14 May – Cinema Online, Malaysia's Favourite Movie Site, ran a survey asking fellow Malaysians just how soon they are willing to return to cinemas once CMCO is lifted.
Not surprisingly, more than half of the movie-loving nation – 52.94% to be exact – responded that they are willing to return within a month once cinemas reopen.
Key findings of the survey are as follows:
30% of them said that they will be either first in line to buy a movie ticket or wait until the movie they want to watch is playing. Most of them are also more willing to watch the movie alone rather than with companions, though some did opt to watch with family as well.
The independent survey, conducted nationwide over a 2-week period on Cinema Online's various platforms and social media, had 800 respondents from ages 15 to 60. Over 66% of the respondents were from Klang Valley.
Marcel Lariche, the Managing Director of Cinema Online, said that this survey was pertinent to see the genuine interest of Malaysians in returning to the cinemas once they reopen. This was also done to quell the current negativity and fear of news that have been circulating undermining local cinemas.
Cinema Online, being an important component of the cinema industry in Malaysia, believes its role is not only to serve the industry but also bridge the cinemas or exhibitors and the movie distributors to the movie-lovers primarily and the public in general.
Most likely, local moviegoers are less than two months away from being able to step into cinemas again. At the moment, the earliest movie currently slated to open in local cinemas is the Pekin Ibrahim and Mona Allen-starring Malay horror movie "Salina", scheduled for release on 2 July 2020.
There are six titles currently set to be released in local cinemas this July, which include Hollywood movies "Mulan", "Tenet" and the next instalment of "The Purge".
However, if the CMCO is lifted by next month and local distributors begin scheduling their movies' releases for June, moviegoers could begin frequenting cinemas earlier than expected.
Cinemas across Malaysia, be it from major or smaller cinema chains, have been on temporary closure since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced by the local government on 18 March 2020.
More than two months later, Malaysians are now in the Conditional MCO (CMCO) phase, which allows the reopening of certain economic sectors. However, places that are generally hubs for large gatherings, such as cinemas, will remain closed until further notice.
As such, local moviegoers haven't been able to visit their favourite cinemas to catch the latest movies. (Not that there any new movies releasing at the moment, since Hollywood and other film industries alike have put film releases on hold while the world works together on battling the pandemic).
We love to hear your thoughts! If you haven't already, please take our COVID-19 Survey which will continue to run throughout the CMCO here: http://www.cinema.com.my/survey/covid19/
(Photo source: Chen Yee Fei | Divercity)