Long awaited by exhibitors, distributors and moviegoers, the reopening of theaters will allow feature films hastily deprogrammed last October to be exploited again. Others, like Mandibles by Quentin Dupieux, also benefit from this deconfinement.
It is now decided. French cinemas will reopen on May 19. In any case in the departments where the incidence rate is less than 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. With one question, and not the least: which films will be showing in three weeks? Since the details given by the President of the Republic on the deconfinement calendar, the first announcements have fallen.
The first films to be released despite the 35% gauge and the 9 p.m. curfew will be those released last October. They sometimes had only 48 hours of life on the big screen before the theaters abruptly closed last October. From May 19, spectators will have a great choice between DNA by Maïwenn, Rag boy by Nicolas Maury, Drunk by Thomas Vinterberg with Mads Mikkelsen (Oscar 2021 for best foreign film), Poly, 100% wolf and of course Goodbye idiots by Albert Dupontel. There will also be several new films including Fly Me by Christophe Barratier with Victor Belmondo, Tom & jerry and Mandibles by Quentin Dupieux with Adèle Exarchopoulos and Roméo Elvis.
The following Wednesday of May 26, still with a gauge at 35% and a curfew at 9 p.m., we will discover two new American films, The Bouchetrous animated film by David Silverman and the female thriller Promising young woman with Carey Mulligan, Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Nobody Another American thriller by Ilya Nishuller will be released on June 2. Nomadland by Chloe Zhao with Frances McDormand who won the Oscars as horror comedy Freaky by Christopher Landon are due on June 9 when the gauge will rise to 65% with a curfew pushed back to 11 p.m. One of ours as A tour of my daughter by Eric Lavaine (the continuation of Back to my mother) with Josiane Balasko, Mathilde Seigner and Jérôme Commandeur is dated June 16 and Presidents by Anne Fontaine with Jean Dujardin and Grégory Gadebois on June 30. We are also waiting to know on what date the double Oscar-winning drama of Florian Zeller will be set, The Father .
The summer of blockbusters
To enjoy all the sessions without any curfew and with a 100% gauge, the French blockbusters are waiting this summer. Kaamelott by Alexandre Astier will be released on July 21, OSS 117: Red alert in black Africa by Nicolas Bedos is currently scheduled for August 4 and Eiffel by Martin Bourboulon on August 25.
At the beginning of July, the films screened at the Cannes film festival will also arrive. Annette by Leos Carax with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard will open the 74th Cannes Film Festival on July 6 and will be released the same day in theaters.
Finding the right date to release a movie is a matter of strategy. Nearly 500 feature films are waiting on the shelves but distributors do their calculations according to their financial goals. Some have already switched to digital purchasing. This is unfortunately the case with Judas and The Black Messiah double Oscar winner which, after having been successfully released in many countries, was released directly for purchase on April 28 in France (it is also available on the MyCanal platform). Same punishment for the duel between the lizard and the hairy monster Godzilla Vs Kong .
The modalities of reopening still unclear
In their calculations, distributors must take into account the competition, the duration of their film but also the gauge and the curfew. The equation is complicated because there are still many unknowns. Roselyne Bachelot, Minister of Culture, for example must specify whether during the curfew, the cinema ticket can be used as proof for leaving the theaters after 9 p.m.
The cinema community is also awaiting the recommendations of the cinema mediator who will set the rules of the game so that blockbusters leave room on the screens for more fragile films. Finally, it is not certain that the rooms in the Paris region and those of Bouches-du-Rhône where the incidence rate is greater than 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants can open at the same time as the others.
In these two zones, the prefects will be able to postpone the reopening of cinemas. This will affect the programming. It is hard to imagine blockbusters and even some without these contingents of spectators.