×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

French Box Office Takes a Hit From ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests

The violent “Yellow Vests” protests that have rocked France in recent weeks have also hit the movie business, dragging down local box-office performance in spite of several hit titles such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Le Grand Bain.”

In Paris, where demonstrators rioted on three consecutive Saturdays, theatrical admissions recorded on Dec. 8 were about 20% lower than normal, according to Eric Marty at Comscore. With about 10 theaters shut down, there were an estimated 77,800 tickets sold this past Saturday in the French capital, compared to the norm of about 100,000. Moreover, the number of tickets sold that day represented only 23.6% of those sold the entire weekend, compared to the usual 28%.

The impact of the protests was limited, however, because the unrest was confined to a handful of areas, notably around the Champs Elysees, the Grands Boulevards and the Paris Opera. Many moviegoers were able to find other theaters in the city.

Marc-Olivier Sebbag, general manager of the FNCF (French Exhibitors Guild), said that France’s national box office this month was on par with last year but would have been at least 5% higher without the riots, considering the current offer of strong titles such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Fox’s biopic of Freddie Mercury; “Le Grand Bain,” Gilles Lellouche’s French comedy about a men’s synchronized swimming team; and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

Aside from the impact on the box office, the Yellow Vest riots affected other cultural venues in Paris. Museums such as the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, as well as theaters around the Champs-Elysées, Opera and Chatelet, were shut down on Saturday, many for the third consecutive weekend. Several shows at the Paris Opera were postponed, and the anticipated concert of the French rappers BigFlo and Oli at the 20,300-seat AccorHotels Arena was pushed back by 24 hours. After the Arc de Triomphe was vandalized on Dec. 1, access to major monuments across the capital was also restricted last Saturday.

The economic impact has been much more severe on tourism, with hotel reservations in Paris significantly down in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.

The Yellow Vests protests erupted Nov. 17 with demands ranging from lower taxes, higher wages, better support for retirees, tougher immigration laws and the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron. Macron addressed the protesters for the first time Monday evening on primetime TV, pledging to increase the minimum wage and cuts some taxes, among other measures. His address has been met with mixed reactions.

More Film

  • Box Office Film Placeholder

    China Box Office: Taiwan's 'More Than Blue' Wins Second Weekend

    Taiwanese melodrama, “More Than Blue” held strong at the Chinese box office, to secure a second week of success. The film is a Chinese-language remake of a Korean film from 2009, involving Singapore’s MM2 and the filmmaking arm of Fox Networks. With little in the way of strong, new competition, “blue” scored $27 million, according [...]

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Us Scriptwriter and Film-maker Larry Cohen

    Larry Cohen, Cult Horror Writer-Director of 'It's Alive,' Dies at 77

    Larry Cohen, best known for his work as a B-movie producer and director in the ’70s and his later work in screenwriting, has died. He was 77. Cohen’s friend, actor and publicist Shade Rupe, confirmed the news, which was announced in a post to Cohen’s official Facebook page. Rupe said Cohen died in Los Angeles [...]

  • Captain Marvel

    Box Office: 'Captain Marvel' Shatters $900 Million Milestone

    Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel” continues to do heroic business. In its latest box office milestone, the female-fronted superhero tentpole zoomed past $900 million in ticket sales worldwide. “Captain Marvel” brought in a mighty $87 million globally this weekend, including $52 million from international territories. It has now generated $589 million overseas for a global haul [...]

  • Us - Lupita Nyong’o - cr:

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Stuns With $70 Million Opening Weekend

    Talk about scary good. Universal’s “Us,” the second directorial effort from Jordan Peele, pulled off a stunning debut, generating $70 million from 3,741 North American locations. That haul is enough to land it the second-best opening weekend of the year behind Disney’s “Captain Marvel” ($153 million). The psychological thriller about a family confronted by a [...]

  • SHAZAM

    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content