China’s Cinema Reopening Sees Low Box Office Figures
What’s new: China cinemas reopened on Monday after being closed for nearly six months due to coronavirus control measures.
Data from China’s largest movie ticketing app Maoyan showed that 130,000 tickets were sold nationwide as of 9 p.m. Monday, taking the first day’s box office to 3.28 million yuan ($470,000).
The figure is only 1.7% of the average daily performance last July.
Two new films hit the screens, one about a group of children growing up in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and another about China’s craftsmen. The rest of the screens were showing repeats of old hits, including nationalistic action movie “Wolf Warrior 2” which took in 5.68 billion yuan, and Disney’s animated “Coco” which has a recorded box office of 1.2 billion yuan on the Chinese mainland.
What’s the background: China’s film industry has been one of the hardest-hit sectors amid the pandemic. It recorded box office revenue of 2.25 billion yuan in the first quarter of the year, down by 87.94% over the same period in 2019.
China Film Administration announced on Thursday that cinemas could resume business from Monday with strict virus prevention measures.
Eastern provinces have seen a surge of screening, with coastal Zhejiang recording some 2,000 shows in one day. Meanwhile, cinemas in the western Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions and Beijing municipality remain shut due to recent or ongoing Covid-19 flare-ups.
Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.
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