Cinemas reopen across China after unprecedented closure

2020-07-30 21:00 1495

BEIJING, July 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by on the reopening of China's cinemas:

Since last week, cinemas in low-risk regions of China have reopened for business. This means that after six months in the dark, the country's movie theaters can finally accept customers again, and China's film market can begin where it left off.

According to the pandemic control requirements, movie theaters are now required to keep attendance under 30% capacity for each screening and strictly disinfect venues every day. Moviegoers must undergo temperature checks prior to admission, should sit in non-adjacent seats, and need to wear face masks when watching films. Currently, theaters are mainly screening hit domestic and foreign films, such as "The Wandering Earth", "Coco" and "Zootopia." Several new domestic movies are also set for release in the coming months.

On the first day of reopening, cinemas in cities such as Nanjing, Chengdu and Hangzhou quickly sold out. With the Shanghai International Film Festival opening on July 25 and screening more than 300 films, tickets for the event also sold out almost entirely in three minutes. In total, over 100,000 tickets were sold within just 10 minutes of presales being launched.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented shutdown of the global movie industry. China's film market has also encountered huge difficulties. By March this year, more than 2,000 cinema enterprises had closed permanently across the country, with estimated losses in box office revenue for the year amounting to more than 30 billion yuan (US$4.27 billion).

China is the world's second largest film market. During the past two decades, with increases in economic development and consumption, and through the opening-up of markets and deepening reforms, the Chinese film market has maintained rapid growth in terms of market scale and production. In 2019, the country had nearly 70,000 screens, while the annual box office gross peaked as high as 64.27 billion yuan (US$9.17 billion). This shows that China's film market has robust demand and potential, which will be unleashed gradually over time.

Although there are still many complex and difficult problems facing cinemas as they resume operations, the reopening is significant. It conveys positive signals that China's economy is starting to recover from the pandemic, and social life is beginning to get back on track. For the global film market, the reopening of Chinese cinemas is also good news. Hopefully, it won't be long before China's film market resumes to its usual prosperity.

China Mosaic

Cinemas reopen across China after unprecedented closure

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