European cinemas hit by fresh setbacks as Chinese box office booms

Wearing face masks in a cinema
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Italy and Spain’s slowly recovering cinema industries have been derailed once more by Covid-19, whereas China’s cinema admissions go from strength to strength.

The outlook continues to be gloomy for European cinemas, with the news that Italy and many of France’s venues will be once more shutting their doors, due to the effects of the ongoing Covid pandemic. Whilst UK cinema admissions have remained depressed to the point where major industry player Cineworld has been forced to shut its doors, cinemas in Italy, France and Spain have pressed on. Perhaps because their film industry is not as heavily dependent on the beleaguered American blockbuster market as our territory unfortunately is.

Cinema admissions in France particularly, which has its own thriving homegrown industry, were looking healthier. However, with Covid-19 cases spiking across the continent, Italy – which was the first European country to close cinemas back in February – has announced that they will be closing again. France has imposed a 9pm curfew among much of the country which is expected to negatively impact the fragile progress that its cinemas have made since their own reopening.

One country that does seem to have made a success of reopening its cinemas is China, where homegrown blockbuster releases are hitting opening weekend totals that most Hollywood bosses would certainly settle for right now.

The Chinese war epic, The Sacrifice, opened to a $53m weekend whilst The Hollywood Reporter has stated that several films there are cruising into grosses totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.

As was reported recently, the Chinese box office is the largest in the world in 2020, surpassing that of the US, which continues to operate in a diminished capacity as major markets like New York and California remain partly closed.

More on all of this as we hear it. We fear it’s going to be a long winter.

Image: BigStock

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