China re-closes its cinemas nationwide
The world watched enviously as China opened its cinemas last week. Although the coronavirus pandemic started in China, it has slowed down enough to ease lockdown. The cinema industry was relieved after going weeks without business. Their happiness was, however, short-lived. A few days and a reversal in policy later, all cinemas nationwide are shuttered down again.
China confused as it shuts down cinemas again:
Just last week, cinemas in China sprung back to life. Warner Bros. had announced that a 3D and 4K remake of Harry Potter would air for the first time. Theater chains planned on reruns of Avengers and Avatar to draw in crowds. The number of cases reported daily in China had almost plateaued. More than 500 cinemas had opened in the least hit areas of the country. Today, Shanghai allowed more than 200 cinemas to open for the public. However, just hours later, a nationwide notice shut down all theaters over continued coronavirus concerns.
Shanghai municipal authorities had planned government ticket subsidies up to $850,000. The government claims even though the local transmission has nearly stopped, the move is purely cautionary. And for the past week, nearly all reported cases have been of foreign visitors. Sources claim that China wants to re-open all cinemas at once. Apparently, it would help the central authorities control and regulate them without a problem.
The entertainment industry is in ruins:
The latest notice by the Chinese government has shut down any hope of the entertainment industry. Theaters and cinemas have been shut down globally. Movies and TV shows have stopped mid-production. Studios are losing millions of dollars as they postpone tentpole movies indefinitely. And daily wage employees and contract workers may go unemployed till May, or beyond. Collectively, the entertainment industry will lose billions of dollars. But it will also clear out the weak competition. After the dust from the crisis settles, only the strongest will have survived. Streaming services have already proven to be successful in riding out the shutdown. Only time will tell how soon the coronavirus pandemic will be over.