Since it’s been dealing with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic for weeks longer than the rest of the world, China is also on the mend a bit faster than the rest of us. And because of that, it appears that the country’s theater exhibitors are beginning to map out their plan to bring people back to the cinemas for the first time since they were all closed on January 23.
The plan actually doesn’t include a huge selection of films that have been held since the closure, including “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Bloodshot,” and many others. Instead, the China Film Group has announced (via Variety) a plan that benefits the cinemas and helps them ease into business with popular films from the past.
According to the China Film Group, the idea is that the cinemas will slowly reintroduce the population to coming back to the theater by showcasing films that are some of the box office favorites from years past, with the studios allowing the theaters to keep 100% of the profits, instead of splitting revenue. If successful, this will allow the cinemas to rebound a bit faster, while also not necessarily requiring packed houses.
The films on the list include Peter Chan’s 2013 film “American Dreams in China,” Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 2015 film “Wolf Totem,” “Wolf Warrior 2,” and “The Wandering Earth.” The latter two films are chosen because they represent two of the highest-grossing films in Chinese box office history. Rounding out the list are offerings such as “Capernaum,” “Green Book,” and “A Dog’s Purpose,” which are films that had surprising success in the Middle Kingdom.
“These five films will be distributed in a charity model,” China Film Group said, explaining that 100% of the revenue gained from screenings will go directly to the cinema. “We recommend that cinemas consider doing charitable, free screenings or low-cost screenings to benefit viewers.”
Exact dates for these screenings have not been announced. However, as we reported yesterday, the CEO of IMAX (which has 50% of its screens in China) believes the country could begin to reopen cinemas as early as next month.