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Chinese cinemas reopen after 6-month hiatus

Pub Date:2020-07-22 08:45 Source:chinadaily.com.cn

Movie audience show their tickets in a cinema in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, July 20, 2020. Taking various measures against COVID-19, cinemas in the city reopened in an orderly manner on Monday. The China Film Administration, in a circular last week, allowed cinemas in low-risk areas to resume operation with effective epidemic prevention measures in place. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Box office receipts broke 3 million yuan ($429,300)and 129,100 tickets were issued by Monday evening — the day cinemas in most parts of the Chinese mainland reopened — ending six months of closure due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Securities Daily reported on Tuesday.

The box office performed within expectations at the first day of the reopening of cinemas, said Securities Daily, citing Shi Yedong, a senior industry insider. Currently, the main audience is die-hard fans and film practitioners, Shi added.

So far, 43 films have been scheduled for release, mainly older films.

The moviegoers are mainly in first- and second-tier cities, who are more concerned about what's on the screen when they watch films at the cinema, an industry insider said to Securities Daily. Due to a shortage of new releases and most re-releases being available online, audiences have little incentive to go to the cinema at the moment.

The overall domestic box office during August to September will be 20 percent to 30 percent of the same period in previous years due to attendance limitations for the COVID-19 prevention and control and the absence of quality films. But as the Chinese National Day holiday approaches and the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control measures are optimized, attendance is expected to return to the same levels of past years. Moreover, the backlog of high-quality films from the first half of the year will pile up, and the film sector is expected to usher in a consumption boom, according to a report from brokerage Hua'an Securities.


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