Much of the world is still in lockdown mode as leaders try to contain the spread of the coronavirus, but in China, where the virus originated, things are finally calming down. With little to no new cases coming in, front-facing businesses like restaurants are starting to reopen, and an estimated 600 to 700 movie theaters throughout the country are now back in business.
But after people have been holed up in their homes for months, it may take something special to tempt them back into crowded community spaces. To that end, Chinese theaters are releasing some very popular movies from the last decade and change, including Avatar, Inception, Interstellar, and all four Avengers movies! Hopefully that will get people back to the theaters.
If you’re wondering about the choices, both Inception and Interstellar have big followings in China, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and of course Avatar and The Avengers movies are among the most most profitable movies in history. In fact, Avengers: Endgame and Avatar are the first and second most successful movies of all time, with $2.798 billion and $2.744 billion earned respectively. Avatar director James Cameron congratulated Endgame on surpassing his total a while back, but the people behind the two movies have been in something of a stand-off ever since, each eager to keep hold of or reclaim the title. With both movies being rereleased, will the balance of power shift?
That will be fun to watch, but the best thing about this news is that it gives other countries like the United States reassurance that they can come out the other side of this thing okay. With theaters shuttered, movies and TV shows delayed or gone on hiatus, and people holed up in their homes, that’s reassurance I think a lot of us could use right about now.
China will be releasing popular Chinese movies, too, like Wolf Warrior 2, The Wandering Earth and Wolf Totem. In those cases, China’s Film Bureau has introduced measures that will allow theaters to keep 100% of the profits, which will hopefully help them get back on their feet after a period where they weren’t making any money. The rights-holders for the Hollywood films, on the other hand, will get their customary 25% share of ticket sales.
I wonder if the government will try to arrange something like this for theaters in the U.S. when they reopen. Stay tuned, and remember that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.