Germany has extended its partial coronavirus lockdown until at least December 20, meaning cinemas in the European major will not resume operations before that date. It is also possible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, that restrictions could continue into January. A re-evaluation is due to take place on December 15.
Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman 1984 currently has a December 23 theatrical release date in the market, but depending on how the situation evolves, it’s conceivable the film could be obliged to move. Martin Moszkowicz, CEO of Constantin Film which has Milla Jovovich-starrer Monster Hunter ready to go, tells Deadline, “I’d say it is safe to say that Monster Hunter will not be released in Germany this year. But we have not made that decision yet. And other countries are different.” Both the UK and France recently set plans to reopen cinemas in December, while the Netherlands returned in late November. Asia has had great success in the reopening process. Both Monster Hunter (December 4) and Wonder Woman 1984 (December 18) are soon due in China.
Cinemas originally closed in Germany in March, and began a reopening process in May and June. They were shuttered again in early November for what was hoped to be a month-long period. This is one of the markets that had excelled with drive-in theaters through the pandemic, though we understand they are not currently operating.
The most recent news out of Germany comes as the number of daily COVID-19 cases remains “too high,” Merkel said, with 18,633 recorded in the previous 24 hours. The number of COVID-related deaths hit a high of 410 it was reported Wednesday. Still, a steeply rising curve of new infections has hit a plateau, “but this is only a partial success” that is not satisfactory to lift lockdown restrictions, Merkel indicated.
Merkel made the announcements on Wednesday evening after a seven-hour video call with the heads of the 16 German states. There will be some exemptions around the holidays so that members of different households can gather in groups of no more than 10 people. Bars, restaurants, cultural venues and leisure facilities will also remain closed.
For the restrictions to be lifted again, local reports say the infection rate would have to drop to under 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week.