Cinemas in France will not be able to reopen on December 15 which was the date initially set by the government late last month. They will instead remain closed for at least three weeks from that date, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said in an address to the nation this evening.
France has been in a second lockdown phase since the end of October, and while daily Covid-19 cases have considerably decreased over the past several weeks, they have recently hit a plateau that is about double the hoped for 5K ceiling.
This means there is more shuffling ahead for Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman 1984, which had been scheduled for a December 16 release in France. It is as-yet unclear when it will be re-dated. More locally, and reacting with haste to FranceInfo, Le Pacte chief Jean Labadie noted he had been preparing the release of Maiwenn’s ADN (which had been on the shortlist of potential International Feature Oscar entries from France) and said, “I have spent one million euros… How will I be able to buy films in 2021? It is desolation for an entire sector.”
Said Castex, “Establishments open to the public which we had planned to reopen on December 15 will remain closed for three more weeks. The conditions set for their reopening are unfortunately not met. These are mainly cinemas, theaters, performance halls, museums, but also the reception of the public in sports arenas, in circuses, zoos or even in gaming halls and casinos.”
In his briefing, Castex noted how important the cultural sector is to France and said, “I know how well the cultural sector has prepared… that all sectors were mobilized, that everything was ready for the curtains to be raised and the screens to light up. Making this decision was particularly painful for us, believe it.”
An overall curfew for the entire country will also be in effect from 8PM to 6AM beginning December 15.
France’s cinemas were originally shuttered in March, just as the country headed into a tight lockdown that ended in May. Cinemas were allowed to get back to business from June 22. Box office had performed well, all things considered, during the earlier reopening process. Now, we wait, again.