Several Chinese New Year (CNY) movies have been cancelled in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.
At around 1.30pm today (Jan 23), film studios in China announced through social media that they were cancelling the global release of movies such as Jackie Chan's Vanguard, Wang Baoqiang's Detective Chinatown 3, Eddie Peng's The Rescue as well as the animation film Jiang Zi Ya: Legend of Deification.
The movies were supposed to be released over the CNY weekend. There are no announcements on new release dates.
According to news reports, Chinese health authorities said the Wuhan outbreak has become a full-blown community epidemic.
As a result, these four movies have also been pulled from Singapore theatres. Another two Hong Kong CNY movies — Enter the Fat Dragon and All's Well End's Well 2020 — are not affected and will open here today and on Saturday respectively.
Cathay Cineplexes released a statement shortly after the announcements in China: "Due to the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak in China, we regret to inform you that the Chinese studios have made the difficult decision to delay the global releases of their Chinese New Year movies such as Vanguard, Detective Chinatown 3, The Rescue, and Jiang Zi Ya: Legend of Deification.
"As such, we at Cathay Cineplexes will follow their policy and hence, we will be unable to play these titles until further notice. We apologise and seek your kind understanding for the inconvenience caused."
Cathay Cineplexes added that many other movies would still be screened at their cinemas. They will also arrange for auto-refunds for patrons who had bought advance tickets to the movies online and on mobile. The refunds would be reflected in their statements in four weeks' time.
For patrons who purchased advance tickets through the box office and self-service kiosks, they can head down to the same cineplex where the tickets were purchased to either exchange them for another movie at a different showtime, or request for a full refund.