In addition to playing mahjong and eating dinner during the Lunar New Year, watching movies is also a must-do activity. However, after the Wuhan Coronavirus broke out, the Chinese government is taking action by “closing the city” to control the spread of the virus. As a result, local theaters are temporarily suspending operations, and seven Chinese movies originally slated to hit the big screen over the Lunar New Year are postponing their premiere dates.
Movie-goers will not be able to catch Detective Chinatown 3 <唐人街探案3>, Lost in Russia <囧媽>, Leap <奪冠>, The Rescue <緊急救援>, Jiang Dongya <姜冬牙>, Boonie Bears: The Wild Life <熊出波．狂野大陸>, and Vanguard <急先鋒> in theaters this Lunar New Year. It is said that the government will hold a meeting to determine if the suspension of all cinemas in the country from tomorrow onwards is necessary.
Although there is no official announcement from the government yet, many theaters are temporarily closing its doors and refunding customers because it’s unlikely people will go watch movies during the outbreak.
Billions of Dollars Lost
Every year, the Lunar New Year period is the golden time for movie releases. According to data, last year’s Lunar New Year films pulled in 1.428 billion yuan on the first day of the New Year at the mainland box office. It beat the 2018 record of 1.27 billion yuan and set a new domestic box office record.
However, it appears the record will not be broken again this year. In fact, due to the postponed releases, over 10 billion yuan will be lost. Still, some mainland netizens expressed willingness to pay to watch the movies online in hopes of enjoying the New Year movies in another way.
As for Hong Kong, EEG confirmed that The Rescue is not going to air during the New Year as planned. Leap and Vanguard may also face the same demise.
This article is written by MelodyC for JayneStars.com