Among all of the unsettling news about the outbreak of coronavirus and its expansion across the globe, many moviegoers thought that the plan of China to re-open its 70,000 screens across the country was a positive sign that life would return to normal sooner rather than later. However, as informs The Hollywood Reporter, the agency’s film Beijing has ordered that 600 cinemas, which had begun to open to shut their doors once more. Neither the agency nor the government have explained their reasons for the turn to these measures, but it is speculated that it is for fear of a second outbreak of the virus.
This decision is very unexpected, in particular because China has been quite open about their plans to open up their theaters and launch initiatives to support the industrysuch as going back to project box office hits and local blockbuster Hollywood franchise ‘The Avengers’. Until last Thursday, the 26th, the local authorities do not show any sign that these initiatives were not moving forward.
The opening of cinemas in China was a source of hope for countries such as Spain, England and the united States in which the cinemas have been closed as part of the quarantine and self-isolation. The cancellation of this decision has led to fears about the possibility of a second outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country. Although the official data from Beijing suggest that they have the transmission home of coronavirus under control, this last Thursday, China banned any foreign national, even with work permits to enter the country. What part of the routine process of making sure that it has contained the virus or these measures suggest that China’s recovery will not happen as soon as everyone had hoped? Only time will tell.
Continues the concern
As a note THR, many production companies are afraid that the second closing of the theaters chinese affecting the film industry in an irreversible way. “The second closing does not resolve within a week or two”says an executive. “You have more care when they try to open them again – and this will complicate a lot”. The difficulties are already starting in the stock market because the value of the shares in IMAX fell 11% last week. The production companies are concerned that they will be the next because, unlike the united States and many european countries, China has not allowed them to move new releases to the streaming.
“We are not allowed to bring our movies to the web and you can’t go to the movies because they are closed, so there is no output”says another executive. “They need to introduce a new regulation and let us throw some of our movies on streaming platforms, or many of our film enterprise crack”.