8.016 billion! The Spring Festival season is a hit at the box office, with many films receiving good reviews

How the film market continues to be “hot”

  During the hot schedule, 4 of the 8 released movies have announced their withdrawal, which is very rare; the social media buzz of some popular movies far exceeds the work itself

  The success of "Hot and Spicy" is not so much the success of the topic, but more believed to be the success of the creative attitude.

  Exploring and promoting the branch distribution model can allow some literary and artistic and niche films to be screened in some theaters and theater chains for a long time, thereby forming a screening brand and theater characteristics for documentaries, literary films, etc.

  This year’s Spring Festival movie market is as “hot” as the names of the movies leading the box office——

  The National Film Administration recently released data that the box office of movies during the Spring Festival in 2024 reached 8.016 billion yuan, which not only surpassed the box office performance of last year's Spring Festival of 6.758 billion yuan, but also refreshed the box office record of 7.822 billion yuan set in the Spring Festival in 2021, becoming "the most popular movie in history." Spring Festival stall”. Not only did it become a hit at the box office, many films also received good reviews on various film and television rating platforms, and their reputations are improving.

  Also during such a hot schedule, 4 of the 8 released movies have announced their withdrawal, which is very rare; the social media buzz of some popular movies far exceeds the work itself.

After the Spring Festival, can the movie market continue to be hot?

Whoever gets the topic gets the market?

  "When my 70-year-old mother came to ask me about Jia Ling's weight loss, I knew the movie was completely out of the spotlight." During the Spring Festival this year, Shi Wei, who has lived in Shanghai for many years, returned to his hometown in Chongqing to visit relatives. His mother, who has never been to a movie theater since she turned 50, actually asked him about the movie "Hot and Spicy" and expressed the idea of ​​​​wanting to watch the movie in the theater. The reason was that she watched the Spring Festival Gala on a short video platform for two years. There are many videos of Jia Ling successfully losing weight.

  On January 11 this year, when "Hot and Spicy" was scheduled to be released, director and actress Jia Ling, who had not been in the public eye for a long time, revealed on Weibo that she had "successfully lost 100 pounds and looked like a boxer", which aroused great public concern. curiosity. Before the movie was released, topics such as "Jia Ling lost weight and turned into Zhang Xiaofei", "Skinny Jia Ling" and "I was shocked by the hot Jia Ling silhouette" were the top trending topics on various platforms.

  The "2024 Spring Festival Movie Market Insight Report" from Beacon Research Institute shows that the Spring Festival movie "Hot and Spicy" has 447 hot searches on Weibo, and the hot search time on the list is 789 hours, far exceeding other movies in the same period, " "Jia Ling lost 100 pounds" became the first hot topic in the movie this year. Recently, many people are paying attention to Jia Ling singing on the same stage before and after losing weight, as well as Jia Ling's wavy hair and princess skirt style after successfully losing weight. This made Shi Wei wonder: "Is it really the movie itself that made "Hot and Hot" famous?"

  Even if there is no off-site topic of "Jia Ling loses 100 pounds", "Hot and Hot" is still a "hot topic movie". The film focuses on the story of a woman's self-change. After the release, "Hot and Hot Hugging Herself" and "Hot" Popular topics such as "Love yourself to defeat the whole situation" are also highly consistent with the discussion of young people's attitude towards life on the Internet in recent years.

  The driving effect of “topics” is very obvious. According to a report from Beacon Research Institute, "Hot" attracted 36.2% of "zero-frequency users", that is, it attracted many users like Shi Wei's mother who did not watch movies during the Spring Festival to enter the cinema. The number of first-time viewers of the film was almost It is 1.5 times that of "Flying Life 2".

  This trend has already emerged during the summer season last year. "Despite", which focuses on telecommunications fraud, took in a box office of 3.848 billion, and "The Vanishing", which tells the story of "wife killing overseas", took in a box office of 3.523 billion, ranking third and fourth in the box office last year respectively. The two movies During the release period, discussions on social topics outside of the movie also remained high.

  Mr. Wu, who is engaged in film and television production, said that although many people in the industry have mixed opinions about the film, the unanimous view is that "the film script is not perfect enough, but Jia Ling's hard work is worthy of admiration." In his opinion, "Hot and Spicy" can break through during the Spring Festival. In addition to Jia Ling's own "national favorability", her attitude of devoting herself to changing her body shape and creating movies in the past two years has made the "topic" possible. And it has been widely discussed; and the good basic quality of the movie has further promoted the reputation. Mr. Wu said that the success of "Hot and Spicy" is not so much the success of the topic, "I believe it is the success of the creative attitude."

Only sinking can succeed?

  In fact, looking at the movies released during this year's Spring Festival, most of them have their own "topics." Zhang Yimou's "Article 20" explores the "justifiable defense" of Article 20 of the Criminal Law; "Mr. Red Carpet" satirizes the grotesques of the entertainment industry; "Let's Shake the Sun Together" focuses on the lives and emotions of seriously ill patients; Even the animated film "Bear Infested: Reverse Time and Space" is also about the nostalgia of urban office workers.

  In comparison, last year's Spring Festival included the historical drama film "Man Jiang Hong", the science fiction film "The Wandering Earth 2" that reflects the level of China's film industrialization, the spy suspense film "Unknown" and the exquisite fantasy animated film "Deep Sea". Different Types.

  But not all topical movies can replicate the success of "Hot". "Mr. Red Carpet" directed by Ning Hao and starring Andy Lau once had high hopes based on the traditional "famous director + big star" model. However, the film has only achieved a box office of 84.22 million yuan and announced its withdrawal on the evening of February 16. . Also announced to be withdrawn is "Let's Shake the Sun Together", which tells the story of critically ill patients. The film received the same score of 7.9 on Douban as "Hot and Spicy".

  "Mr. Red Carpet" is the movie that Huang Huan, who works as a screenwriter, is most looking forward to during the Spring Festival. Ning Hao's works have their own style in terms of story telling and camera use. In her eyes, they have already taken the prototype of "author's movies". However, she found that the film's screening rate was very low, "either early in the morning or very late." When news of its withdrawal came out, she wanted to see it again, only to find that the theaters near her home had almost no screenings a few days ago.

  When she returns to her hometown during the Chinese New Year, Huang Huan's relatives and friends will also chat with her about her film and television works. But compared with the overwhelming "Jia Ling lost 100 pounds", almost no one cares about film factors such as camera language and scene scheduling. She was also dissatisfied with several popular movies released during the Spring Festival this year. “The box office is frighteningly high, but are the quality of the movies really high?”

  Data from Beacon shows that "Mr. Red Carpet" has the highest box office share in first-tier cities, reaching 18.6%, which is almost double the average of 9.6% for the period; while it is at the bottom in fourth-tier cities, with only 18.3%. Among the five major movies during the Spring Festival, it is the only one whose box office in third- and fourth-tier cities accounts for less than 50% of the total box office. The Beacon Report concluded that “Spring Festival films have seen a significant decline.”

  However, in the eyes of industry insiders, "sinking" is not the only way out for movies. They are still full of expectations for Chinese movies with rich types. "Movies in different schedules have different characteristics, even in a mature film market like North America." Mr. Wu took Hollywood movies as an example. With the end of the awards season in March, a number of films with strong artistic quality will be released; Summer movies are dominated by popcorn visual effects movies; when the end of the year welcomes the New Year, family-friendly comedies and heart-warming movies will become the main focus. "It makes no sense to think that the movie genre is single and caters to the market just by looking at this year's Spring Festival movies." He also believes that audiences in first-tier cities are more receptive to art films.

  "The gains and losses at the box office of this year's Spring Festival show that on the one hand, the market rules of movies need to be respected. For example, the Spring Festival schedule has its own uniqueness, requires positive themes, and the subject matter must be suitable for family fun; on the other hand, we must also recognize that movies and stars "Comedies are highly dependent on comedy stars, and China needs to create its own national comedy stars." Liu Haibo, a professor at the Shanghai Film Academy of Shanghai University, believes that creators should be encouraged to summarize the market rules and create blockbuster movies that are both popular and well-received for the schedule. , what needs to be opposed are shoddy works that cater to the characteristics of the schedule.

Does movie theater schedule determine life or death?

  On January 29 this year, "Mr. Red Carpet" suddenly released a poster with the words "Let the audience choose? OK!" prominently written, seemingly expressing dissatisfaction with the film's branch release. There have been rumors that several other films in the same period will be released in separate lines, requiring theaters to ensure a "minimum release volume" on the first and second days of the Lunar New Year, which does not include "Mr. Red Carpet."

  However, on the afternoon of January 30, the China Film Producers Association, the China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association, and representatives of eight investors and producers of Spring Festival films held a symposium on the distribution and screening of Spring Festival films and reached a consensus that "no unit or organization can take advantage of Market dominance interferes with market operations, including movie schedules, and makes restrictive arrangements for the legitimate business activities of various market entities."

  Some theater managers revealed that nowadays theaters must closely follow the market pace in arranging films: "Of course they will be arranged based on the industry's predictions at the beginning, but they will definitely be adjusted immediately based on market feedback." This seemingly fair way of arranging films has a certain impact on relatively niche audiences. Art films are unfair. "Currently, domestic films are single-genre and homogeneous. Films that tend to be Hollywood-style are often more popular in the market, but a healthy film market should accommodate various styles, genres and aesthetic tastes." Film critic Ishikawa said that today's films The market began to promote the branch distribution mechanism. The original intention was to promote market diversification and accommodate more films of different styles.

  However, the split distribution mechanism in which film producers negotiate film scheduling has become a reason for some films to ensure the number of films scheduled. According to some industry insiders, exploring and promoting the branch distribution model can allow some literary and artistic and niche films to be screened in some theaters and theater chains for a long time, and in this way, documentaries, literary films and other screening brands and theater characteristics can be formed.

  The National Art Film Screening Alliance was established in 2016 and currently covers nearly 3,000 theaters across the country. Under this mechanism, "Bohemian Rhapsody" achieved a box office of more than 99 million yuan, and "Killing a Sheep" directed by Wanma Tseden had a box office of more than 10 million yuan.

  "Currently, short videos and AI technology are comprehensively impacting the film industry from technology to market. Short videos and football games are also being played in theaters, and the entire industry is reintegrating." Liu Haibo took Andy Lau in "Mr. Red Carpet" as an example. In recent years, many of his attempts have been to break through his original "star" positioning and expand his acting career. "If you want a commercial box office, you must focus on genres and stars, but you must also encourage actors to have artistic pursuits, but you don't have particularly high expectations for the box office. Movies have their own rules."

  Jiefang Daily reporter Jian Gongbo Zhonghan