Coronavirus: 500+ cinema screens in China reopen, but suffer negligible ticket sales

95% of the country’s cinemas remain closed, as the number of new coronavirus cases plummets in China

Louis Chilton
Monday 23 March 2020 12:28 GMT
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson warned mixed messages on social distancing could cost lives.mp4

More than 500 cinema screens in China have reopened as the coronavirus threat begins to recede there.

According to financial publication Caixin, there are now 507 screens open – although the number still represents less than 5% of all cinemas operating prior to the virus outbreak.

And despite the cinemas starting to re-open, people are understandably reluctant to risk venturing into such a shared public space.

Variety report that nationwide ticket sales totalled less than $2,000 (roughly £1,700).

In Fujian and Guangdong, two populous coastal regions bordering Hong Kong, there was not a single ticket sold. The cinemas are currently showing old box office hits, rather than new releases.

The news brings home the reality of the challenges the cinema industry is facing, at home and abroad.

Cinemas in the UK are currently closed in an attempt to enforce a period of self-isolation to limit the spread of the deadly virus.

Some films are being made available online ahead of their planned On Demand release dates, including Pixar’s Onward. Others have simply had their releases postponed, including Bond film No Time to Die and Fast and Furious 9.

You can keep up-to-date with coronavirus-related news here.

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