Beijing To Reopen Some Cinemas Friday; China Box Office Climbs Again On 3rd Day Back

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As expected, Chinese authorities have given the go-ahead for cinemas in Beijing to reopen this coming Friday. That’s also when the first new Hollywood titles will hit the market, including Dolittle and Bloodshot. Only cinemas in the capital’s low-risk areas will be able to resume operations — and with strict sanitary measures in place, state news reported, citing Wang Jiequn, director of the Beijing municipal film department.

Movie theaters will limit attendance per screening to 30% capacity, with non-adjacent seating. Audience members must reserve tickets and wear masks; no concessions will be sold. These are similar to the COVID-19 safety rulings released last week for the Middle Kingdom when cinemas in other parts of the country were given a green light to reopen this past Monday.

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China’s movie theaters were shuttered in January as the country took drastic closure measures amid the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Beijing downgraded its emergency response level and said the city could gradually begin reopening after risk assessment.

There are 262 cinemas in Beijing, however those classified as in medium-high risk areas will remain closed. Those planning to open must submit a list of movies they plan to screen to the film administration before noon on Thursday.

On Monday, there were just about 835 cinemas open across the country (or about 12% of the total). Chinese box office that day totaled a little over $500K. On Tuesday, that was upped to over $677K. As of 7PM local time today, daily takings are at $685K with the re-release of Sheep Without A Shepherd in the lead. After Dolittle and Bloodshot this weekend, 1917 and Sonic The Hedgehog will open on July 31.

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