Beijing’s Film Bureau has ordered all theaters in China to close once again due to concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic forced governments across the world to order businesses to close, including movie theaters, in order to slow the spread of the virus. Fortunately for moviegoers in China, over 600 theaters in the country began to re-open over the past week following a decline in reported coronavirus cases in the nation.
However, Beijing’s Film Bureau has now ordered all theaters to shut down again in a notice released on late Friday. Although an official reason for the decision was not given, The Hollywood Report notes that industry insiders are speculating that the government of China could be concerned about a potential second wave of coronavirus cases.
Before the second shutdown was ordered, China had initially planned to re-release major Hollywood blockbusters such as Avengers: Endgame and Avatar. Now, an executive at a major exhibition company has told The Hollywood Reporter that China will be cautious with their plans to re-open theaters in the future:
“This second closure will not be a one- or two-week issue. They are going to be even more cautious when they attempt to reopen again — and this will set us back a long time.”
The decision to close China’s theaters again has left many production and distribution executives with few options for their unreleased features. In an interview with THR, an executive at one of China’s top distribution companies explained that regulators have effectively ordered studios not to turn to local streaming services to sell their unreleased films:
“We’re not allowed to go online with our films and we can’t go to cinemas because they are again closed, so it’s like there is no exit. They have to present a new policy and let us release some of our movies online, otherwise many of our film companies are going to go out of business.”
Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on the coronavirus’ impact on cinemas in China and around the world.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter