Tue. Mar 31st, 2020

China to Rerelease ‘Avengers’ Franchise, ‘Avatar’ to Boost Reopening Cinemas

As China works to reopen its movie theaters and rebuild its local film industry, the country is turning to some superheroes for help, according to a bombshell report in THR.

All four of Marvel’s Avengers movies are set to be rereleased in the country in the coming days and weeks. Joining the effort will be past Hollywood blockbusters including Avatar and Warner Bros.’ Christopher Nolan films Inception and Interstellar.

After placing strict restrictions on hundreds of millions of people, China appears to have successfully gained the upper hand against the new coronavirus. On Wednesday, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the coronavirus pandemic got its start, began allowing its estimated 60 million residents to resume travel. Over the past week, some cinemas across the country, along with other public-facing businesses such as restaurants and shopping malls, began tentative experiments to reopen.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were an estimated 600 to 700 Chinese movie theaters open for business. Many of the theaters were smaller operators with just several screens, located in remote regions of the country that were hit less hard by the epidemic during its peak in February. No nationwide Chinese cinema chains have announced a resumption of business yet, but more screens are switching on by the day. 

China’s efforts to reboot its cinema exhibition infrastructure offers a preview of the challenges other countries currently in lockdown — such as the U.S., European nations and all of India — will likely face when they eventually come out of the other end of the epidemic. China’s theater operators have faced two interrelated difficulties: convincing customers it is safe to return to the multiplex in large numbers and convincing distributors that there are enough customers to resume marketing and releasing their most valuable film titles — and without the latter, it would seem hard to achieve the former.

rerelease of James Cameron’s Titanic earned $145 million. In 2018, Japanese anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 classic Spirited Away earned $69 million from a China rerelease. 

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy:  Paramount; Disney

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