28 Mar – Just when over 600 cinemas in China were recently given the greenlight to operate again, Beijing's Film Bureau yesterday ordered all re-opened cinemas to go back into shutdown.
No official explanation was given, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but industry insiders are speculating it could be due to the government's concern about a possible second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
"This second closure will not be a one- or two-week issue," an executive at a major exhibition company stated. "They are going to be even more cautious when they attempt to reopen again - and this will set us back a long time."
It was only a few days ago that China Film Group announced the re-release of several local and international hits such as "Wolf Warrior 2", "Avengers: Endgame" and "Avatar" in Chinese cinemas, in hopes of bringing people back into these cinemas which are mostly in rural areas.
No doubt the re-closure is just as devastating for Hollywood, who had been anticipating the reopening of China's huge network of 70,000 movie screens since cinemas in the US are also currently closed. Hollywood, like the rest of the world's film industries, is losing money from postponed movie releases and halted productions.
China is currently the third country in the world with the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases, behind Italy and the US, the latter whose cases have earlier today surpassed 100,000.
(Photo source: Dutchculture)