More than 500 cinemas in China reopen as coronavirus cases recede

Published: 24 March 2020 - 1:10 p.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

Cinema screens in China have begun opening though box office takings have remained minimum as citizens take their time to adopt to normal life.

In total more than 500 cinema screens have reopened in the country where the number of cases has been receding.

State media CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak.

Data from private-sector ticketing firm Maoyan showed that venues had opened in five provinces: far-flung Xinjiang; Shangdong, a coastal province that lies between Beijing and Shanghai; southern, landlocked province Sichuan; and two populous coastal regions, Fujian and Guangdong, which border Hong Kong.

The data showed that nationwide revenue on Friday totalled less than $2,000. In Fujian and Guangdong, not a single ticket was sold.

On Monday, China reported no new local cases of the virus, but confirmed 39 infections brought in from overseas, and nine more deaths, all in Wuhan, where the virus had its epicenter. Wuhan has not registered any new cases of Covid-19 for five consecutive days.

Most of the films currently available are re-runs of recent and popular Chinese movies, a move that is intended to minimize risk. According to Maoyan, 2019 Chinese crime thriller “Sheep Without A Shepherd” led the box office chart on Monday, ahead of new release iQIYI-backed animation “Spycies.”


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