The nationwide theatre shutdown on Jan. 23 reopens after myriad bankruptcies and layoffs. With strict guidelines by Chinese Administration, the film industry receives a green signal to screen films in ‘low risk’ zones. As most of the country is now classified as low risk, it would be fair to say that it is more of a nationwide move.
Guidelines and its Impacts
Chinese administration has maintained a staunch stand while passing the guidelines to the film operators and movie producers that it almost negates the scope of profit making.
Each theatre must not exceed 30% of its capacity and the number of movies screened per venue slashed at 50% of its previous volume. Thermal tests and masks are compulsory for the staff as well as the customers. Purchase of tickets through online mode and different groups of customers must sit at least a meter apart.
The biggest blow that the industry would face starting today is prohibition on sale of food and drinks in the vicinity which were two pivotal sources of revenue. The most ambiguous from the four-page directive by the administration is an individual film cannot exceed more than 2 hours at once.
On the contrary, the enthusiasm of people and their demand might prove to be detrimental in the success of reopening as general public opinion is supporting the move and quite eager to witness the same.
China proves to be the second largest film market in the globe after North America with its box office value of $9.2bn in 2019. Wanda Film, China’s largest cinema owner claimed that the industry would bear a loss for six months, reporting a loss of 1.6 billion Yuan in the first half of the year as compared to a profit of 524 million Yuan in 2019.
With a declining negative curve of incurring profit, Wanda film announces a bold move to expand its partnership with Chinese unit of Imax adding 10 IMAX in the biggest cities and upgrading on the technical front. At the same time, Shanghai Film Festival is ready to take place in July25th with less pomp and glitter as foreigners are still prohibited to fly.