Germany Extends COVID-19 Lockdown: Cinemas to Stay Shut Until at Least Dec. 20

Wonder Woman 1984 - Publicity Still 4- H 2019
Warner Bros. Pictures

Hotels, restaurants, and gyms will also stay shut as Germany tries to bring down infection rates ahead of the Christmas holidays.

German cinemas, which shut down for the month of November amid rising COVID-19 infection rates in the country, will remain closed for a further three weeks, until at least Dec. 20.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany's federal states have announced a further tightening of the country's COVID-19 restrictions.

Cinemas, as well as theaters, concert halls, and other cultural institutions, will stay shut through the first three weeks of December. There will also be stricter regulations requiring masks in public places and private gatherings will be limited to members of two households and up to five people.

The authorities will assess the impact of the new measures and by Dec. 15 decide whether to extend them into January.

The goal of the lockdown plan, announced in Berlin Wednesday night, is to bring down infection rates far enough to allow a slight loosening of regulations ahead of the Christmas holiday. That would be good news for cinema owners and distributors who are hoping for some respite in what has been a bruising year for the box office.

The extended lockdown means the local theatrical release of several titles, including Paul W.S. Anderson's Monster Hunter, Ed Herzog's German-language crime comedy Kaiserschmarrndrama, and Viggo Mortensen‘s directorial debut Falling, will all postponed.

There is one big studio title still set to bow in Germany before the end of the year: Warner Bos.' Wonder Woman 1984, which has set a Dec. 23 theatrical release here. In the U.S., Warners are doing a joint theatrical and streaming release for Wonder Woman 1984, bowing the film both in theaters and on its streaming platform HBO Max.