Chinese Movie Theaters Reopening

If you’re looking for hope that the United States can return to some kind of normal lifestyle after a couple months of self-containment, look no further than China. The nation where the pandemic began is slowly recovering as new cases of the virus dwindle and light at the end of the tunnel starts to look a little clearer. We’re all worried about the shut down of movies theaters and what it will do to the future of entertainment after this is all over, but China is looking to repopen their theaters as early as the end of March, and one of the first titles playing will be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone remastered in 4K and 3D.

Deadline has news on Chinese movie theaters reopening after shutting their doors at the end of January to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Beijing has already sent out safety guidelines for theaters to follow in order to open safely under the conditions allowed by the epidemic prevention and control situation. However, the reopening will come in waves, and it will first begin with screenings of older movies to help rake in money that will go straight to theaters.

When Chinese theaters reopen, they will first showcase China’s own blockbuster hits like Wolf Warrior 2, The Wandering Earth, Capernaum and Wolf Totem. For these screenings, movie theaters will keep 100% of the box office in order to help them recover after being closed for two months.

Along with those movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will return to theaters with a new 4K 3D remaster. This is a surprising decision for the Chinese market since Forbes recalls that the first movie seems to have never played China in its initial box office run in 2001. However, it appears the interest in the fantasy franchise grew over time. Here’s how all the movies fared at the Chinese box office:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  – Not released
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – $6 million
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – $2.5 million
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – $11.5 million
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $19.4 million
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Not released
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I – $33 million
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II – $60 million

The performance of the final chapter of the franchise is a huge number, especially for a series that performed so poorly at the start. Perhaps with the increased fanbase, a re-release of the original movie, which is nearly 20 years old, will be met with some nostalgia.

After that, the second wave of movies coming to China will be Hollywood movies whose release was delayed due to coronavirus. This includes 1917, Dolittle, Ford V Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Bad Boys For Life and Sonic The Hedgehog. Those movies might be joined by other library titles from Hollywood like The Avengers or Inception, movies that China hopes will get crowds back into theaters.

This kind of news is encouraging for us here in the United States since we’re only just barely beginning the self-containment and quarantine that will hopefully help squash the spread of coronavirus. But with stupid Generation Z kids still going on spring break and ignorant idiots treating this like an unnecessary panic about “just another flu,” we’re not going to get too hopeful just yet.

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