France Relaxes Theatrical Windows During Coronavirus Closures; Unveils Industry Support Measures

1917, Birds Of Prey, Breaking News, CNC, coronavirus, Distribution, Exhibition, Film News, France, International Box Office

France’s National Film Center, the CNC, has taken measures to relax the country’s notoriously strict windows policy during the coronavirus pandemic. A reduction from the traditional four-month delay between theatrical release and DVD or TVOD was earlier granted for all titles that were already in cinemas on March 14, while movies whose release was set for after theaters closed have now also been granted the option.

During the period of cinema closures, the CNC will, upon request, exempt producers and distributors who opt for a DVD or TVOD release from reimbursing subsidies provided by the org. The CNC was careful to note that these measures “in no way call into question media chronology” and are restricted to the duration of cinema closures.

France shuttered its movie theaters on March 14. Box office for the first three months of the year is down 36%, according to comScore. The market in 2019 overall was No. 5 internationally, and is currently in 4th position.

On a new list published by the CNC late Thursday are 31 titles that have been granted permission to break the four-month window. They include Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s Venice opener The Truth, Warner Bros’ Birds Of Prey and Richard Jewell, Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog, Amblin/Universal’s 1917 and Uni’s Dolittle.

The CNC further announced steps to support the industry including an emergency fund for writers who have seen their work decrease by more than 50% amid the crisis. All companies facing difficulties within the industry will also be allowed to access up to 30% of their “compte de soutien” — an account held by the CNC that is derived from a percentage of ticket sales and is used towards future projects.

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