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.
Fox Business Network has severed ties with primetime host Trish Regan, who sparked controversy after claiming that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was an “impeachment scam” around two weeks ago.
“Fox Business has parted ways with Trish Regan,” the network said in a statement. “We thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors. We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the coronavirus crisis.”
The network's decision stemmed from an early March segment on “Trish Regan Primetime,” the television host's now-defunct show, where Regan told a multitude of lies about the virus. Regan alleged that Democrats were singularly blaming President Donald Trump for the virus and that Democrats and left-wingers had a “need to create mass hysteria to encourage a market selloff” and “stop the economy,” all while a large graphic titled “CORONAVIRUS IMPEACHMENT SCAM” was displayed onscreen.
Regan announced that her show had been placed on hiatus on March 13, the day she hosted her final show. Regan is one of several Fox personalities and guests who have recently lied and downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro downplayed the virus' deadliness in early March, while network host Laura Ingraham, who previously taunted school shooting survivor David Hogg, then 17, for getting rejected from colleges, promoted unproven drugs in response to the pandemic. Sean Hannity previously referred to the coronavirus as a “hoax.” Conservative personality and university heir Jerry Falwell Jr. recently promoted a conspiracy theory on Fox and Friends that the coronavirus was co-created by North Korea and China to assault the United States and, like Regan, suggested that media coverage of the pandemic was politically motivated.
Though Regan's comments about the coronavirus generated particularly strong pushback, they weren't the first time that the television host had generated controversy. Regan's prior segments included accusations that Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were politically motivated and a suggestion that Ilhan Omar D-Minnesota — a favorite target for racist attacks by Trump and other prominent conservatives — was antisemitic.
Regan, who joined Fox in 2015, also aired a variety of interviews with conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who has actively promoted the birther conspiracies about President Barack Obama's citizenship, during her time at the network.
“I have enjoyed my time at FOX and now intend to focus on my...