load_file(“/includes-n/article_top.html”);load_file(“/includes-n/float_share.html”);SOURCE / MARKETSChinas cinemas reopen, attracting rising movie-goersInsiders say box office may recover in September or OctoberByXie JunGlobal Times reporter based in Shanghai, covering financial news and breaking news related to large corps surrounding Shanghai.Xie Junand Chi JingyiPublished: Jul 26, 2020 08:43 PMload_file(“/includes-n/article_share.html”);A CGV cinema in Hongkou district of Shanghai on July 20 (photo: Yang Hui/GT)After cinemas in China were shut for six months due to the coronavirus epidemic, Chinas massive box office rebooted with hundreds of thousands of movie-goers heading to watch films at the cinemas last week. Industry insiders are optimistic about the recovery prospects of Chinas movie industry, with some predicting that the countys box office would resume to last-years levels in a few weeks. However, movie industry employees highlighted the challenges faced by the sector, including high rent fees. The China Film Administration announced that movie theaters in low-risks areas could reopen on July 20 as long as precautions were taken to prevent infection risks; for example, they are only allowed 30 percent of their capacity. A Beijing resident told the Global Times that she went to see The Pursuit of Happyness Friday night at one of the citys cinema; however, as she was buying the tickets that afternoon, some of the movies screenings had sold out at several locations. “The movie does not attract me that much because Ive already seen it before, but I miss that feeling of watching movies in an actual cinema, so I decided to go and watch a film as soon as the cinemas reopened,” she said. Luo Jiajie, manager at the Tianshan Cinema in Shanghai, said that occupancy at the cinema has been generally 50 percent of the total amount of tickets available in recent days, and there are around 500 audience members each day. “Actually we are quite satisfied with the customer numbers as we have just resumed business and the priority remains preventing the virus,” she told the Global Times, adding that she has been worried about whether audiences wanted to come and watch movies at the cinemas after such a long closure, but the box office has exceeded her expectations. From July 20 to Friday, 3809 cinemas in China resumed services, with the number of movie showings and audience members reaching 76,208 and 353,657, respectively, according to media reports. Another employee at a Shanghai cinema said that about half of the movie theaters 9 movie halls are closed. The tickets of some showings in the afternoon or night had sold out, while sometimes there were only “single-digit” customers. Industry insiders have different outlooks for the recovery. Li Jie, president of Alibaba Pictures, said Saturday that hes confident that Chinas box office will recover to two thirds of its usual level in two weeks. Luo also expected that the box office could resume to last years levels in September or October. However, industry employees are not so optimistic. A manager of a film-making and distribution company, who declined to be named, told the Global Times that quite a few cinemas didnt survive as their capital chain broke during the lockdown period. “They failed for this reason and that – underestimating the epidemic, not having enough reserve capital or losing too many employees. This is an inevitable process of elimination,” he said. Mo Zheng, a screenwriter, said that the survival of Chinese movie theaters hinges on their ability to pay rent. “Now, many cinemas make a loss of about 15,000 yuan ($2,140) each day they open, but only by opening can they hope to get back on track,” Mo told the Global Times. The movie theaters business resumption also comes at a time when Chinas home consumption is recovering supported by government stimulus plans. Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research, said that the reopening of cinemas is a signal of Chinas business resumption. “It will largely boost peoples confidence in the domestic economy, as the movie industry often drives spending in dining-out and street shopping.” load_file(“/includes-n/article_share.html”);RELATED ARTICLES Curtains of outdoor cinemas rise amid Shanghai International Film FestivalFilm lovers enjoy outdoor movies at downtown Shanghai on Saturday, when the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) … Beijing’s first movie screened in cinema after 6 monthsload_file(“/includes-n/article_most_view.html”);var wxs = (function() {return navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase().indexOf(micromessenger) !== -1})();if (!wxs) {/* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */var disqus_shortname = globaltimes; // required: replace example with your forum shortnamevar disqus_identifier = 1195693;/* * * DONT EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */(function () {var dsq = document.createElement(script); dsq.type = text/javascript; dsq.async = true;dsq.src = https:// + disqus_shortname +;(document.getElementsByTagName(head)[0] || document.getElementsByTagName(body)[0]).appendChild(dsq);})();}Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by comments powered by Disqusload_file(“/includes-n/footer.html”);load_file(“/includes-n/addthis.html”);

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