On July 16, the State Film Administration of China issued a notice on promoting the reopening of cinemas in an orderly manner under the condition of regular epidemic prevention and control. The notion informed that low-risk areas could orderly resume business on July 20 under the premise of effective implementation of various prevention and control measures for cinemas, while medium-and high-risk areas would not be open for the time being. After the resumption of business, audiences need to wear masks and take their temperature. In addition, all tickets are booked by online real name booking, the attendance rate of each film shall not exceed 30%, and food and drink are prohibited.
The film industry has had a extremely difficult half-year since the closure of cinemas across the country on January 24. After the notice was issued, the cinema responded positively and introduced seating seats and other methods to control the attendance rate through electronic ticketing software. With the exception of cinemas where it is difficult to resume work due to financial and personnel problems, most cinema operators are quickly ready to return to work.
There are comments that 30% attendance and a diet ban will lead to a sharp drop in cinema profits. In this case, China’s film industry is still a long way from recovery. However, from the perspective of epidemic prevention and control, the Chinese government is trying to enable various industries to recover slowly and orderly through strong control, so as to rid the country of the threat of novel coronavirus’s epidemic as soon as possible, rather than focusing on more and faster, leading to the recurrence of the epidemic.
Of course, under such attendance requirements, it is difficult for new films with expectations for the market, especially those with higher costs. Being released reluctantly in theaters may cause them to fail at the box office. Therefore, when the cinema resumed on July 20th, all the cinemas were showing old films, including “Nezha” and “Wolf Warriors 2”, which made a lot of records at the Chinese box office in recent years.
According to the guidelines for epidemic Prevention and Control of the reopening of Film projection sites issued by the China Film Distribution and projection Association, after cinemas return to work, public areas such as lobbies, cinemas, and corridors will be sprayed and disinfected no less than twice a day. Cinema seat armrests, 3D glasses, and other objects directly contacted by the audience are sterilized once a time. In order to ensure the effect of disinfection, some cinemas have specially extended the interval between each film.
According to data from the professional version of Maoyan Film, as of 06:26 on July 20, the box office of the pre-sale of cinemas across the country had reached 1.404 million, with 50, 000 moviegoers,. If the service charge of 3 yuan per ticket is included, the national pre-sale box office has exceeded 1.5 million yuan on July 20.