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France Still Boasts Europe’s Highest Number of Theater Screens Per Capita

France, Europe’s No. 1 movie-going nation, still boasts the continent’s highest number of screens per capita, according to a new study conducted by the French National Film Board (CNC). As of last year, France had 2,040 theaters and 6,000 screens – 69 more screens than in 2017. It’s about one screen per 31 inhabitants. Out of the 2,040 theaters, 226 are multiplexes.

On average, French residents went to the theater three times in 2018 – more than in any other European country, the study said. Two-thirds of the French population went to the movies at least once.

The study also showed that teenagers and young adults (15-24 years old) were the second-biggest movie-going demographic, behind the 50-and-above age cohort.

About half of the theaters are located in communities of fewer than 10,000 people, and about half the total are arthouse venues, according to the study.

Premium large formats, mainly 4DX and ICE, the Immersive Cinema Experience created by the French multiplex chain CGR, accounted for 79 screens and 66 theaters – about 3.2% of all theaters in France in 2018. The premium large formats held 86,000 screenings and sold more than 1.6 million admissions.

The CNC anticipates that about 100 screens will be equipped with a premium large format technology by early 2020.

While last year’s French box office was slightly down by 4.3% to 200 million tickets sold, this year’s local B.O. is going strong with 139 million admissions sold over the first eight months of the year, the CNC said.

A number of big releases are slated for the last quarter of this year in France, notably “Joker,” “Hustlers,” “Angry Birds,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” “The Addams Family,” “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Cats.”

While France is Europe’s biggest nation of moviegoers, it’s also one of Europe’s top markets for Netflix, which now has more than 6 million subscribers in the country.

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