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‘Avengers’ won’t save Chinese box office, but May Day holiday will

2020/3/25 19:29:20   source:Global Times

As the rest of the world shuts down their cinemas due to the threat of COVID-19, all four of Marvel's Avengers movies are set to be re-released on Thursday in the Chinese mainland as cinemas begin reopening their doors.

Following the poor showing for the mainland box office after theaters reopened on Monday - 528 theaters showing re-releases of domestic films only brought in 20,800 yuan ($2,942) according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan - some overseas media outlets are still optimistic that imported movies like the Avengers series of films will be able to miraculously stimulate the recovering market.

Will these old films be able to lift the box office of the Middle Kingdom onto the path to recovery? The answer, which may hurt the feelings of many fans and overseas analysts, is no. They are only a means to transit from a full shutdown to fully open theaters again.

What Chinese moviegoers, who have been "grounded" at home for more than two months, expect are new releases like Mulan, 007: No Time to Die and Fast & Furious 9. However, the Hollywood studios behind these titles have yet to issue release dates for these delayed films due to concerns surrounding the pandemic, which may turn into an even worse global disaster if the rest of the world doesn't act as fast and effectively as China did.

Many analysts are all looking forward to observing the performance of the Chinese mainland market during the upcoming May Day holiday, another key season for Chinese movies. The three-day holiday over the past three years generated 775 million, 1 billion and 1.5 billion yuan respectively at the box office and has even greater potential this year since the holiday will be five days long (May 1-5).

As the first five-day holiday following Spring Festival, which was ruined by the virus, May Day holiday is being looked at as a replacement for the usually theater-packed Spring Festival. Many expect to see millions of Chinese, who haven't seen any movies since January to flood to cinemas during this period.

In this sense, May Day holiday will be the true "Avengers" in the Chinese movie universe.

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