The market for France's various cinema loyalty card schemes has reached a plateau just two and a half years after their introduction.

Loyalty passes have seen little growth in the French exhibition market last year, accounting for 11 million admissions (5.9%) out of a total 186 million tickets sold, according to a report by the French film industry support body, the CNC. Indeed, the end-of-year figures show a slight decrease on the first half of 2001, when they reached 6% of the market, up from an initial 2.7% in 2000.

Although loyalty passes accounted for a promising share (22%) of the admissions in the venues were they are accepted, the available market, which according to the CNC reached maturity last year, is limited to 612 screens (11.7% of the 5,241 screens available in France last year.

The market is also largely concentrated in the Paris region (Ile de France) where card-holders can access 364 screens (60% of the total covered by the loyalty pass scheme), including 251 screens (41%) in Paris proper . The Ile de France region attracted 75% of the admissions generated nationwide by passes.

Of the three major loyalty passes, 'UGC Illimite', which was the first to be launched in March 2000, remains the most widely used nationwide (390 screens compared with 169 for Gaumont MK2's 'Le Pass' and 53 for Pathe's 'Cine a Volonte).