While there may be no end in sight for the Coronavirus in countries such as the United States, Italy, Canada, and more, China is currently planning for life after the virus. They were the first to suffer the outbreak and life there is just now starting to go back to normal and one aspect of everyday life is movie theaters.
Movie theaters in China are planning to re-open around the end of the month, however, there are a number of questions that go along with this. The first is what movies will play when the theaters open? Well, since the movies that were going to hit China were postponed indefinitely, it seems older movies will play in their place.
Now Chinese movies such as Wolf Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth are set to play when the theaters open, which will occur in waves. Shortly following those films, Deadline reports that Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone will play in theaters. Interestingly, none of the Harry Potter films were really big in China. The most successful one was Deathly Hallows part 2 which only grossed $60 million out of the $960 million it made overseas. The first Harry Potter film never actually released in China or made too little to report.
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone will be released in Chinese theaters in 3D and 4K. However, movie theaters will get 100% of the profits and the studio won’t get anything. This is extremely unusual but actually makes a lot of sense. One reason the studio isn’t collecting profits is likely to get theaters back on their feet after suffering a tremendous loss. Theaters are important for studios to make money so this is likely to help theaters recoup some of their lost profits so they can stay in business.
Another reason the studio isn’t collecting profit is this is likely just a test. Just because theaters are open, doesn’t mean people will feel comfortable going to them just yet. This test will provide data for how many people are willing to go to the theaters right away and how long it will take for mass amounts of people to feel comfortable going. This data could also be applied to other countries such as the United States to judge when it is safe to start playing big blockbusters again.
There has also been talk that Disney could join in and re-release their extremely successful Avengers movies using the same model. In terms of newer movies, if these older movies do well and people return to the theater, movies like Sonic The Hedgehog, Bloodshot, and Onward could finally secure Chinese release dates.
What do you think of this strategy? Would you like to see it used in your country when theaters re-open? Also, what will it take for you to feel comfortable to go to the movies again? Let us know in the comments section of our website or on our Twitter & Instagram accounts.