A government-mandated curfew that was set in place in France last week has been widely extended across the country, and will come into effect from Friday night. An estimated 46M people (69% of the population) will be impacted by the new measures announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex this evening.
Residents of the 54 total areas (or départements) now involved (38 were added today) will be under strict curfew from 9PM-6AM as France looks to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Along with the ongoing effect this will have on cinemas, which make most of their box office from evening showings, a three-day Cannes Film Festival event scheduled for next week has immediately responded by tailoring its timetable.
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A festival rep tells Deadline that the premiere screenings originally scheduled to begin at 7PM from October 27-29 will now be pushed back to 6PM. Other screenings will take place as planned during the day. A dinner previously planned to follow the opening ceremony on the 27th has been kiboshed. The Cannes Film Festival was canceled earlier this year owing to the coronavirus crisis, but nevertheless curated a 2020 official selection which has seen some movies travel to other events with the Cannes label.
Overall, the extension of the curfew announced this evening means that exhibition will feel another pinch — and for at least six weeks. This past weekend was actually up on admissions versus the previous frame, despite Paris and many other major cities being under curfew. However, new releases were a factor, including Trolls World Tour, a family animated movie that wouldn’t rely on late showings and did $2M at 623 locations.
Still, there is concern ahead for exhibition. To wit: Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot said tonight that 30M euros has been earmarked to aid the film industry.
“Our objective,” she said, “is to ensure that cinemas do not close. For that, film releases must be maintained… We need culture, perhaps more now during this crisis period.”