Golden Village still hopeful about healthy turnout at cinemas
Despite new safety measures, Golden Village is optimistic about Cruella debut
While there was a decrease in the number of moviegoers at cinemas over the weekend when tighter safety measures kicked in, Golden Village (GV) "remains hopeful for a healthy turnout" ahead of the mid-year school holidays.
This even after Hollywood action blockbuster Fast And Furious 9, which was initially scheduled to open here on May 26, has been postponed to June 24.
A GV spokesman said although the industry cannot bank on Fast And Furious 9 at the moment, Cruella is "a title we are definitely optimistic about".
"Emma Stone's star power along with the show's well-received trailer suggests there is quite a lot of interest."
The Disney crime caper, a live-action origin story of the 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil played by Stone, is still opening here on May 27.
It will also stream on Disney+ with premier access for a single additional fee of $38.98 from May 28.
Under the new safety rules, which end on June 13, cinemas can allow up to 50 people in a hall per screening without pre-event testing, and with safe distancing and group size limited to two people. Food and beverage are not to be consumed within the cinema premises.
While Filmgarde Cineplexes has paused its operations till May 31 - it said it will reopen only when business conditions are right - GV, Cathay Cineplexes and Shaw Theatres have updated their seating capacities for all halls to accommodate not more than 50 attendees, while adhering strictly to the current safety requirements.
GV and Cathay are also selling their signature popcorn and other food items via Foodpanda and GrabFood respectively.
Fast And Furious 9 has been postponed "to better and safely cater to all the fans", said its distributor.
Ms Flora Goh, managing director of United International Pictures, told TNP: "This is one of the biggest franchises in the history of film, so you can imagine the fanbase.
"Moving the film back allows more fans to catch the film together on the big screen, the way it should be watched."
Ms Angel Trajano Albino, who is in her 30s and working in the healthcare industry, said "if the situation gets better", she "will definitely watch" Cruella on the big screen.
Entrepreneur Qistina Loke, 23, is also adopting a wait-and-see approach.
She had been looking forward to watching Cruella with her friends, but that is on hold for now.
She said: "Businesses still have to go on for Singapore's economy to be stable, so it is okay for cinemas to continue operating in order to be sustainable.
"But with the restricted group size, I don't think many will go except for maybe couples."
However, student Rachel Chew, 21, is choosing to stay home and finds watching Cruella on Disney+ to be "the safer option".
She said: "It is more cost-effective given that I can watch it together with my family and as many times as I like.
"I have a projector in the hall too. All I have to do is switch off the lights in my room and I’m good to go - everywhere can almost be a cinema."
Whether or not movie fans turn up or not at all at the theatres, the show must go on for the industry.
A spokesman for Cathay Cineplexes said: "While the new measures will have some impact on the cinemas, they are in place for everyone’s safety during this period of heightened alert. We will continue to prioritise the well-being and safety of our guests and staff while ensuring that the cinema experience remains entertaining and enjoyable."
The GV spokesman added: “GV understands the need for the tightened measures and the importance of doing our bit to help reduce the community cases. We will ensure strict adherence to prevailing safe distancing measures... the safety of our customers and staff remain our utmost priority.”