Yesterday saw all seven of the the big budget films set to premiere for the Lunar New Year announcing the postponement of their releases in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China. China’s Lunar New Year traditionally brings in the biggest box office numbers of the year due to the number of moviegoers flocking the cinemas, yet the decision has been made to prioritize public health.
Among the movies postponed were Lost in Russia 囧妈 which previously got flak for schedulling its release a day earlier than most on January 24. In an unprecedented move, director Xu Zheng and the production team of Lost in Russia have decided to push through with its Chinese New Year release, making the movie available online for free on January 25 in an effort to spread joy to viewers who can spend their new year’s watching the movie staying safe and within the comforts of their home.
Lost in Russia is the third installment of actor-comedian Xu Zheng’s highly-successful and lucrative “Lost in” franchise. A new journey begins in Moscow for six days and six nights and follows the relationship between a mother and her middle-aged son. Xu Zheng directs and stars in the film along with Huang Meiying, Yuan Quan, Jia Bing and Guo Jingfei.
With many of the news coverage focusing on the escalation of the coronavirus and efforts to contain it, this is certainly a nice surprise and a touching gesture. Many C-Netizens have praised Lost in Russia and expressed their willingness to pay to view the movie online or pay again when the movie comes out in theaters.
Hopefully Lost In Russia will go for a new theatrical release after the outbreak end. Opting for only web broadcast would be such a loss as it can probably earn more than RMB 1 or 2 billion at the box office.