Last year as the pandemic broke out in China, we looked to the east for signs of what life may be like dealing with lockdowns and a slow return from lockdowns.

Today, we look to the east to see what life with be like in a re-opening. In the entertainment area, Chinese just set a Chinese New Year box office record with an estimated $1.2 billion shattering the previous pre-COVID record from 2019 by over 30%.

A return to the big screen

This should bode well for movie theater chains in the US as they ease restrictions and tent pole releases hit the big screen in the spring. In China, the theaters saw a bigger box office thanks to increased ticket prices in some areas, more screens than 2019, and a reduction in travel which made movie theaters a first-choice activity for the holiday.

Wanda Pictures' Detective Chinatown 3 grossed $551 million in its opening weekend which is by far the top movie globally in 2021 and also bigger than any 2020 release.

As long as COVID cases continue in a downward trend, the movie theaters in the US should start to see a return to the big screen in May. The first major movie is the Disney release of Black Widow  starring Scarlett Johansson on May 7th. That will be a key weekend to watch to see how big the pent up demand for movies can be.

Will you return to the movie theater in the spring?

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“Movie Theater Posters near the office” by mollystevens is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0