The silver screen shines again –

A moviegoer in Shanghai poses for a picture before entering a cinema for director Guan Hu’s war epic, The Eight Hundred. [Photo by Chen Yuyu/For China Daily]

Chinese cinemas are recovering from COVID-19’s impact faster than some insiders expected.

Propelled by the summer’s top blockbuster, The Eight Hundred, China’s movie market is seeing a robust growth in box-office takings, indicating a stable recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

As of Sept 2, over 9,600 cinemas-nearly 90 percent of the total-have opened across the country since the China Film Administration, the top sector regulator, announced domestic theaters in low-risk areas could reopen from July 20.

Although July grossed a modest box-office total of 216 million yuan ($31.5 million), August saw sizable growth, with 53 films released, generating up to 3.4 billion yuan, according to Alibaba Pictures’ movie-information-tracking app Beacon.

Filmgoers watch a movie in a cinema in Shanghai.[Photo by Chen Yuyu/For China Daily]

Director Guan Hu’s war epic, The Eight Hundred, the first Asian film entirely shot on IMAX cameras, has earned more than 2 billion yuan, topping the country’s box-office charts since the reopening of domestic theaters. Over 1.9 million tickets for The Eight Hundred have been sold in China’s 657 IMAX theaters.

The latest figures from Canadian-US film-technology supplier IMAX show the Chinese blockbuster has so far earned over 100 million yuan for IMAX China.

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