5.9 million from 1,296 locations) and the U.K. ($5.2 million at 1,107 screens, including previews).

Including previews, “Ice Age” represented the ninth-best opening this year in France.

Total box office in France surged 46% compared to the weekend before, which was dominated by the Euro 2016 soccer final.

In spite of the tragedy in Nice, “this was a pretty good week, stronger than last week. Sunday was poor, but probably more because of good weather,” said Eric Marti, at Comscore France.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Benedict Andrews (L) and US actress

    Kristen Stewart on the 'Insane Gall' of Directors as 'Seberg' Arrives in San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN – On Friday, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Andrews’ political thriller “Seberg” plays at the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival, where it opens Perlak, a section dedicated to the Spanish premieres of major international films. The star and her director addressed the media prior to the screening in the festival’s first high-profile press conference, [...]

  • Les Miserables

    Ladj Ly's Cannes Prize-Winner 'Les Miserables' Is France's Oscar Submission

    Ladj Ly’s politically charged drama “Les Miserables,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, has been chosen by France’s Oscar committee to enter the international feature film race. In one of the most competitive years for French movies, “Les Miserables” beat out Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the 18th-century-set romance which won [...]

  • David Kehrl neuer Head of Acquisitions

    'Resident Evil's' Constantin Names Acquisitions, International Co-Production Chief

    David Kehrl is to join Constantin Film, Germany’s leading independent movie producer and distributor, as the head of acquisitions and international co-production. He will report to Martin Moszkowicz, chairman of the executive board at Constantin Film, which produces the “Resident Evil” movies. Starting in February, Kehrl will be responsible for the acquisition of international theatrical [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

  • Scattered Night

    San Sebastian New Directors Jihyoung Lee and Kim Sol Talk ‘Scattered Night’

    After taking the Korean Competition Grand Prize and the best acting award (Moon Seung-a) at the Jeonju Intl. Film Festival, “Scattered Night” now heads to San Sebastian’s New Directors selection. An intimate portrayal of a family whose members are deeply isolated from one another, the film follows two parents overwhelmed by their responsibilities, their own [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content