On the evening of January 25, "Chinese Ping Pong: The Jedi Counterattack" (hereinafter referred to as "Chinese Ping Pong"), which was only released for two days, announced the withdrawal of the file, and adjusted it to a small-scale screening from the fifth day of the first day (January 26), and postponed it to February. It will be officially released on the 17th.

As of the evening of the 25th, the total box office of the film's screenings and pre-sales exceeded 42 million yuan.

Regarding the reason for the withdrawal, the producer stated in the announcement: "Due to major mistakes and serious shortcomings in the decision-making, preparation, and promotion of the publicity and distribution team, the film fell into a particularly passive situation during the Spring Festival."

  Can the change of "Chinese Ping Pong" bring a glimmer of life to the film?

On January 26, West China Metropolis Daily and cover news reporters interviewed film group executives, senior film and television professionals, and industry insiders engaged in film distribution.

They all said that with the strong momentum of "Man Jianghong" and "The Wandering Earth 2" during the Spring Festival, if the film is not withdrawn, there is a high probability that it will be difficult to seize market share at the box office.

Whether the new schedule can bring about a turning point also depends on whether there is a "window period" in the schedule.

However, the film schedule in February is already quite dense, and the new schedule of "Chinese Ping Pong" still faces a lot of pressure.

Advance to the Spring Festival stalls

  Withdraw after file modification

  The movie "Chinese Ping Pong" is directed by Deng Chao and Yu Baimei, starring Deng Chao, Sun Li, Xu Weizhou, Duan Bowen, Cai Yida, Ding Guansen, Sun Xilun, Aruna and others.

The film is based on the story of the National Table Tennis Men's Team in the trough period in the early 1990s.

Faced with internal and external doubts, the head coach and the coaching staff insisted on drastic reforms, and the unpopular "New Five Tigers of Men's Table Tennis" played their respective advantages, and finally staged a wonderful Jedi counterattack in the 1995 World Table Tennis Championships, regaining the men's team championship trophy. Weslin Cup.

  In fact, there were twists and turns in the release of "Chinese Ping Pong".

The film was originally scheduled to be released on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit, but it was temporarily changed for some reason, and later changed to the third day of the Lunar New Year.

In other words, during the most precious two days before the Spring Festival, "Chinese Ping Pong" can only "watch" the release of films such as "Man Jianghong", "The Wandering Earth 2" and "No Name", giving up the box office.

In the previous few days, directors Deng Chao and Yu Baimei of the film led the creative team to hold a number of movie viewing sessions, which gained the love of many audiences and scored 7.0 points in the Douban score.

  It will be released on a staggered peak, and after the word-of-mouth of the rest of the films in the Spring Festival file is confirmed, if "Chinese Ping Pong" relies on its good word-of-mouth to ferment to attract the box office, there is indeed the possibility of "coming from behind".

However, on January 25, the second day after the film was released, the film’s official Weibo posted an apology: “Due to major mistakes and serious shortcomings in our publicity and distribution team’s decision-making, preparation, and promotion work, the film fell into a particularly passive situation during the Spring Festival. Situation." At the same time, the film studio announced that the film will be changed to "Jedi Strikes Back" on February 17, and said that the sincerity and passion will not diminish, "You and I will meet".

As of the evening of the 25th, the total box office of the film's screenings and pre-sales exceeded 42 million yuan.

 Why do you want to withdraw the file?

  The opponent is too strong and can only retreat

  Can the file be withdrawn after changing the file, can it bring a glimmer of life to "Chinese Ping Pong"?

Zheng Ye, a veteran filmmaker, has served as the publicity and distribution work for the movies "Heroes" and "Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate".

He told reporters that in most cases, when a movie changes its schedule, the main reason is to consider whether the movie can make money under the current movie environment. In Zheng Ye's view, the situation of this year's Spring Festival file is not conducive to "Chinese Ping Pong" occupying market share. After that, the Spring Festival stalls generally feature two to three films, which means that ordinary audiences are willing to go to the cinema 2-3 times during the Spring Festival. The film should be able to squeeze into the top three, and according to the traditional concept, the film should have a certain box office share."

  However, Zheng Ye also said that so far, "Manjianghong" and "The Wandering Earth 2" have received very strong box office reputations, failing to give opportunities to other non-top films.

So in this case, the withdrawal of "China Ping Pong" is not difficult to understand.

Zheng Ye shared his past release experience and said: "When releasing a film, there is a way, that is, if the film is excellent, then the schedule must be on the first day of the Lunar New Year. It will be easily suppressed by other films, which will affect the film schedule and box office, and the schedule will have to be withdrawn at this time.” In his opinion, the reason why “Chinese Ping Pong” was released on the third day of the Lunar New Year is mainly to focus on attracting more people in the second half of the year. come and see.

"It is logically correct, but there is a premise that at least one of the two leading films has not gained word of mouth. But now "Manjianghong" and "Wandering Earth 2" are both very tough, and their reputation continues to rise. Soaring, at this time you can only retreat."

 Withdraw the file and welcome the turnaround?

  Having a suitable window period is the key

  Bai He, deputy general manager of Chengdu Film Group, said that it is rare for a film like "Chinese Ping Pong" to be withdrawn after it was released. It should be that I have never encountered such a situation before." Why did you announce the withdrawal?

Bai He said that withdrawing the file was also a helpless move for the film.

From the theater’s point of view, regardless of whether the film is withdrawn or not, its box office is irreparable,” because Maoyan’s forecast on the evening of January 24 seems to indicate that the film’s box office will reach tens of millions RMB, but it actually only sold for a few million yuan. From the theater’s point of view, no matter whether it is withdrawn or not, there will be no more films.”

  On January 20 (the twenty-ninth day of the Lunar New Year), "Chinese Ping Pong" held more than 4,000 large-scale advance screenings in 30 cities, and officially met with national audiences for the first time.

In Bai He’s view, on the 29th day of the New Year’s Eve, many people are basically on holiday. Under such circumstances, it is not wise to launch on-demand screenings. In particular, 6 of our theaters ordered screenings of "Chinese Ping Pong", and none of the 4 theaters sold a single ticket." Bai He said that such screening results also made the film's mystery disappear and directly affected the film. By the third day of the Lunar New Year, the film will be officially released in theaters.

  At present, the film has been withdrawn, and it is announced that it will "counterattack" on February 17.

But the movie schedule in February is also very dense, not only "Black Panther 2", "Sadness That Cannot Weep" and "The Bad Tongue Lawyer", but also "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Frenzy" and "Wind of the Wind", which are also scheduled for February 17. When Resurrection".

Can the withdrawal of "Chinese Ping Pong" bring a glimmer of life?

Bai He believes that unless the film can find a window period, "because it won't be in the market, everyone knows the performance of this film, unless it changes the time, there is no film, there is no competitor, and a very good film is chosen. Schedule - there is no other film schedule, so we can only schedule it. Just like "Predecessor Raiders 3" a few years ago, the film crew did not expect that much at the time, and chose an off-season, but there was no film schedule at that time, so it was fully released After two months, it sold for nearly 2 billion yuan." But Bai He also said that such a window period this year is hard to find, "because the film industry has gradually returned to normal, and many films that have not been released will be scheduled one after another. files."

  A film distribution staff said that he was also worried about the new schedule of "Chinese Ping Pong", "On February 17, there was a crime scene starring the Marvel superhero movie "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Frenzy", Tony Leung and Aaron Kwok. The theme movie "When the Wind Rises Again"...I was discussing with my colleagues why "Chinese Ping Pong" chose this schedule, and I will be under a lot of pressure at that time."

  In the early hours of January 27, according to Maoyan Professional Edition data, the total box office of the 2023 Spring Festival stalls has reached 6.04 billion yuan, surpassing the total box office of 6.039 billion yuan for the 2022 Spring Festival stalls, becoming the second place in the box office of the Spring Festival stalls in film history.

"Man Jianghong", "The Wandering Earth 2" and "Bear Infested: Be with me "Bear Core"" are currently ranked in the top three box office charts during the Spring Festival.

(West China Metropolis Daily - Cover News Reporter Zhou Qin)

  (Source: West China Metropolis Daily, January 28, 2023, page A15)