Audience Caps Under Review
The Japanese government is currently considering lifting the audience cap on large-scale gatherings, like concerts, as the pandemic eases and the number of daily cases drops steadily.
Currently, the limitation is 20,000 people per event, and then only when there are extensive infection countermeasures in effect.
Under new rules, there will be no limit at all if the event is outdoors, though organizers would still have to follow a number of rules, including mandatory masks and a ban on loud vocalizing by members of the audience.
For the most part, the announcement was met positively, but a Yahoo News poll still found a minority nervous about relaxing restrictions and very reluctant to enter a closed area with a large number of human beings.
BTS Sets Another Record
Yonhap news agency reports that the K-pop supergroup BTS has set yet another world record with its three March concerts at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul.
The shows marked the group’s long-awaited return to offline performances in front of a live audience in their native land since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, and were sold out quickly.
In order to share the event with as many of the band’s global fans as possible, the March 10 and 13 shows were streamed online and the March 12 show was beamed live to movie theaters.
About 45,000 people enjoyed the concerts in person, but another 1.02 million watched online. The new record, however, was set by the worldwide movie theater audience, which numbered 1.4 million, thus making the March 13 concert the most viewed non-film content of any event that has ever taken place in a movie theater.
Variety reports that the estimated revenue from the global movie theater broadcasts amounted to about $32 million.
In all, the concert was streamed to 3,711 theaters in 75 countries. In North America alone, the concert was shown in 803 theaters, with each ticket costing $35. Variety said that many multiplexes reported sold-out screenings. And while, for the weekend, the BTS concert placed third in terms of revenue behind “The Batman” and “Uncharted,” one movie industry analyst told Variety that the BTS box office figures are “astonishing” and “unprecedented.”
Asia was no exception. The Manila Bulletin reports that the BTS concert was screened in 34 SM Cinema multiplexes to sold-out audiences, sometimes twice – the first time as a live streaming in the afternoon and the second time later that evening as a playback.