China has reported slow sales after 500 of the country’s more than 70,000 cinemas reopened following the complete blackout that began in January due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Around five per cent of China’s total number of cinemas opened their doors again, primarily in remote and costal regions where new cases of the virus have not been reported for more than a month.
China is ahead of the curve having faced the coronavirus outbreak much earlier than most countries, with cinemas being closed since January 24.
The reopened cinemas currently have a temporary plan of just screening previous box-office hits, such as 2017’s Wolf Warrior 2 and the 2019 thriller Sheep Without a Shepherd.
On Friday, some 29 reopened cinemas in Xinjiang sold $3,523 worth of tickets, accounting for about 80 per cent of the country’s total box office revenue that day.
On the same day in Fujian and Guangdong, no tickets were sold and the total revenue was less than $2,000.
Cinemas have also been opened in Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Qinghai, Guangdong, Henan and Fujian.
Last week, a survey from Chinese ticketing agency Maoyan revealed 62% of moviegoers would not immediately return to cinemas after the containment of Covid-19. The research also noted that 68% of respondents cited going to the cinema as their top choice for entertainment once the epidemic ends.