China Re-Opens 500+ Cinemas As Coronavirus Cases Ease, Moviegoing Slight

China Re-Opens 500+ Cinemas As Coronavirus Cases Ease, Moviegoing Slight

23 Mar 2020 (PT)
CORONAVIRUS

As the number of new cases of the coronavirus shows signs of abating in China, a smattering of cinemas re-opened in a handful of provinces across the country this weekend. On Friday, there were 486 movie theaters back at work, while Saturday the total was upped to 507, local reports say. This reps just 4.5% of the Middle Kingdom exhibition infrastructure and brought in an estimated $4,355 on Saturday, per ticketing platform Maoyan.

The biggest concentration of cinemagoers was in Xinjiang which had previously been the site of the first movie theater to open since the mainland shuttered all screens in January. The other provinces where theaters opened include Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Qinghai, Henan, Fujian and Guangdong.

As we've previously reported, the expectation is theaters will continue to come back online through the end of this month and into April with the overall theatrical re-opening happening in waves. The first is the re-release of older local titles including Wolf Warrior 2, American Dreams In China, The Wandering Earth, Wolf Totem and Lebanese pic Capernaum. Chinese exhibitors will keep 100% of the box office on those titles, and have been encouraged to set attractive pricing while also respecting safety measures issued by Beijing.

The Hollywood studios have also been approached to bring catalog films back to the Middle Kingdom as it works to get back on its feet. Last week, Warner Bros said a new 3D 4K version of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone was also set for release, though a date has yet to be fixed.

A second wave of titles could come in mid-to-late-April, including Hollywood pics that were cleared pre-shutdown like 1917, Dolittle, Ford V Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Bad Boys For Life and Sonic The Hedgehog. The hope is that business finds more stability in time for the May 1 holiday.

According to China Global Television, a recent survey by Sir Film found that respondents do not have immediate plans to go to the cinema, largely citing fear of crowds and leaving home just yet, as well as waiting for new movies to be released.

There were 39 new COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday, China’s National Heh Commission said. Each was imported to the mainland where the total number of confirmed cases is 81,093 with 3,270 deaths.

Source: deadline.com

CORONAVIRUS
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China Re-Opens 500+ Cinemas As Coronavirus Cases Ease, Moviegoing Slight
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