Power of Love Pushes China Cinemas to Post-Covid-19 High
What’s new: China’s box office raked in 508 million yuan ($73.5 million) on Tuesday, a date known as the Qixi Festival on the lunar calendar, which is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day, according to ticketing site Maoyan.
The figure marked the biggest single-day total since China’s movie theaters were allowed to reopen last month.
Why it matters: The figure was actually about 10% below last year’s box office for the Qixi Festival, which also fell on a weekday. Last year’s takings amounted to 569 million yuan in single-day ticket sales.
But this year’s figure was still impressive given the many limitations on Chinese theaters, which were forced to close for about six months from late January when the nation’s epidemic first took on serious proportions.
Among other things, theaters are currently only allowed to operate at a fraction of capacity, with every-other seat often blocked off to maintain social distancing. Production halts during the pandemic also created chaos on the distribution side, making new releases relatively rare. That has forced theaters to screen older titles like a 3D re-release of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” which topped the Chinese box office earlier this month.
Reporter Mo Yelin contributed to this story.
Contact reporter Yang Ge (email@example.com)
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