As Hollywood reels from losses, cinemas in China begin to reopen
Novel coronavirus continues to weave its way into communities across the country and at this point there are a total of 35,070 confirmed cases in the United States.
As an increasing number of familiar faces, from Hollywood stars to members of the political arena, report that they've tested positive, it becomes increasingly evident that no one is immune.
Over the weekend, U.S. Senator Rand Paul reportedly contracted the virus as did disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein. These men join the growing list of famous names who've fallen ill such as Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Francis Suarez (the mayor of Miami), and Rudy Gobert.
But as the U.S. falls deeper into the pandemic, China continues to emerge from the worst of it.
Variety reports that as the country sees a swift reduction in the number of coronavirus cases, more than 500 of its cinema screens have reopened.
State media CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak.
Data from private-sector ticketing firm Maoyan showed that venues had opened in five provinces: far-flung Xinjiang; Shangdong, a coastal province that lies between Beijing and Shanghai; southern, landlocked province Sichuan; and two populous coastal regions, Fujian and Guangdong, which border Hong Kong.
Most of the films currently available are re-runs of recent and popular Chinese movies, a move that is intended to minimize risk. According to Maoyan, 2019 Chinese crime thriller “Sheep Without A Shepherd” led the box office chart on Monday, ahead of new release iQIYI-backed animation “Spycies.”
This is good news for the entertainment industry, which is steeling itself for billions in losses as major Hollywood productions and local cinemas shutter due to the virus.
As of Monday, China reported no new local cases of the virus, but confirmed 39 infections brought in from overseas, and nine more deaths, all in Wuhan, where the virus had its epicenter. Wuhan has not registered any new cases of Covid-19 for five consecutive days.