The operator CGR Cinémas is reinventing itself with anime and e-sports: "We can no longer be satisfied with remaining classic rooms"

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Faced with a drop in attendance at its cinemas, France’s second-largest exhibitor is innovating and surprising with new content from manga culture, e-sport and Youtube creators.

The summer of 2022 has been tough for cinemas, “one of the worst since the late 2000s” according to Les Echos. The daily has taken stock: cinemas have lost more than a million admissions compared to the same period in 2021. CGR is not spared. The La Rochelle group has seen its attendance drop by 20% since the covid crisis if we take 2019 as the reference year. “Seniors are still a little afraid of finding themselves in a closed room, explains David Scantamburlo, marketing director of the network and guest of the franceinfo morning show. The 35-45 year olds have also forgotten the habit of cinema, they find themselves more in front of the platforms.

So the second largest operator in France is innovating. A need shared by its competitors since MK2 offers for example, and in addition to the simple projection of works, meetings with authors. Pathé has notably invested in the so-called “4DX” experience with dynamic armchairs blowing air to create an immersion effect. CGR also relies on the comfort of its rooms and new content.

To capture new audiences, CGR released the manga card with movie marathons “One Piece” or previews of the highly anticipated like “Jujutsu Kaisen 0”. “There is a demand in this niche when we see that Demon Slayer – the last train has accumulated 730,000 admissions in France (…) Those who say that young people have turned their backs on dark rooms, it’s not true We also have at CGR Cinemas, a structure called CGR Events and which has positioned itself in the detection of animated projects.”

Another lever in the (re) conquest of spectators: e-sport. “We must identify social phenomena and promote them. So we recently projected a League of Legends tournament on the big screen which was organized at the musical Seine. Today, we can no longer be satisfied with remaining classic cinemas”continues David Scantamburlo. The room is still a popular and valuable place, even for the YouTube generation since creators like McFly and Carlito or even Djilsi are now knocking on the door of CGR to project their creations before they are broadcast on screens. computer and smartphone.

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