As China slowly approaches the other side of this pandemic, plans to reopen the movie theaters are already underway. And what better way to ease into life as we knew it than to settle in front of an old cinematic favorite? Per Variety, Warner Bros. confirmed Thursday that a restored version of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone will be released to Chinese theaters to help lure audiences back to the box office after coronavirus closures. With a little 3D and 4K magic, fans will get to revisit the perpetually dangerous, but newly vivid grounds of Hogwarts after months of self-quarantining.
While there isn’t a publicly released premiere date as of yet, Variety notes that a “generally reliable ticketing app” in China lists April 30 as the big day, which would lead right into a historically major box office holiday weekend. Some theaters have already attempted to open their doors after weeks without newly reported cases of the virus, but have been met with very small turnouts. Warner Bros. hopes that the promotion of a modernized viewing experience for a majorly beloved film will encourage former moviegoers to return.
This new development comes after reports that China’s state-owned distributor will be re-releasing some popular titles in theaters, including Wolf Warrior 2 2019's The Wandering Earth, two of the country’s highest-earning titles of all time. As major studios are hesitant to commit to solid premiere dates, older favorites are poised for a major comeback until the industry (and the planet, really) is back on more stable ground. We’ll have to wait until after the spring to see if American theaters follow in China’s footsteps. May we suggest a revisit of Cats?