The Beijing News interviewed directors Xie Fei, Gao Qunshu, producer Liang Jing and cinema manager and other industry insiders and audiences to share the changes in cinema and online viewing

One year later, I will look at "Hospital Transfer", online and offline are no longer multiple choice questions

  Recently, according to the "2021 Chinese New Year User Trend Insights" report released by Beacon Professional, theater audiences watched an average of 2.71 theater-line movies and 0.44 online movies during the Spring Festival. It has shown that online movies are becoming a new trend for users to watch movies. Choose, the era of "cooperation between theaters and networks" has given birth to greater imagination for the film industry, and online films still have great potential for user expansion and impact breakthroughs.

Looking back at 2020, which is known as the "first year of the transition from hospital to network", the trend of integration of traditional movies and streaming media seems to be unstoppable, and the competitive relationship between online and offline has also undergone subtle changes.

  On January 25, 2020, the film "囧 Ma" originally scheduled to be broadcast on the cinema chain, directed and acted by Xu Zheng, was transferred to online video websites, which kicked off the prelude of the mainland movie "theatre network". As of December last year On the 31st, a total of 19 cinema movies have been premiered on the online video platform.

The theater side believes that "academic transfer to the network" infringes on the interests of many parties, and the network side praises that "the barriers between online movies and theater movies have been broken."

  As far as the platform is concerned, the new movie theaters on each platform provide a choice of multiple types of movies and showcase the advantages of mobile technology, which will also continue to accumulate audiences for the platform.

However, the movie was changed to online first, and there have been controversies over issues such as ticket prices and broadcasting technology.

After this year's game, the two channel rivals of theaters and online theaters will hinder each other or work together in the future?

The Beijing News interviewed professionals from various parties to discuss the development status of cinema-to-network movies and the problems they face from multiple angles.


  "Forced" to accept reality will increase hardware investment in the future to attract viewers

  Last year’s Spring Festival movie, the wave of operations of "囧 Mom" ​​almost "stunned" everyone. The film first started to be filed, and immediately after it was announced that it would be released for free on the headline video platform. Here comes a series of industry discussions: Will this new type of cooperation model become the norm in the future?

If it becomes the norm, what impact will it have on the traditional cinema industry?

  The profitability of the film party has increased, but the cinema chain has been robbed of the audience online

  At the Beijing International Film Festival Future Image Development Summit Forum held on August 29, 2020, Xu Zheng publicly responded to the controversy about the transfer of cinema to the network. He said that the launch of "囧 Ma" was just a film decision and it was impossible to bring the film industry to life. Change is even less likely to bring down the theater chain.

However, most theater managers have never stopped complaining about the controversy of the movie "Transfer to Network" series.

Li Yulin, a theater manager who has been working in theaters for many years, said frankly that for traditional theaters, the transfer of hospitals to the Internet is undoubtedly a "hit harm but no benefit".

  The biggest headache for cinema practitioners is the loss of audiences.

"A large number of viewers choose online, and the number of offline movie viewers has dropped sharply, which directly represents a reduction in box office conversion rate and a reduction in theater revenue. Whether it is the choice of theater-line movies to go online directly, or the shortening of the theater and online window, this is every What cinema practitioners are unwilling to see.” Li Yulin told reporters that compared with the distribution of foreign cinema chains, although Hollywood’s profit model is relatively mature and healthy compared to domestic ones, video platforms still give rise to Hollywood cinema chains. With a huge threat, the talk of "Netflix Shakes Hollywood's Position" has been endless these years.

On the other hand, in China, the number of physical cinemas has been saturated. That is to say, once the “campus transfer” becomes popular, the loss of domestic cinemas will be much greater than that of foreign cinemas. Some cinemas will face the situation of "Cinema and The number of screens was already severely saturated before the outbreak of the epidemic. If more and more movies choose to be transferred to the hospital in the future, although the film party has more profit methods, but for the projection side, after being robbed of some audience There is no doubt that it is a further sharp drop in box office revenue."

  Film studios need to survive, but closed theaters need to survive. Whether it was ten years ago or last year, whether it was this year or ten years later, "transition from hospital to network" is always a headache for theaters, and it may be for the entire film industry. There are diversified and multi-channel improvements, but for traditional theaters, it is "grabbing audiences." Luo Tianwen said: "Many people in the industry now say that some movies can only be watched on the big screen, and some movies are suitable for broadcast on the Internet. It can be distinguished. But this evaluation standard is very vague, and it is difficult for viewers to make the most suitable film choice for online and offline connections."

  From the initial complete rejection to the gradual acceptance in disguise

  Despite the anger, the theater team faced the fact of "transition from the hospital to the network". Apart from venting verbally, they were unable to organize effective resistance in actual actions. They were slowly forced to accept this reality.

After all, for theater chains with "blockbuster dependence", it may be difficult to refuse to show movies with Xu Zheng from now on.

  Tang Le, the production manager of the headquarters of Huayi Brothers Cinema Management Company, also agrees with the statement that “theatre is passive”. He said that whether it is a creator or a theater operator, it is very likely that the model will change from completely resisting to gradually accepting the transfer of the hospital in disguise. It is equivalent to the original "film to digital projection", which is the general trend of historical development.

However, he personally judges that within ten years, cinemas will still be the mainstream of domestic audiences: "Domestic cinemas are still in their infancy, the number of screens is saturated, and competition is still fierce. In the process, there will be quantitative changes. For high-quality goods, the screening conditions will gradually improve, and the profitability of a single screen will rise. During the development process, the voice of the theater will gradually increase. After it becomes more solid, it can effectively compete with the film party or fight for the window period."

  Film market expert Jiang Yong said that the current cinema transfer network bureaus in the mainland film market are far from mature, and it is believed that after the epidemic is officially over, there may be fewer and fewer cinema transfers.

For theaters, some small and medium-cost movies should be given the amount of online space they deserve. At the same time, they should defend the window period principle of large-scale announcements of theaters, instead of resisting the transfer of theaters across the board. This is the future effort. direction.


  60% of them accept online paid movies, the first choice for blockbuster movies

  After a year of "hospital transfer", 69% of the audience has the consumption experience of online movie watching, and online movie watching has become more and more popular.

According to the Beijing News reporter’s survey of 100 viewers, it can be found that after the movie theater resumes work, the dual-line market is operating normally, and half of the viewers are willing to choose between online and offline movies based on the actual situation of the movie. Only 7% of viewers have made the choice of “preferring movies to watch online”, and 34% of viewers have become loyal viewers of offline movies. While traditional cinemas are still influential, online movie viewing has further improved The weight in the hearts of the audience, and 34% of the audience who prefer offline viewing, this proportion is a lot more than the 7% of the first online audience, which also shows that the cinema line still has an irreplaceable advantage in the audience.

  The broadcasting platform has expanded the number of users, and some viewers feel it is worth it because there are movies to watch

  "For traditional online movie'first window' broadcasting platforms such as You Aiteng, the single-chip payment model is introduced into theaters movies with the intention of including more theater movie audiences outside of online movies. On the one hand, they can rely on theaters. Online movies have acquired a wider range of content users. On the one hand, they have firmly grasped the original user groups of online movies and consolidated the membership system.” Box office expert Luo Tianwen analyzed that during this special period of the epidemic, the Youai Teng video platform quickly expanded its content pool to change the volume. Achieve qualitative change.

According to the "Research on Countermeasures for the Development of the Film Industry Under the Impact of the Epidemic-A Survey of Audience Watching Willingness" jointly released by the China Film Association and Maoyan, more than 70% of the respondents have experienced online paid movie viewing, and more than 60% Respondents believe that online payment is acceptable, indicating that the audience has a higher acceptance of the online viewing model.

  For example, on February 1, 2020, "Fatty Dragon Crossing the River" starring Donnie Yen chose to watch iQiyi and Tencent Video for a single point of payment. After the film was officially released, many netizens in the barrage and comments said, "Thanks to the Internet for allowing us to watch new movies in theaters without leaving home", "6 yuan for the premiere of theatrical movies, which is much cheaper than movie tickets", and "6 yuan to watch Donnie Yen's play, it's worth it."

In addition, the two platforms both show that it costs 12 yuan for non-members to watch, while VIP members only need 6 yuan, which is also a temptation for many non-members to recharge.

Audience Wang Xue recharged iQiyi membership to watch "Spring Tide" in advance. She said that the feeling of watching this kind of film in the home theater is also very good, and the most important thing is "at least you can watch it."

  Cinema is still a favorite of the audience, and the weight of high-quality content will be more obvious

  "Whether it is in North America or China, the poll numbers are changing at any time. In the short term, the audience's intentions cannot be accurately guessed. Regardless of whether the movie is a theater or a movie that is transferred to the network, the audience will choose the viewing channel according to their own judgment and needs. The theater chain and the network have important complementarity and irreplaceability, but the weight of high-quality content will undoubtedly become more obvious." Tang Le put forward such a point of view on the audience's views on the network transfer.

  China has become the world's largest ticket warehouse in 2020, which undoubtedly shows that Chinese audiences still have great confidence in the theater.

Some viewers have reported that there are fewer and fewer large-scale blockbuster movies to be "switched", and there are not as many options as cinema movies.

In addition, watching movies on the Internet also has a lot of inconveniences. Just like watching "囧Mom" on the mobile platform, there is still no sense of ritual in a movie theater. It is more like the feeling of "chasing drama" with a small screen. It is easy to be distracted by anything.

  The audience Li Yi said that the current domestic cinema transfer regulations are not mature enough. If there is really an antenna that can be watched both online and offline, it is better to go to a physical cinema to watch a movie at the same price online as in a movie theater. Blockbuster movies like "Wonder Woman 1984" must go to theaters. Even if you can pay tens of yuan to watch them online like abroad, I think you should go to theaters to watch them."


  The film distribution model is more flexible, and piracy and "bad films" should be prevented

  In 2020, although there have been films that have been transferred from hospital to network one after another, the only ones that are really influential are "囧Mom", "Fat Dragon Crossing the River", "Big Winner" and "Zhengtu". Movies, small and medium-sized films have basically not caused much waves.

From the shift in market demand to the distribution of cinema movies on the Internet, it can be seen that changes in user demand have begun to have an impact on content supply from quality to quantity.

With the gradual development of online movie viewing habits, more film and television companies may lean toward the Internet in their future layouts to expand the online movie market.

Coupled with the large user base covered by the online video platform, it is also conducive to finding a larger market for waist and tail movies and diversified content.

  The hospital-to-network model brings the possibility for film owners in the online market. It responds to market changes with a more flexible and diversified distribution model, expands the increment with richer content output, and strengthens the industry's long-term and stable anti-risk ability.

The well-known "high-level" cinema film "Xia Fan" seems to reflect the increasingly refined meaning of "films on the Internet platform" from the side.

Behind every movie of "Yin Zhuan", there is also the ardent expectation of its first release platform for the "Yin Zhuan" works. Anything such a work can achieve a big box office success, it confirms the network platform users. The huge potential needs to be tapped urgently, and further platform realization is just around the corner.

  As a result, some people are optimistic about the prospects for cinema-line movies to be transferred to the Internet, thinking that “even if there is no epidemic, the film industry will change. The black swan incident is only accelerating the change. Online movies and cinema-line movies will be like two Like streams of water, rushing to meet and eventually form a broader river" to jointly promote the development of China's film industry.

Luo Tianwen mentioned that such a vision seems to be beautiful, but there are undoubtedly many practical problems in the transition to the network. As far as the status quo of domestic online movies is concerned, when the focus of the film is on online screening, the medium of the film is no longer behind the big screen. , The downgrade in production has become a matter of course, and the form of movies will gradually deviate from the concept of traditional movies.

He said that the current domestic hospital transfer mechanism is not mature, and there are still many issues that need to be further strengthened, such as how much domestic audiences can afford to pay for movies, the value of intellectual property products, and how to resist rampant piracy all need to be considered. problem.

  On the other hand, it seems that the profitability of online movies is no longer as easy as before, and the improvement of quality requirements at the content level has forced the growth of online movies one step at a time.

Just like in all walks of life, outstanding online movie works will eventually be only a little bit at the top of the pyramid. How to achieve the balance between the industrial production of online movies, artistic value and commercial value requires more creators to explore.

In the future, when a variety of high-quality content is broadcast through multiple channels, whether it is to retain the "audience" or the "user", the best thing to do is to retain the well-known content-"content is king", which will always be a big sentence. truth.

  Whether it is broadcast in theaters or on the Internet, works that cannot speak with high-quality content, and works that cannot gain good reputation from the audience, will eventually be abandoned by the audience. No matter which platform, there is a lot of room for content growth.

Song Weicai, associate professor of the School of Art and Media at Beijing Normal University, said that only on the basis of good content, cinema chains and the Internet can work together to make the pie of the film industry together. The two complement each other and influence each other, thus integrating and symbiosis for a long time.

Regardless of whether it is the cinema market or the online market, both channels have entered a new stage of high-quality products, which channel is essentially not important, and content quality is the core element of the film's break.

Only by creating content that the audience likes can there be more possibilities for the intersection of offline and online.

  Written by/Beijing News reporter Zhou Huixiaowan