The Batman” flew to an opening weekend of $11.8 million and landed in first place at the box office in China. It was the biggest opening this year in China for a Hollywood title but, with a return of coronavirus problems affecting cinema operations, the result has a tinge of missed opportunity.

Data from consultancy Artisan Gateway showed the film amassing $11.6 million between Friday and Sunday, with an additional boost from previews on Thursday.

Imax reported that the film earned $2 million of that total from its screens or 16% of the film’s China weekend total. It also reported that “The Batman” played on 440 Imax screens, a figure that may reflect temporary closures. There are some 750 Imax venues in commercial operation in a normal weekend.

In second place was “Uncharted,” which picked up $4 million over the Friday to Sunday period. “Uncharted” was given an unusual Monday release and over its seven opening days amassed $10.4 million, according to Artisan Gateway.

Long-playing Chinese blockbuster “The Battle at Lake Changjin II” earned $1.6 million over the weekend, nudging its cumulative to $638 million since its debut on Feb. 1.

Other Chinese New Year titles also remained in the chart. “Too Cool to Kill” added $1 million, for a cumulative of $413 million. “Boonie Bears: Back to Earth” added $600,000 for a cumulative of $152 million.

Box office this year has generally lagged 2021 when China held on to its crown as the world’s largest theatrical market for a second year, albeit at sub-2019 levels. Now the return of coronavirus is a threat that could slow further recovery.

On Friday, the China Film Administration ordered cinemas in high- and medium-risk areas to close temporarily. Those in low-risk areas are required to increase social distancing measures and to cut their seating to 75% of full capacity. Food and drink are also not allowed in theaters.

Midweek, Artisan Gateway estimated that 30% of the country’s cinemas were closed. That figure may have risen to 43% by the weekend.

The closures are especially concentrated in the big cities, which are also home to those audiences most favorable to foreign films. On Monday, the authorities identified 33 high-risk areas and 538 medium-risk areas. They said that on Sunday, they had detected 2,027 new confirmed cases and a further 2,492 asymptomatic cases. The asymptomatic figure is the highest this year.

Nationwide, cinema box office was worth just $21 million, the second weakest weekend of 2022. The year-to-date aggregate stands at $2.18 billion, which Artisan Gateway calculates is now 20% behind the same point last year.