What is the stamina of this year's Spring Festival films? Taking Maoyan-related data to roughly count, six films such as "The Wandering Earth 2" and "Manjiang Red" generated a total of about 4.427 billion box office in the 15 days from the end of the Spring Festival to February 11, which is directly about 1 billion more than the performance of the 2022 Spring Festival films; compared with the same period of 2019 and 2021 Spring Festival films, it has also increased by about 460 million and 280 million respectively. At the "2023 Spring Festival Film Phenomenon Seminar" of the China Film Association, filmmakers believe that the industrial, cultural connotation and market value of the concept of "Spring Festival file" are worth repositioning and exploring.
Author: Lan Er
Editor: Prince Zhi
Format: Wang Wei
Source: China Film Report
Half a month after the end of the Spring Festival file, on February 11, the newly released "Black Panther 2" was muted, and it was still a single-day box office of 200 million collectively contributed by six Spring Festival films such as "The Wandering Earth 2"; From the 12th to the 13th, the double-strong "Manjiang Red" and "The Wandering Earth 2" have successively entered the top seven and top ten of the total box office list of Chinese film history. The gold content of this year's Spring Festival movie is still quite strong.
With the heated discussion during this period, a conclusion became clearer: most of this year's films were not specially made for the Spring Festival file, and it is this special diversity that makes it have a super outbreak and strong stamina - and although the summary of many audiences is slightly "arbitrary", it can also show some market sentiment: "Films that are not suitable for the traditional Spring Festival file are good films."
As proposed by the famous filmmaker Tao Jing at the "2023 Spring Festival Film Phenomenon Seminar" of the China Film Association, this year's Spring Festival file gave filmmakers a revelation, that is, the "reverse force", the Spring Festival file does not have to put comedy, "The Spring Festival file is the only opportunity for many people to enter the theater once a year, we should let them see what the film may be like, can stimulate interest in diversified films", "not only to meet the box office demand of several films, to meet and expand is the broader market of films." ”。 Filmmakers are rethinking and understanding the "Spring Festival file" by many phenomena of this Spring Festival file.
The stamina of the Spring Festival stall
In the 2023 Spring Festival, it ended with a box office of more than 6.7 billion in six days, ranking second in film history; Among them, there are also the reversal of the total box office and single films, and the breaking of records in multiple detail dimensions, which will not be repeated here. We can take a look at the stamina of the Spring Festival stall in the fifteen days from the end of the long holiday to February 11.
According to Maoyan data, the six films generated a total of about 4.427 billion box office in these 15 days, which is directly about 1 billion more than the performance of the 2022 Spring Festival films, and compared with the same period of 2019 and 2021 Spring Festival films, it also increased by about 460 million and 280 million respectively.
And the two small factors that cannot be ignored are: first, the number of films this year is the smallest in recent years; Second, this year's Valentine's Day is far from the New Year, not included in these 15 days, and in previous years, immediately after the Spring Festival stall ended, there was a Valentine's Day small stall to heat up for another day or two.
Therefore, this allows us to really see from the data that the public opinion around the film after the festival is still hot, and it really falls to the theater viewing level.
At the same time, the evaluation around several films is gradually approaching a relatively stable state. From the Douban score, the overall average score of the film reached 7 points; Among them, the highest "The Wandering Earth 2" is currently scored by nearly 950,000 people to 8.2 points, "Manjiang Red", "Deep Sea" and "Nameless" are also scored by users ranging from 250,000 to 770,000, fluctuating between 7 points and 7.5 points, which is basically good; "Bear Haunted, Accompany Me "Bear Core" also scored 7 points, which is the best reputation of the series since 2017.
This is the best Spring Festival word-of-mouth result since 2019.
Behind these scores, it is worth noting that in this year's huge discussion about major films, there are fewer one-sided "bad reviews" or "bad films", and more importantly, there are controversies caused by differences in public perceptions and aesthetics. This is also the victory of this year's Spring Festival file, as Zhang Wei, a researcher at the Film and Television Drama Research Center of Peking University, said in his article on "Manjiang Hong" citing the "reader's theory" position, "A film is only a non-self-contained semi-finished product before it is watched by the audience, and only after it is accepted, understood, chewed and combined with its own experience and logic in the structure before thinking and re-creating can it be called a complete film." The interaction of a large number of audiences is more real, and it should be the response that the film and filmmakers crave.
What's more, in this cycle of controversy, the films are more or less "affordable" to the market.
The maturity and breakthrough of typed creation
Regarding this year's Spring Festival films, there are some works and industrial dimensions that are relatively good.
For example, the sense of type of creation is generally more mature and prominent than in the past. Also at the "2023 Spring Festival Film Phenomenon Seminar", Professor Hou Keming of Beijing Film Academy commented on these films, "each of which is particularly clear about its own genre, and (on this basis) pursues the ultimate in creation and the integration of genres."
In the view of Chen Yu, the screenwriter of "Manjiang Hong", "we cannot use genre as a formula and constraint, but use genre to innovate and break through", he believes that the creators of this year's Spring Festival films have a relatively clear sense of type, and at the same time use genre to mix and break through the audience's psychological expectations.
The genre integration of "Manjiang Hong" is very representative, mixing suspense, tragicomedy, costume genres, and escape, revenge, adventure and other theme elements, concentrating the strengths of various genres to attract audiences, and thus holding the mainstream audience of the theater. Among them, for example, in suspense, multiple reversals including events, characters, emotions, etc. are created; In terms of comedy, it has changed the "sense of boisterousness" of the mainstream of comedy in recent years, but returned to the classic comedy technique of focusing on dislocation and contrast; In terms of period costumes, combined with classic story characters, traditional cultural spirit, image expression, etc., a corresponding type renovation that seems to have not been seen for a long time has also been achieved.
"The Wandering Earth 2" has made greater progress in the sci-fi dimension than the first part, and at the same time puts people's figurative emotions in a very important position in the narrative to seek change. What is especially important is the enlightenment it brings: when the goal of "market maximization" is not to "utilitarian" creation, but chooses to enlarge the characteristics of the film as much as possible, the film gains more audiences. According to the sharing of Wang Hongwei, the film's producer, if you choose to lower the sci-fi threshold and knowledge threshold when creating, cut some clues, and compress the duration, it may be more beneficial to the arrangement of the film and attracting the audience to enter, and perhaps it can also ensure a high box office more securely, but they did not choose this road in the end, or chose to do a work that is more in line with the concept of science fiction movies.
Also daring to do genre extreme adventures are "Nameless" and "Deep Sea": the former dares to fully reveal authorship in the big schedule, and even deliberately pursues "excessive stylization" in the artistic expression of film noir; The latter is to go the other way in the exploration of the combination of Eastern and Western animation, while creating high-difficulty new technologies by themselves, and on the other hand, doing psychological consciousness deconstruction and deconstruction that is not easy to please.
Although the results are mixed, in essence, the original intention of these creations is to respect the aesthetics and appreciation of the audience; Moreover, it is also in line with the development of the times, after all, the appreciation demand of mainstream audiences for works is constantly increasing, and at the same time, a new generation of young people who have grown up in the era of information explosion are joining the main viewing camp and are becoming the main force of consumption, and creators can no longer define a certain type of "popularization" with old eyes.
Liu Pengyou, president of Maoyan Research Institute, pointed out that the state of the film box office in recent years has been very polarized, half of the films are losing money, waist films are decreasing, and there are fewer and fewer films between 50 million and 500 million at the box office. Under such circumstances, in fact, the value of the Spring Festival file as the industry vane is very large, under the demonstration of various mature types of creation of this year's Spring Festival file, if the film creation in the industry can be effectively positioned clearly and created, it can first improve this status quo to a certain extent from the work level.
Judging from this year's Spring Festival file, the state of industrial progress worth mentioning is the further development of IP-based and branding.
The "Bear Haunted" series is undoubtedly a typical representative of this aspect, and from the perspective of its own iteration this year, as the first batch of small audiences in the process of "cultivation" moves towards the youth stage, the content IP is also initially covering from the basic plate of the low childhood market to adults. Typical example, the theme of its content in the past two years is closer to social hotspots such as light science fiction and intelligence, and the emotional core is also touching inspiring and more realistic social issues through relatively simple narration, so as to provide a better sense of values for the current parent group who accompany children to watch movies, retain and attract the core "ticket buyers" of young children's animation, and further expand to attract young adult audiences.
In the view of Wang Hongwei, the producer of "The Wandering Earth 2", the IPIZATION of a movie "is not simply a problem of the sequel, but a problem involving users, and it is possible to do it when the audience sticks to achieve it." According to the report released by Lighthouse, thirty percent of the audience of "The Wandering Earth 2" have seen the first part, which is the foundation left by the success of the first part, and through the greater improvement of the sci-fi quality of the second work, the continuous success will make the audience's stickiness and market confidence more sufficient; At the same time, through a large number of off-chip work such as writing a world view setting set and building a material library, a system for the IP to continue to expand and develop was built, and this content IP was finally completed.
Perhaps the best confirmation is the accident of crowdfunding around "The Wandering Earth" - the original goal of raising 100,000 in 30 days suddenly rushed to 120 million within 10 days, seriously exceeding the production capacity of the initiating company for one year and forced to be removed. This is a surprise from IP, and also points to the next stage of the task of "The Wandering Earth" and filmmakers, the professional industrialization of IP incubation and operation.
Getting narrower and narrower is dangerous
People have noticed that in this year's market, the traditional basic films of the Spring Festival file, such as standard, typical family fun and pure comedy, exist relatively little, and they no longer have the high attention in the past.
The change of user psychology and the iteration of the market are rapid, and filmmakers are also realizing that for the particularity of a schedule, it is dangerous to create in a direction that is more and more sharp and narrow. What's more, judging from the surprises and accidents of this year's Spring Festival stall, the traditional understanding of the so-called "demand" of the Spring Festival stall has been deviated, and the core scene needs, emotional needs, and value needs represented by the Spring Festival stall have reached the point where it is necessary to re-explore and define.
As Zhang Wei, a researcher at the "2023 Spring Festival Film Phenomenon Seminar", mentioned that movies have "advanced exploration" and "persistence in inheritance", and a balanced grasp of the two, especially when watching movies for the public.
Several Spring Festival stalls since the epidemic three years ago, each of which has certain particularities at the industrial level, has also become a special opportunity to review, making filmmakers rethink the industrial and cultural connotation and market value of this concept.
In the view of Liu Jia, a box office analyst in the film market, the difficult situation of the film market in the three years of the epidemic has completely released the "golden value" of the Spring Festival file, and from the current point of view, "because the audience has not yet reached the maximum, the attendance rate has not been maximized, and the screening capacity is not maximized", it is still feasible to release the masterpieces of the program in the concentrated prime time period.
On this basis, in fact, when the diversified high-quality films promote the Spring Festival file to have a continuous rise in stamina, the question that filmmakers are considering is whether the concept of the Spring Festival file can be expanded. For example, how big is the capacity of the Spring Festival file, just as there are only six films that actually participated in the competition this year, which is a special time in recent years, is it conducive to the development of film competition, giving potential films more space, or failing to hold a part of the group that was originally possible, which may have gone one step further? including whether the cycle can be extended; What kind of structure is more reasonable and more in line with the needs of sustainable market development; How much is the appropriate length of the standard film in the future, how much psychological and physical impact the new media will have on the viewing time of the new generation of audiences, and so on.
However, back to the present, the shortcoming of the domestic film market is still that the number of high-quality and high-quality works is not enough. Under the social dynamics and industrial value created by this year's Spring Festival, it is still a big problem to take over. From the perspective of the first wave after the holiday, "Black Panther 2" obviously failed to complete expectations, with the end of the Spring Festival film effectiveness, in the new week of February 13, the upcoming Valentine's Day schedule, and the re-release of "Chinese Table Tennis" and the release of the new stage of the Marvel Universe "Ant-Man 3", whether it will well undertake the market heat and audience expectations, we will continue to pay attention.