Headlines from China: Chinese New Year Films Cancelled in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

A still of ‘The Rescue,’ directed by Dante Lim

Chinese New Year Films Cancelled in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

It was announced around noon time on January 23 that Bonnie Bear: The Wild Life had cancelled its theatrical release during Chinese new year to prevent the Wuhan coronavirus from further spreading. Within the next two hours, all seven Chinese New Year films, including Legend of Deification (a.k.a. Jiang Ziya), Lost in Russia, The Rescue, Vanguard, and Detective Chinatown 3, Leap, announced to delay their Chinese New Year releases under the circumstances of the pneumonia outbreak. The new release dates of these films are yet to be determined. The cancellations may also affect the overseas release plans for some of these films like The Rescue, according to Mtime. According to the WeChat media account yiqipaidianying, it cannot rule out the possibility that the outbreak will lead to more cancellations of new film releases scheduled for February or even March. It is certain that, however, the Chinese box office performance in the first quarter of 2020 will face a significant drop compared to last year and the year before. Read more on zhipianrenneican, Mtime & yiqipaidianying

Maoyan and Taopiaopiao Offer Automatic Refund to Ticket Buyers of Chinese New Year Films

With all Chinese New Year releases being cancelled, Chinese online ticketing platforms Maoyan and Taopiaopiao issued statements today, saying that ticket buyers of Chinese new year films will receive automatic refund within 7 business days. Taopiaopiao also offered further compensation to users who already purchased tickets. The valid period of ticket discount vouchers for these new releases are temporarily postponed to December 31, 2020. Tiaopiaopiao will also provide a 7-day free VIP membership of Alibaba’s video streaming site Youku to previous ticket buyers.  Read more on mydrivers.com

Huayi Brothers Expects A Wider Loss for 2019

Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers reported an estimated net loss of 3.967 billion yuan-3.962 billion yuan (US$572.10 M – 571.38 M) in 2019, according to the company’s annual performance forecast released on the night of January 23. During the same period last year, the net loss of the company was 1.093 billion yuan (US$157.63 M). Lack of films that mainly produced and invested by Huayi Brothers in 2019, the company’s film revenue has fallen to a greater extent compared to the same period last year. Read more on National Business Daily