Oh dear, it seems an auspicious beginning is just not in the cards for China’s film industry as blockbuster flicks scheduled for a New Year’s Day release have all been pushed back. As you’ve probably already heard, with the number of reported Coronavirus cases rising, officials are naturally cautious and have already warned the public to stay away from crowded places in order to prevent the virus from spreading further. And cinemas, especially for the lunar new year period = crowded.
Traditionally, the Chinese New Year season is oft regarded by production companies as the golden period for new releases since it’s become pretty common for families and groups of friends to pop into the cinema for the holiday season. So it’s entirely understandable why film producers hoping to capitalize on this spending habit are all vying for a lunar new year release date. Alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry in the face of a Coronavirus breakout.
Amongst the big budget films with a new year’s day release that have announced their withdrawal from the lunar new year roster are 3D animated fantasy film Legend of Deification 姜子牙, sports flick Leap 夺冠 starring Gong Li which pays tribute to China’s women’s volleyball team, Chen Sicheng’s hugely successful crime-fighting uncle/nephew comedy franchise Detective Chinatown 3 唐人街探案3 starring Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran, Dante Lam’s The Rescue 紧急救援 starring Eddie Peng, the action-packed Vanguard 急先锋 starring Jackie Chan and Yang Yang, renowned film maker Xu Zheng’s comedy film Lost in Russia 囧妈, and the 3D animated children’s film Boonie Bears: The Wild Life 熊出没.
As more and more cases of the virus are reported, hope everyone takes extra precautions to stay safe and healthy as they begin their lunar new year’s countdown. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, avoid crowded places and maybe this year, stay home with your loved ones over a nice hearty meal or cosied up with a warm cuppa in front of the telly. There’s definitely no shortage of dramas to binge watch with your loved ones! What better way to welcome the new year than being with your family, in your own home all safe and healthy right.