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More than 500 Cinemas Reopen in China, but Few Moviegoers Show Up

March 24, 2020 5:37 am

Beijing (PingWest)—As new cases of coronavirus infection slow in China, the country is gradually getting back to work. After two months of closing, movie theaters in some provinces reopened to the public, but few moviegoers show up.

As of March 21, a total of 507 cinemas across China had reopened to moviegoers, accounting for 4.5% of the total cinemas operating in the country, according to Maoyan, China's biggest ticketing app.

Although the coronavirus outbreak is gradually receding in the country, box office takings remain minimal as the public still has concerns about the pandemic.

March 21, about 29 reopened movie theaters in Xinjiang sold 25,100 yuan ($ 3,523) worth of tickets, accounting for about 80% of the country's total box office revenue on that day. Followed by Inner Mongolia with 2746 yuan ($387.20), Sichuan with 2108 yuan ($297.24), Qinghai with 938 yuan ($132.26), Guangdong with 55 yuan (7.76), Maoyan said.

Among the above five provinces, Guangdong and Sichuan are populous regions with 115 million and 81 million people respectively.

According to a survey of the general public by Maoyan, nearly 70% of respondents considered going to the cinema as their top choice for entertainment once the epidemic ends, while about 30% said that they would return to cinemas as soon as they restart businesses.

China has suspended cinema operations to avoid public gatherings since the end of January as part of nationwide efforts to contain the spread of the virus.