(Yicai Global) March 23 -- The 507 cinemas in China that have resumed business after being shut down for nearly 60 days by Covid-19 grossed just CNY30,000 (USD4,230) on March 21, according to data from ticket sales platform Maoyan Entertainment.
Box office takings for the entire weekend will likely tally around CNY60,000, Maoyan said. Only 21 cinemas were still open on March 20, when takings were just CNY17,200.
The takings paled in comparison to the CNY200 million (USD28.2 million) typical of a Saturday before the coronavirus shutdown but mark a good start to a recovery, National Business Daily cited an industry source as saying.
The 507 open cinemas make up just 4.5 percent of the country's total. Most of them are in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai. 29 of the movie theaters in Xinjiang took CNY25,100 to rank the region top of the bunch, while cinemas in Guangdong province tallied just CNY55 (USD7.75).
Movie theaters across the country are getting ready for local governments to allow them to re-open as the number of new Covid-19 cases slows significantly. Many have put strict measures in place to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading, such as limiting ticket sales, staggering seating and requiring viewers to undergo a temperature check and register before entering.
Editor: James Boynton