Legendary Entertainment’s China offices are reopening for business, one of the first signs of the industry returning to some sort of normalcy in a country where the coronavirus got it start and is now a global pandemic.
Per Deadline sources, Legendary’s Beijing-based offices have reopened, but staff are alternating dates so no more than 20 or so employees are in the office at a given time to reduce the risk of exposure.
Legendary Entertainment is owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, which bought the Hollywood studio in 2016 for $3.5 billion.
In China, there are 81,077 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,218 deaths since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The WHO said Monday that the total number of cases and deaths outside China has overtaken the total number of cases inside the country, as severe containment measures and restrictions have helped flatten the curve of the disease in the Middle Kingdom. Only 29 new cases were reported Sunday.
The Legendary news comes as Variety reported the first movie theater, Zhongying Golden Palm Cinema in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, opened on Monday. All theaters had been shuttered since the Lunar New Year holiday, but there are rumblings that China Film Group, the state-owned film enterprise that oversees theaters, dates films, finances, produces and more, is planning to re-open its Beijing offices as early as this week.
China is the No. 1 overseas territory for box office with an infrastructure of some 70,000 screens.