Shanghai cinemas reopen after three months of closure


Cinemas have finally reopened in Shanghai after three months of closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the second longest closure since the initial outbreak in 2020.

UME Cineplex in Shanghai’s Xintiandi commercial area was among the first group of cinemas to reopen on July 8.

Cinemas in Shanghai are currently required to have a 20-minute window between showings, to give staff enough time to sanitize seats after each showing. The occupancy rate must be less than 50%.

The movie schedule is not as compact as before, but Lu Yang, deputy store manager of UME Cineplex, said attendance was high.

Many moviegoers in Shanghai flock to watch highly anticipated films such as Jurassic World 3 and Lighting Up The Stars.

“Cinephiles have been at home for a long time and want to watch movies in the cinema. There are a lot of movies to watch, so attendance is not low,” Lu said.

With the summer holidays already here, the reopening of cinemas in Shanghai is expected to boost summer box office receipts. China’s first-tier cities contribute greatly to the country’s film industry.

Ji Gang, a partner at Roland Berger who has analyzed China’s film and entertainment industry for years, said the resumption of cinema in Shanghai will give China’s film industry a boost.

“Shanghai plays an important role in the Chinese film market. The reopening of Shanghai cinemas will surely boost the industry’s recovery. In 2018 and 2021, Shanghai had the highest box office receipts of any premier city. rank, accounting for 5.5-6% of domestic box office receipts,” Ji said.

But there are still many challenges to overcome. Although Shanghai has lifted COVID-19 restrictions for more than a month, the resurgence of cases over the past week has forced some cinemas in high-risk areas such as Yangpu and Xuhui districts to remain closed. .

Another challenge has been the slow supply of films.

Movie news website Dengtahow reported that the number of new movies in the first half fell 38.11% from the same period in 2021.

There are still many uncertainties about how the summer box office will perform this year.

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