Tuesday, July 14, 2020


BEYOND THE DREAM's stars Terrance Lau, Cecilia Choi and director Kiwi Chow feel helpless about the seven day cinema closure
Steve Yuen and Karena Lam hope that the pandemic will be under control soon and LEGALLY DECLARED DEAD will be released again.
Foreign language film TAILGATE does not know whether it will be released as scheduled on the 23rd
Before the closing many cinemas were showing old films like TRAIN TO BUSAN (EXTENDED EDITION) and PARASITE
courtesy of mingpao.com

As the third wave of the pandemic worsens in Hong Kong, the government in order to reduce the risk of spread between people announced a large scene communication pandemic prevention restriction. Among them starting today (the 15th) at midnight to the 21st, public entertainment venues including cinemas would be closed for 7 days. The first to suffer were the Korean film PENINSULA and the Taiwan film A CHOO. The films were originally scheduled for release today and tomorrow, now due to the pandemic their release has been forced to postpone; as for when they will be released, it will depend on when the government will announce the date for cinemas to re-open.

The TRAIN TO BUSAN director Yeon Sang-ho directed, Gang Dong-Won and Lee Jung-hyun starred US$ 16 million production PENINSULA originally was scheduled for release today. Last night a premiere was scheduled, but due to the pandemic its release was postponed and the event was cancelled.

Director Yeon Sang-ho expressed regret after hearing the news and thanked viewers for their support with a video. "I am very sorry to hear the news about the Hong Kong cinema closing. I can sense the disappointment of everyone. PENINSULA is a movie that must be seen in the cinema, but with the entire world was under the pandemic viewer safety should be our first concern. I hope Hong Kong viewers would pay close attention to the latest release news of PENINSULA. I lok forward to seeing everyone at the movies very soon. I wish everyone peace and good health!" Aside from this Korean film, Taiwan film A CHOO was also forced to postpone its release.

Also affected are the still in release BEYOND THE DREAM (WAN OI) and LEGALLY DECLARED DEAD (SEI YUN MO HOR YI). The Kiwi Chow Koon Wai directed, Terrance Lau Chun Him and Cecilia Choi Sze Wan starred BEYOND THE DREAM was released for 12 days (as of July 13th) and accumulated HK$ 8.15 million. Now the film has been forced to halt its release and would have to wait until the cinemas to open again, its box office might also be affected. Director Chow Koon Wai was helpless but felt that the audience's health was the most important. "Early on when the pandemic returned, the team was already mentally prepared. Public health of course trumps the film's box office. The BEYOND THE DREAM fever has been forced to a halt, although I feel helpless I think back to the beginning when the opening box office was low but rapidly rose in multiples. Today it is able to break HK$ 8 million. Actually this is worth being happy about. I thank everyone for their support and appreciation. I can only follow Heaven's arrangement and hope to see the audience again very soon." Lead actor Lau Chun Him also understood the seriousness of the pandemic required a temporary "cinema closure". He said, "I am very grateful for the audience's passion and support in the past few days. Now due to the pandemic, cinemas are required to close temporarily for 7 days. It is absolutely understandable. I hope everyone will be able to properly take care of their health, together we can get over this difficulty."

LEGALLY DECLARED DEAD's director Steve Yuen Kim Wai also agreed that under the pandemic he would have to coordinate. "Public health comes first, although I feel helpless I still need to coordinate. Cases of unknown origin are numerous, reducing mass gathering is one of the ways. Because of the pandemic, cinemas inevitably would open and close. I only hope the pandemic will be under control as soon as possible. After (Anthony Wong) Chau Sun returns to Hong Kong LEGALLY DECLARED DEAD would be able to be released again." The film opened for 19 days (as of July 13th) and accumulated HK$ 7.47 million at the box office.

In the past, the summer golden slot had many Chinese and foreign blockbuster releases. However this year due to the pandemic and the "gathering restriction order", no cinema circuit dared to schedule film releases. Even if films were scheduled the dates would only be temporary, no one dared to confirmed them. Because of the worry that even if the films were released they would have no audience, cinemas would rather arrange for old films to be released again. Movies that were running before this "closing" like PARASITE, THE TRAIN TO BUSAN (EXTENDED EDITION), AKIRA, AT THE END OF THE MATINEE were all old films. Originally scheduled for release on July 23rd, TAILGATE's distribution company said that it did not know whether it will be released as scheduled.

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