california movie theaters closing

At this point, I think I’ve written approximately 700 stories about COVID-19/coronavirus, and I wish I could say I had some good news to offer on this subject for a change. But I don’t. Instead, I’m here to tell you that things that had already re-opened are now shutting down again. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut once said. As the coronavirus continues to spike across the globe (primarily because selfish jackasses refuse to wear masks), movie theaters in both California and Hong Kong are forced to shut down yet again.

California most likely jumped the gun when they attempted to reopen certain places recently, hoping against hope that everything was going to be okay. Unfortunately, there have been 8,358 new cases reported in the state over the past 24 hours, leading Governor Gavin Newsom to impose a new statewide shutdown of restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums, and movie theaters.

Meanwhile, Variety reports that cinemas in Hong Kong are closing again due to “a new surge in COVID-19 cases.” Hong Kong had expanded the maximum number of gatherings of people to 50, but will now reduce things down to four. The Train to Busan sequel Peninsula was set to have a big premiere this week in Hong Kong, but that’s now been canceled.

Of course, these new closures lead to the inevitable question: is there any hope left for big theatrical releases this summer? I’m talking, of course, about Tenet, a film that was originally supposed to open this week but has now been pushed back to August. Los Angeles is a huge box office market, and if Tenet can’t open there, it’s unlikely Warner Bros. is going to want to open it anywhere else. And then we have the other upcoming big releases: Mulan, which Disney hopes to open on August 21; Bill and Ted Face the Music, which is currently set for August 28, 2020; and of course, The New Mutants, a movie that has already been delayed half a dozen times and is scheduled to open August 28. If these closures remain in place, expect all of these movies to move off their respective dates.

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