Though movie theaters across the United States close down to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, theaters are beginning to open up for the first time in months in China. As reported by CBS News, China has reported no new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, an optimistic sign of hope for the country which as recently as one month ago was still reporting thousands of new cases every day. As the country begins to heal and the spread slows, movie theaters and other business are beginning to open back up to offer movie fans a reprieve, and they'll be playing fan-favorite older films in an attempt to get attendance back up.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. announced they would be releasing a 4K version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone into Chinese theaters, though an official release date for the re-release was not yet confirmed. The China Film Group has also reportedly reached out to US studios in an effort to gain more American feature films to release in Chinese theaters in order to drum up more business.
As fans wait for the re-release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, other hit Chinese movies area already playing in theaters to get movie goers to return. Previous box office hits like 2019 sci-fi film The Wandering Earth (the third highest-grossing film of all time in China), 2017's Wolf Warrior 2 (featuring American actors Celina Jade & Frank Grillo), the 2015 drama Wolf Totem, and the 2018 Lebanese indie film Capernaum have all been, or will be, re-released.
With the spread of the coronavirus only intensifying in the United States, domestic movie studios have begun to delay the release of their movies in order to prevent box office flops as theater chains themselves have started to close down entirely to prevent its spread, with some of them closed for as long as twelve weeks and maybe even longer.
The American theater business is very much in "wait and see" mode, as it's unclear how long large venues will be closed and how much movie goers will be willing to spend on time spent in rooms with a lot of strangers after the coronavirus outbreak. New feature films scheduled to be released in the US have already been delayed indefinitely, so a similar strategy of fan-favorite box office hits for domestic audiences could be a great idea for movie theaters in the United States.
What classic movies would you want to see released in theaters on the big screen when movie theaters re-open in the United States? Sound off in the comments below!
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