Usually prevented by the Competition Authority, distributors will exceptionally be allowed to consult each other on the film release schedule, but under certain conditions.
Opening of cinemas in mid-May
Mid-May is synonymous with hope for film professionals who hope that dark rooms will finally be able to reopen. However, who says reopening says film release schedule and they pile up while waiting to be able to be released in theaters. To avoid a large-scale traffic jam and in response to the request of Laurence Franceschini, cinema mediator, the Competition Authority will authorize distributors to agree on the film release schedule, but under certain conditions.
Isabelle de Silva, President of the Authority, specifies that this measure is exceptional: “ The context of crisis can allow an agreement between competitors, which is normally prohibited ”. A crisis which brings the stock of films awaiting release to 400, according to the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image. To be able to take out the entire stock, without risking further release delays with films currently in production, the number of weekly outings should be increased from an average of 14 to 50 or 60.
A temporary and exceptional agreement
The agreement between the distributors for the film release schedule, remains an exceptional and above all temporary measure. This exemption is accompanied by certain conditions that the Competition Authority will monitor to verify the correct application of the exemption measure. So, “ a substantial part of the film distribution business ”Must be preserved by the distributors in their agreement, that is to say the number of copies, the different times of screenings but also the duration of exposure of the films.
Professionals targeted by the measure must now agree on a memorandum of understanding which must then be presented to the Competition Authority by way of seizure. The latter must validate the proposals and verify that the conditions set have been met. Of course, distributors who do not wish to do so are in no way obliged to participate in this alliance.