Mainland China’s theatrical box office slipped to its lowest weekend total of the year as the market suffered a combination of rising COVID cases and a lack of new releases.

Nationwide box office between Friday and Sunday amounted to just $19.2 million, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. It was the fifth weekend of decline since the splashy opening of eight major titles on Feb. 1 for the Lunar New Year holidays.

The Battle at Lake Changjin II,” which dominated proceedings at New Year, remained at the top of the chart for the sixth consecutive weekend. It earned a lowly $4.6 million over three days for a cumulative total of $635 million.

Recent days have witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases in China that has caused the return of restrictions in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen as well as epicenters Jilin and Changchun in the Northeast.

On Sunday, mainland authorities reported a total of 3,100 new locally transmitted cases of the disease in people who have symptoms and those who do not (China’s official count does not include asymptomatic cases as confirmed) and started to allow the results of rapid antigen tests in its data set. These are the highest daily figures in China in two years.

China is operating a zero-COVID policy which entails largely closed borders, mass vaccination and localized lockdowns. Mainland China has reported 112,000 infections since the beginning of the outbreak in January 2020 and 4,635 deaths. Some 1.24 billion people have received at least one vaccination shot.

It has been reported locally that some cinemas in Shanghai and Shenzhen were closed in response to the latest spikes. But a nationwide closure of movie theaters, like the five and a half month disruption in 2020, has so far been avoided.

Another factor in the slumping box office is likely to be a continuing shortage of major new films. The weekend’s highest new entry was the fourth-placed “Do You Love Me As I Love You?”. The film is a Taiwan-produced romance that released in other Chinese-speaking parts of Asia in the third quarter of 2020.

Monday sees the release in China of “Uncharted,” timed to give it a shot at the one day Qingming festival. And, if COVID conditions do not cause widespread cinema closures, Friday will see the release of “The Batman.”