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It’s a crushing hit. The Chinese return to the cinema for a long time

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BEIJING (AP) – Excitement and upheaval on the big screen have long since returned to the world’s largest film market.

The coronavirus, which was very well controlled in China և cinemas were partially closed, moviegoers broke the box office records of China, setting a new high ticket sales in February.

February marked the biggest month of all-time movie ticket sales in China, at 11.2 billion yuan ($ 1.73 billion). Last year, China overtook the United States as the world’s largest movie ticket market as the US box office dealt a major blow to cinemas due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Chinese theaters were able to reopen until the middle of the year, and since then they have seen steady audience growth. Local films have also regularly benefited from informal “eclipses” of periods when only domestic productions were allowed to be shown. The lack of major Hollywood blockbusters in recent months seems to have boosted the Chinese film market.

“People were encouraged to stay in Beijing on Lunar New Year, so watching movies became the main entertainment choice,” said Chu Donglei, marketing manager at the Tiananmen branch of Beijing Poly Cinema.

Wearing a mask is mandatory, իտ movie viewers must register in the mobile phone application in order to be able to follow them in case of an outbreak. Only other seats were allowed, making it even more difficult to get tickets to the most popular movies.

According to the China Film Information Network, 95% of the ticket sales went to the seven big lucrative temporary films around the Lunar New Year festival, which started on February 12 this year.

“Hello, Mom”, a time-honored touring comedy starring Ling Ying Ling, grossed 4.36 billion yuan, followed by the detective film “Detective Chinese City 3” – 4.13 billion yuan.

Wang Xiaoyu, a 32-year-old filmmaker, was able to get a ticket for “Hello, Mom” ​​only on Thursday, calling the attempt to watch it “deeply moving.”

“I know there are some movies that are released and broadcast online. But I think the experience of watching movies online is not as good as watching a movie. I prefer to go to the cinema to watch movies. “The experience is different,” Wang said.

Wang says the lack of entertainment options has accelerated ticket sales during the epidemic, predicting a bright future for Chinese filmmaking.

A 21-year-old college student, Hang Angia, said the live cinema experience was a welcome break from watching videos at home. Advertising for successful online movies also helped attract many viewers to brick-and-mortar cinemas, Hang Ang said.

“I’m bored, you can’t watch Duin all the time at home (streaming service), so I came to the cinema to watch a movie. “There is nothing to do,” said Hang Ang, who is on holiday in the winter.

Last year, China became the world’s largest box office, selling about $ 2.7 billion for $ 2.3 billion, down 80 percent from ticket sales. The “Eight Hundred” operation, which glorified China’s resistance to Japanese aponia invaders in Shanghai in the 1930s, was the world’s biggest hit, grossing $ 461.3 million at the box office, most of it in China.

Chinese theaters also closed for some time last spring at the height of COVID-19 in the country, but gradually reopened in the summer. As of Friday, China had passed 11 days without reporting any new cases of local transmission of the virus.

Since the outbreak was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, China has reported a total of 4,836 deaths from 89,877 COVID-19 cases.

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Associated Press Assistant Caroline Chen contributed to this report.

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