As the coronavirus begins to show signs of receding, over 500 movie theaters have reopened in China as the country looks to start rebounding from the pandemic.
State-run CGTN first reported that 486 movie theaters had reopened Friday after two days of no new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 being reported. The number of open theaters rose to 507 by Monday on the back of a weekend with no confirmed cases of locally transmitted COVID-19.
Officials confirmed there were reportedly 39 new cases brought in from overseas and another nine deaths, all located in Wuhan.
Chinese ticket firm Maoyan said the reopened theaters were spread across five provinces: Xinjiang, Shangdong, Sichuan, Fujian and Guangdong. There are expected to be more theaters reopening through April.
The first set of films reportedly being shown at the reopened theaters are mostly local films, including “Wolf Warrior 2,” “American Dreams in China,” and “Wolf Totem.” A second wave of films is reportedly being planned for April that will largely consist of import films from Hollywood that include “1917,” “Bad Boys for Life,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
The open theaters accounted for less than $2,000 in ticket sales, with not a single ticket sold in Fujian and Guangdong. China Global Television cited a recent survey that showed most residents were still concerned about leaving their homes to be in crowds and are waiting for newer films to be released in theaters.
Despite the news from China, other countries have been forced to keep their theaters closed as they battle the spread of COVID-19. However, there are still theaters reportedly open in Japan, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and South Korea, though they are operating under limited attendance rules.