According to a new report by Comscore, the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles cinema in the heart of Paris attracted more moviegoers than any cinema in the world in 2022.
With 27 theaters, the UGC des Halles is the largest in Europe. It sold 2.2 million tickets last year, beating Burbank in Los Angeles and Showcase Bluewater in southeast London.
“The public returned to the theaters and renewed their faith in this cinema located in the center of Paris, which in 1995 invented a massive ‘ciné-club’ by betting on such a diverse program,” said Eric Marty. The general manager of Comscore France made a statement.
The massive multiplex is strategically located in the basement of the Chatelet-Les Halles shopping center, at the intersection of the city’s main RER and metro lines.
In addition, it is the only cinema in France that is open from 9 am to midnight. Not only does this offer more screenings to sell more tickets, but UGC has also made theater an important barometer of a film’s success.
On Wednesdays, new movies in France are released 2 days earlier than elsewhere. The 9am screenings at UGC are therefore often the first public screening of a film. According to Les Echos, industry insiders are closely monitoring these early screenings to gauge the film’s reception.
UGC shows a mix of big Hollywood blockbusters and art house movies. These hugely popular movies have longer runs on UGC, sometimes playing for months.
“The success of UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles demonstrates the relevance of the UGC cinemas model, which promotes all cinematographies, from American blockbusters to Arthouse films,” said Brigitte Maccioni, CEO of UGC. “This diversity of films is the cornerstone of UGC Group’s strategy. This eclecticism, which is dear to the audience, makes France the leading market in Europe, and the third largest market in the world after the USA and China.
UGC’s success is also a broader sign of the recovery of French cinema.
According to the latest report by Comscore, the number of people watching cinemas in France reached 152 million tickets in 2022, which represents an increase of 59.2% compared to 2021. Central national cinema and animation pictures (CNC), the country’s film agency.
This result is 26.9% less than the pre-Covid period. But this is still one of the best results in the world. For example, Comscore found that Italy’s box office was down 52.7%, Spain’s 40.7%, Germany’s 31.6%, and America’s box office 33.8%.
“Despite the challenges, attendance has returned to almost three-quarters of its pre-crisis level,” CNC president Dominique Boutonnat said in a statement. This shows the commitment of the French to the collective experience that cinema offers. This is still a very encouraging result in an atypical context. “France is celebrating one of the best recoveries in the world.”