|Few visited the cinemas on the first day of its return|
courtesy of mingpao.com
Cinemas after closing for over 3 months yesterday opened up again with the first stage easing of social distancing measures. Film releases included ANITA, G STORM (G FUNG BO), FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE, MOONFALL, SING 2, CUBE, and DRIVE MY CAR. Ming Pao reporters yesterday visited many Causeway Bay cinemas and saw few viewers bought tickets. Most shows had poor admission rates.
Viewers "Mr. Chan" and his girlfriend watched MOONFALL. He said that he bought the tickets online two days before. Tickets were not hard to buy and he had coupons. He wanted to watch the movies so he went. He felt that the government's pandemic prevention measures that required cinemas to close for a long period were unreasonable. People needed entertainment; as for the requirement to show the proof of vaccination for going to the movies, he felt that it would probably protect everyone. "Mr. Kwok" and his girlfriend also saw MOONFALL. They were happy that cinemas returned because they liked watching movies, even though they were unable to eat and drink they were fine. A couple brought their two sons to watch SING 2. They believed that cinemas would take the full pandemic prevention precautions. After entering they would not remove their mask to eat or drink.
Hong Kong Theaters Association said that although cinemas returned, the advanced sales from a few days ago were normal. Although yesterday many movies opened, some were already released before the closure or overseas. New films were few. The total box office estimate of the first day would be average. It would take awhile before a return to normal level. In addition the current admission limit was at 50% capacity, some film companies mainly wanted to wait and see. They were waiting for further restriction easing before arranging for releases. They believed it would take 3 to 6 months before returning to the normal levels. As for how to help the industry, the Association said that theaters must save themselves. "Take the full pandemic prevention precautions so the audience would feel safe. Earlier the Association fought for 85% admission rate with the government, but ended up with 50%. We were very disappointed, couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope the government would ease the admission restriction soon."