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DISTRIBUTION France

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Never (again) on a Wednesday

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- The day on which films are traditionally released in France is losing popularity

Wednesday, the day on which new films are released into French theatres, has lost some of its popularity given a growing number of premieres that have forced distributors to reposition the release to the day before, or in some cases, even to the preceding Friday or Saturday. That is what happened to L´auberge espagnole by Cédric Klapisch. The film was screened in 27 Parisian theatres on the eve of its official release.
Industry insiders feel that the increase in premieres is a result of a real need amongst distributors to free themselves of the feeding frenzy that Wednesdays engender and the diminishing length of time that films manage to stay up for. 75% of ticket sales are generated in the first month on release and so every passing day becomes more and more important so the temptation to anticipate the release of a film is huge.
The tradition of Wednesdays is the result of a decision French distributors made in 1937 to exploit school students´ half-day of freedom but, like many other traditions, it is losing momentum fast. The approaching advent of digital screening may prove decisive in unveiling a new era: screenings on demand.

(Translated from French)

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