China News Service, Beijing, February 20 (Reporter Wang Shiyao) The total box office for the 2024 Spring Festival period (February 10-February 17) exceeded 8 billion, breaking the Spring Festival box office record in Chinese film history! At the same time, for the first time this year during the Spring Festival, four movies were withdrawn one after another, namely "Let's Shake the Sun Together", "Huang Pi: The God of Wealth Cat from Heaven", "Mr. Red Carpet" and "Bajie: Under the Canopy". This makes people ask: What happened during the Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon when ice and fire blended together?

  The picture shows promotional materials related to Spring Festival movies displayed in a cinema in Ganzhou, Jiangxi to attract people to watch. Photo by Liu Lixin

The most popular Spring Festival stalls continue to break records

Box office and word-of-mouth exceeded expectations

  According to preliminary statistics from the National Film Administration of China, the national movie box office during the 2024 Spring Festival holiday was 8.016 billion yuan, and the number of moviegoers was 163 million. Compared with the 2023 Spring Festival holiday, the box office and number of moviegoers increased by 18.47% and 26.36% respectively, both of which set records for the same period. new record.

  Chen Jin, a data analyst at Beacon Professional Edition, told reporters from China News Service that the top four box office movies during the Year of the Dragon during the Spring Festival are "Hot and Furious", "Flying Life 2", "Bear Infested: Reverse Time and Space" and "Article 20" , the box office of each single film exceeded 1.2 billion, accounting for 97.5% of the total box office of the period.

  He pointed out that the above-mentioned four movies have achieved outstanding results. Among them, "Hot" has a box office of more than 300 million for 6 consecutive days and won the daily box office crown; "Flying Life 2" won the box office championship on the first day of the Spring Festival, and the cumulative box office greatly exceeded the previous film " The box office performance of "Flying Life" created a new box office record for a movie directed by Han Han; "Infested Bears: Reversing Time and Space" took less than 4 days to break the Spring Festival animation record held by "Infested Bears: Stay with Me "Bear Core"" The box office record for the film period; "Article 20" has strong long-tail box office, achieving three single-day box office declines during the Spring Festival period.

  Film critic Yan Peng (Electronic Knight) holds the same view. He said that this year's Spring Festival box office and word-of-mouth overall exceeded expectations. According to his observation, the box office of the above four movies so far has exceeded the expected box office given by each platform before the release. "Although this year's Spring Festival stall has one more day than before, overall it is much better than the Spring Festival stalls of the previous two years, which is beyond expectations."

  In addition, the results of the China Movie Audience Satisfaction Survey for the 2024 Spring Festival stalls showed that the audience satisfaction score for the Spring Festival stalls was 85.9 points, ranking second among the nine Spring Festival stalls surveyed since 2015.

  Four of the eight films surveyed during the schedule exceeded 85 points ("Flying Life 2" scored 86.2 points, "Article 20" scored 86.1 points, "Hot and Furious" scored 85.9 points, and "Bear Infested: Reverse Time and Space" scored 85.5 points). The quantity is the same as that of the same period in 2023, both of which are the highest during the Spring Festival period.

  The picture shows a movie theater in Wuchuan, Guizhou. Moviegoers are buying tickets and snacks. Photo by China News Network reporter Qu Honglun

Third- and fourth-tier cities become the largest ticket warehouses

Will the sinking market take the lead?

  It is worth mentioning that this year’s Spring Festival box office share in third- and fourth-tier cities exceeded 53.8%, significantly higher than last year’s 50.1%. Chen Jin’s analysis pointed out that the box office rankings of the northern Shandong, Henan, Hebei and Liaoning provinces during the Spring Festival period have improved significantly compared with last year’s Spring Festival period. Among them, Weihai, Tonghua, Dezhou, Huludao, Zhangjiakou, Xinyang and other third- and fourth-tier cities The performance is particularly outstanding, and the market as a whole continues the trend of continued decline during the Spring Festival.

  The continued growth of the sinking market share will inevitably affect many considerations of film producers. Yan Peng believes that although Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are still important ticket warehouse cities, the movie-watching population in first-tier cities has become saturated, and audience choices have become more diverse.

  "For the film studios, there is a basically clear attitude that if they want to have a better box office, especially if they want to reach billions, they must go deeper into the market."

  Taking the movie "Hot" as an example, Yan Peng clearly felt that the first half and the second half of the movie were somewhat separated while watching the movie. "The overall narrative of the film has been laid out for a long time, and the presentation method is somewhat exaggerated. These are all to allow ordinary audiences to better understand the film, and to patiently explain why the heroine Du Leying finally lost weight and chose boxing."

  "When I watched half an hour before the end of the movie, the style suddenly became very realistic and tough. This part is more similar to the original Japanese movie "One Hundred Dollar Love"." Yan Peng analyzed, compared to "One Hundred Dollar Love" "Artistic style, "Hot and Spicy" faces a wider audience during the Spring Festival, so director Jia Ling made certain compromises.

  Ms. Yao from Huludao, Liaoning Province, said in an interview with a reporter from China News Service that she does not usually watch movies, but she will watch a few movies with her daughter who returns home during the Spring Festival holiday. After watching "Hot and Spicy", her evaluation was, "The movie is very good, and I can understand it all."

  In Yan Peng's view, current domestic films, especially commercial films, often have a similar situation - the first half is too lengthy and pleases the general audience. "Viewers who watch the film more often will feel that there is actually no need to explain so much. They keep pushing their emotions and only burst out at the end."

  "From a market perspective, the current approach is indeed conducive to higher box office performance." Yan Peng explained.

  The picture shows moviegoers entering and exiting the cinema. Photo by China News Network reporter Qu Honglun

If you can't fight and just run away, is that a lack of martial ethics?

Withdrawal is “easy” and turning over is “difficult”

  "The first year of withdrawal" is here!

  This year's Spring Festival, four movies have announced their withdrawal from the Spring Festival. Among them, "Let's Shake the Sun Together", which has the highest box office, has 96 million yuan, and "Huang Pi: The God of Wealth Cat", which has the lowest box office, has less than one million yuan.

  The winner takes all, the loser retires. The box office of the four movies that were withdrawn one after another only accounted for 2.5% of the total box office for the period. Public opinion is still debating whether this kind of "fight and run" is a wise move to stop losses in time, or whether it is a speculative behavior without moral ethics.

  From an industry perspective, sometimes withdrawal is a necessary choice. Yan Peng explained that as a project of a film company, if it is released but loses money, it will become a liability; but as long as it is not released, it will be an asset in the company's accounts.

  Therefore, from the perspective of the operation of a film and television company, if the box office is not good and does not meet expectations, the film can become the company's asset again after being withdrawn. At the same time, the advantage of withdrawing the file is that the previously screened part will be counted as a screening, and Douban will not open the screening during the screening. "In this way, the reputation and evaluation of the film are still within control."

  However, this is the first time that four movies have been withdrawn from the Spring Festival schedule at the same time. Yan Peng speculates that it may be because the types of films in this year’s Spring Festival schedule are relatively single, resulting in an overly competitive situation.

  He also mentioned that the movie "The Annual Party Can't Stop!" 》It is very smart to avoid the Spring Festival stalls. Like many Spring Festival films, "The Annual Party Can't Stop!" is a drama + comedy genre. "Choose to be released before the New Year's Eve, successfully avoiding joining the competition for similar films, and has received more than 1.2 billion in box office so far.

  Perhaps this is also a form of "fight and run." But the awkward thing about the four movies that have been withdrawn during the Spring Festival is that they have already been released. How to ensure that the result of fighting again will be good?

  Some movies have already used all their strength in early promotion, and all their trump cards have been revealed. How can they still play in the future? When the film is re-released, facing other "fresh" films competing with it, can the withdrawn film that has lost its inherent advantage really be able to fight the expected turnaround?

  Another issue that cannot be ignored is whether the current unilateral withdrawal of the film studio will disrupt the film market? Yan Peng is worried that if withdrawals are not restricted, the future movie schedule will become a very chaotic situation.

  "If a movie can be withdrawn at will, is it difficult to guarantee that there will be a second or third withdrawal in the future? Will there be smaller films that rely on withdrawal to try their luck? In the end, I am afraid it will turn into a kind of gambling and speculation. "(over)