China Reopens Over 500 Movie Theatres

NEWS: With the coronavirus threat reportedly receding in China, more than 500 cinema halls have reopened in the country. However, box office bookings remain minimal as people are still choosing to stay away from large gatherings, as per a report by Variety.

The state media CGTN reported that 486 theatres were open for business on Friday, 20 March. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507.

Figures from private-sector ticketing firm Maoyan showed that venues had opened in five provinces: Xinjiang, Shandong, Sichuan, and two populous coastal regions, Fujian and Guangdong.

In Fujian and Guangdong, not a single ticket was sold. On 22 March, China did not report any fresh case of coronavirus.

Most of the films that currently playing in the theatres are re-runs of recent Chinese movies, a move that is intended to minimise risk. According to Maoyan, the 2019 Chinese crime thriller Sheep Without A Shepherd led the box office chart on Monday.

Some time back, China Film Group, the country’s leading state-owned distributor and the official distributor of the Hollywood films that are imported on revenue sharing terms, announced a list of titles for which it would support releases on in which the exhibitors keep all income. Among them were Green Book and A Dog’s Purpose. There has been no sign that their releases are imminent.

Warner Bros. used its Chinese social media site last week to hint at a possible release of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone. However, there are no release dates as of now.

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(Inputs: Variety)

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