Decisive battle at the top of the "middle life rivers and lakes"

If it can be done to the extreme, it is an irreplaceable existence...

After the Spring Festival in 2023, the pattern of China's box office list has changed again: among the top 10 movies, only "Avengers 4: Endgame" is a Hollywood imported film, and this year's Spring Festival "Manjiang Red" and "The Wandering Earth 2" are among the top ten.

What has changed is not only the box office list, but also the actor pattern behind the movie: among the 9 Chinese-language films that hit at the box office, there are five films starring Wu Jing and two starring Shen Teng. If you focus on the Top20 films, behind these best-selling movies are Wang Baoqiang, Deng Chao, Xu Zheng, Huang Bo and other names that are very familiar to the audience.

Corresponding to the reference to "big flower", a group of middle-aged male actors are called "middle students" by the audience. If you want to become a middle student, audience popularity, box office appeal, character shaping ability, box office and award performance, and status are all criteria to consider.

From this point of view, Chen Kun, Huang Xiaoming, Liu Ye, Deng Chao, who became popular from the "junior" stage, to Wu Jing, Shen Teng, Huang Bo, Xu Zheng, Zhang Yi, etc., who rose to prominence after middle age, were all included in the category of middle students.

Some of these names are like people in the sky, and there are people who have not met the audience with works for a long time. The career development of middle school students reflects the changes in the film market in the past 20 years. There are talented people in Jiangshan generation, each leading the way for three or five years, the leader of the middle student has repeatedly iterated, and everyone has their own ups and downs.

The oldest of them, Xu Zheng, is 51 years old this year, and the youngest Wang Baoqiang is 41 years old, and the middle students are in the golden age of actors. In the rivers and lakes of Zhongsheng, everyone is trying their best to flutter and adapt to changes in the market, and they still hold the most important resources in the film market, and they are most likely to bring the best works to the audience.

As of press time, a list of the top ten films at the box office of Chinese films. Screenshot from Lighthouse Pro

Box office results: Wu Jing, Wu Jing!

The so-called gold cup and silver cup are not as good as the audience's word of mouth, and now when talking about this group of movie actors who carry the banner, everyone pays more attention to their ability to carry the box office. Judging from the box office performance, Wu Jing deserves to be the leader of middle life.

"Changjin Lake", "Wolf Warrior 2", "The Wandering Earth", "Changjin Lake Water Gate Bridge" and "The Wandering Earth 2" five movies, Wu Jing starred in one of them, and in the Chinese box office Top10 movies, Wu Jing achieved the achievement of "Five Beijings".

These five films contain three major genres: war, action, and science fiction, as well as two major series, and Wu Jing shows his ability to control the field of multi-genre and serial films. The schedule of the five movies has three major schedules: Spring Festival, Summer and National Day, and they bloom more.

To achieve such results, Wu Jingqiang is not following the trend in his keen market insight, but creating, and he has the ability to direct and save the game.

Around 2015, the field of action films is still the world of Hollywood and Hong Kong films, and the year "Wolf Warrior" was released, "Mission Impossible 5", "Heavenly General" and "Kill Wolf 2" were released, and "Wolf Warrior" became the box office champion of the Qingming file that year when it was not optimistic, allowing the market to see the possibility of domestic military, war, and action themes.

In 2017, "Wolf Warrior 2" became the box office champion of that year with a strong long-tail trend in the summer season, with an average of 37 people per game, and it is still the first in the top 10 box office.

After directing and acting in the first 5 billion+ box office film "Wolf Warrior 2" in Chinese film history, Wu Jing's status in the film industry has soared, whether it is box office appeal or his own investment ability is a super-first-line existence. At that time, Guo Fan was still "making a fortune" for "The Wandering Earth", at that time almost no one believed that Chinese filmmakers could make their own sci-fi films, and Wu Jing, who had also been questioned, seemed to see himself back then, he first made a cameo appearance in "The Wandering Earth", but became the starring actor while filming, and finally invested a lot of money.

Wu Jing starred in and invested in "The Wandering Earth", which originated from the idea of helping a group of peers and wanting to plant a sci-fi seed in the hearts of his children, but there is also his judgment of the market. The success of the original work of "The Wandering Earth", the national sentiment in the adapted script, and the background of the times provided by the development of Chinese science and technology to a certain stage all indicate that the soil for the birth of Chinese science fiction films has matured.

As a pioneer of genre films, it is not easy to lead the audience, and while giving the audience new things, you also need to understand the current needs of the audience. Wu Jing obviously understands the audience.

A practitioner who worked in the crew of "The Wandering Earth" shared his feelings about working with Wu Jing on a platform, he revealed that Wu Jing never went to the independent actor tent to rest during filming, but chatted with people on the scene, such as turning out a sentence in the script and asking the prop master if he could understand this line, if the other party did not understand, Wu Jing would go to the director to discuss, can it be changed to a better way to make it easy for the audience to understand. On the set, Wu Jing carried a screenwriter's book with him, which he turned over all over the folds, and he often said that "respect the audience".

During the promotion period of "The Wandering Earth 2", actor Wang Zhi once revealed to Entertainment Studio that the character of Han Duoduo was originally set as a military doctor and had no action scenes, and later when training on the set, Wu Jing found that he knew martial arts, so he gave Liu Peiqiang's highlight action scenes to Han Duoduo. After understanding this behind-the-scenes story, many viewers praised Wu Jing's aesthetic beauty, and such changes made Han Duoduo's characters more vivid, and the love line between the two was more brilliant.

Now looking back at Wu Jing's growth road, not only has good vision, understands the audience, and steps on the pulse of the times, on the other hand, he also has the courage to be all in - he sold his house when filming "Wolf Warrior", insisted on filming under Xie Nan's promise of "losing money and I will raise you", and "The Wandering Earth" invested in starring in the case of the withdrawal of large companies - people with creative talent also have the courage to make desperate bets, and today's results are well deserved.

Genre Film Circuit: Who is the king of comedy?

The Spring Festival file is the largest schedule of the year, which is not only a place for the soldiers of the film side to fight, but also a testing ground for middle school students to concentrate PK.

Looking back at the Spring Festival from 2015 to this year, there have been the participation of middle school students in the past 9 years. From the perspective of genre, the types of Spring Festival works starring middle students involve four categories: war/action, fantasy/magic, science fiction, and comedy, of which comedy is the most.

The box office results of the 2015-2023 Zhongsheng Spring Festival file will only count works within three times

Comedy films are the key drivers of the take-off of the Chinese film market, and they are also the genre films that cultivate the most middle students.

In 2012, directed by Xu Zheng and starring Xu Zheng, Wang Baoqiang and Huang Bo, the comedy "Tai Yan of the Road Again" was the first domestic film with a box office of more than 1 billion yuan, and the pattern of domestic films and comedy films was opened. The combination of Huang Bo, Xu Zheng and Wang Baoqiang also succeeded Feng Xiaogang + Ge You and became the new signature of comedy.

2015 is a year of rapid progress at the box office of Chinese films, and it is also a year when the new pattern of comedy films is initially set.

In the National Day file, "Hong Kong" directed by Xu Zheng continues the comedy style of the "囧" series; "Charlotte Troubles" starring Shen Teng achieved a box office counterattack with a dark horse attitude, and the name Shen Teng began to shout in the film industry; At the end of the year, Chen Sicheng created the "Detective Chinatown" series, and Wang Baoqiang began to have his own IP brand.

It is worth noting that this year Deng Chao made his second comedy "Villain Angel" directed and acted in by himself, and Huang Bo participated in the variety show "Extreme Challenge Season 1", and continued to consolidate the comedy character outside the play.

Since 2012's "The Road to Thailand", the comedy road of middle school students has reached its 12th year, and their creations have also changed and turned.

After the 2020 Spring Festival file was canceled due to the epidemic, Xu Zheng's self-directed and self-acted "Mother" was converted to an online broadcast, and then Xu Zheng did not continue the comedy creation of the "Jiao" series, but brought a feature film such as "Love Myth";

Deng Chao began to turn to other genres in terms of directing works after the poor reputation of "Breakup Master" and "Villain Angel", "Galaxy Cram School" in 2019 and "Chinese Table Tennis Jedi Strikes Back" released on February 17 have comedy elements, but they are no longer based on comedy;

Chen Sicheng suspended the "Detective Chinatown" series and originally wanted to create the "Mozart in Outer Space" series, but the box office encountered Waterloo, which caused Wang Baoqiang of the "Tang Detective" series to fall silent for a while, and "Mozart" starring Huang Bo failed to successfully start a new series, and there was no excellent comedy work "continuation" after "Crazy Alien".

The most focused on the field of comedy is Shen Teng, now look at the box office list of comedy films, ranked in the top 10 miles, Shen Teng has "Hello, Li Huanying", "Manjiang Hong", "Walking on the Moon Alone", "Me and My Hometown" four movies, ranking in the top 20 miles, plus "The Richest Man in Xihong City", "Crazy Alien", "Shy Iron Fist" and "Flying Life", which can be said to be the king of the comedy track.

Unlike other middle students who rely on early film and television works to accumulate audience popularity, Shen Teng is an actor who grew up in theater, and his comedy skills have been honed through countless happy twist dramas, and his experience of attending the Spring Festival Gala for several years has made him gain a huge national popularity.

Before 2015's "Charlotte Troubles", Shen Teng was familiar to the whole country as "Hao Jian", but no one paid for him in the field of film, and at first the film was not favorable, but then this script that was polished many times in the theater moved the audience at that time and achieved a box office counterattack. Shen Teng + Happy Twist, as a new comedy film force, with a series of well-scripted works, slowly transformed the national popularity brought by the Spring Festival Gala into box office appeal in the cinema.

Since 2019, Shen Teng has become the most active middle student in the Spring Festival file, and this year there are even two films in the same schedule. After watching Shen Teng's new sketch in the Spring Festival Gala, and then watching Shen Teng's new movie in the cinema, it has become a way for many audiences to celebrate the New Year, and this excellent audience popularity is Shen Teng's advantage.

Shen Teng doesn't even have to deliberately act, deliberately to make the audience laugh, can make the audience suffer from a "disease that wants to laugh when you see Shen Teng", and the sense of relaxation and joy that comes with him is also his advantage over other middle students who take the comedy route.

But compared with other middle school students, what Shen Teng lacks is the blessing of awards, but in last summer's "Walking on the Moon Alone" and this year's "Manjiang Red", Shen Teng showed his more complex ability in acting in addition to comedy. Last year's Hundred Flowers Awards, #Shen Teng 0 votes# caused many viewers to sing for him, which also shows that the audience recognizes him, and perhaps the arrival of the award is also a matter of time.

Dilemma and Inventory:

Award protection body, waiting for the comeback

In the track of genre films, if you can do it to the extreme, it is an irreplaceable existence. Just like Jackie Chan in kung fu movies and Stephen Chow in comedy films, now Wu Jing's actions and Shen Teng's sense of comedy are their respective wealth, and the two have also become the most prosperous middle students in the past five years.

In recent years, Zhang Yi has also been steadily working on the uphill road. This year's Spring Festival file in the movie "Manjiang Red" acting skills have been praised again, and "Crazy" in the TV field is also a phenomenal hit, and film and television have blossomed; Works such as "Ten Thousand Miles Home", "On the Cliff", "King Kong River" and other works are continuous, and every year there are excellent works to meet the audience; Zhang Yi is also the best actor in Zhongshengli's "Great Guide", and has collaborated with director Zhang Yimou on many consecutive films; With "Above the Cliff", Zhang Yi also won the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Award double actor, and was also recognized in mainstream awards.

Xu Zheng, the oldest in middle school, has gradually walked a different path from everyone. From the "Oh" series to the "Me and Mine" series of platter movies, Xu Zheng has shown his control over directing. In addition, Xu Zheng has been working as a producer, and his works include "Cohabitation in Time and Space", "I Am Not the God of Medicine" and "Love Myth".

By cultivating and even recruiting talents as a behind-the-scenes operator, Xu Zheng has opened up more long-term possibilities beyond his identity as an actor. In terms of actor's ability, Xu Zheng is not only suitable for comedy, the role type of urban middle-class men is very suitable for him, and he can perform different tricks in this role type, "Love Myth" is a new work that has achieved excellent results in the dual identities of actor and producer.

Some people have a smooth ride, and some people have gone a little bumpy in the past two years.

Wang Baoqiang, the youngest of middle school students, has not been active in recent years. His box office performance mainly depends on the "Detective Chinatown" series, but the soul of this series is actually director Chen Sicheng, and after Chen Sicheng went to develop the "Mozart" series, Wang Baoqiang's work was discontinued. From the early "Stupid Root" to the later "Tang Ren", Wang Baoqiang urgently needs new classic roles, limited by image conditions, and there are fewer roles for Wang Baoqiang to choose from than other middle students, so his own development projects can help him go further.

As early as 2017, Wang Baoqiang made his first directorial work "Big Trouble Tianzhu", although it received 758 million box office, but the reputation was not good, and Wang Baoqiang's directing ability was also doubted. This year, Wang Baoqiang's second directorial work "In the Octagon Cage" will be released, which is a big test of his dual ability as a director and actor, and whether he can smoothly return to the audience's vision and climb the peak of his career is very important to him.

Huang Bo has been working continuously in the past two years, but lacks explosive hits. Before the release of "Mozart in Outer Space", Chen Sicheng had planned to make this series into China's "Harry Potter", accompanying a generation of audiences to grow up, if this series can be successful, Huang Bo will have a high box office IP masterpiece similar to the "Detective Chinatown" series, but unfortunately it backfired, and the box office cold of this work directly caused Huang Bo to give people a temporary silent feeling.

But fortunately, the problem is not big, Huang Bo's inventory is still enough "hard dishes". Cao Baoping's suspenseful crime work "Wading in the Sea of Anger" has been scheduled to be a textured work, Wu Ershan's "Fengshen Trilogy" has always been a highly anticipated blockbuster, as well as the reality work "Xue Dad" and "Warm" in cooperation with Dapeng and Wang Yibo are all works that seem to be quite topical, and on the whole, the number of stocks and rich types can also highlight Huang Bo's personal characteristics and advantages.

Relatively speaking, the former "little students" who became famous at a young age after graduating from college and won the recognition of awards early did not flutter smoothly in the rivers and lakes of middle life. But fortunately, they all have enough awards to be blessed, which can be said to be a "pension insurance", which maintains their coffee position and gives them the possibility of a comeback.

Chen Kun, born in 1976, took off quickly, and his 2007 "Yunshui Ballads" and 2010 movie "Painted Skin" won him two heavyweight actors, Huabiao and Baihua. Since then, although it has been missing from important awards, it has also produced masterpieces such as "Dragon Gate Flying Armor" and "Ghost Blowing Lantern Dragon Hunting Technique".

Chen Kun is the most engaged in magic/fantasy movies in middle life, and his high appearance and mysterious temperament make him very suitable for this type of theme, especially the ancient costume is a must. But success or failure lies in this, costume films have earned him the reputation of "factory flower", but too many characters lack pyrotechnics and are getting farther and farther away from the audience. As the theme of realism has become mainstream, costume, fantasy, and fantasy genres have been cold in the market, which has led to poor box office performance.

Chen Kun wants to break through, and it's time to open up a new genre film track. At present, it seems that Chen Kun's inventory continues his past advantages on the one hand, and on the other hand, it is also seeking a breakthrough. The martial arts film "Poetry Tired of the World" directed by Xu Haofeng and starring Chen Kun and Zhou Xun and the big-production "Fengshen Trilogy" directed by Wu Ershan, should be worth looking forward to from the perspective of texture and quality. There is also a stock "Spectator", starring Chen Kun and Wang Yanhui and Liu Mintao, which is a drama film that directly hits the Chinese-style father-son relationship, returning to the performance of ordinary little people, which shows that Chen Kun is also seeking a new breakthrough in his actor career.

Huang Xiaoming, born in 1977, also became famous at a young age, and in 2013, a "Chinese Partner" made him win three actors: Golden Rooster, Hundred Flowers, and Huabiao. But after "Chinese Partner", Huang Xiaoming's follow-up works are not heavyweight enough, and in 2015 and 2016, he also produced works with poor reputation such as "Why Sheng Xiao Mo" and "The Legend of Fengshen ", which is a consumption for him.

In recent years, Huang Xiaoming has starred in some main theme movies, and 2020's "Heroes of Fire" helped him win the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Double Film King again, although there are good results at the box office and awards, but in such a genre film, the role itself is not enough to highlight Huang Xiaoming's advantages.

Talking about Huang Xiaoming, the audience still stays in the label of "overbearing president", and often ridicules him for rewarding himself with a "domineering president" every time he performs a good show, and now Huang Xiaoming urgently needs several good works in a row to help him tear off the label. From the perspective of inventory, Huang Xiaoming's new film "The Man with the Wig" cooperates with director Dong Yue, who helped Duan Yihong win the Tokyo actor, and there are also new breakthroughs in the role, which is worth looking forward to. On the other hand, Huang Xiaoming has not entered the Spring Festival file, and he needs to participate in more blockbusters for the big schedule.

Liu Ye, born in 1978, is known for literary films, won the Golden Horse actor at the age of 23, and then starred in many commercial blockbusters such as "Full of Golden Armour" and "Wuji", and "The Chaser" in 2016 helped him win the Shanghai International Film Festival actor. But after 2016, Liu Ye's follow-up works are not much, in recent years he has participated in small and medium-sized films, and his new work "Island Guardian" in 2021 has also won him nominations for many film awards such as Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers.

Relatively speaking, Liu Ye does not seem to have strong career ambitions, and in recent years has also focused on his family, also acting in TV series and dramas, and has not shown more ambition in movies.

Deng Chao, born in 1979, is a special existence, as red as Chen Kun, Huang Xiaoming, and Liu Ye in the "Xiaosheng" period, and after entering the film industry, he competed with Xu Zheng, Huang Bo and other "middle-born" forces. In 2017 and 2018, Deng Chao twice entered the Spring Festival file, and "Mermaid" won the first place in mainland film history with a box office of 3.393 billion yuan. Not only has box office performance, but also has "three gold" nominations in awards, and has won the Golden Rooster actor and the Hundred Flowers male match.

This year, Deng Chao brought "Chinese Table Tennis Jedi Strikes Back" to the Spring Festival again, because of force majeure, the film's release schedule was postponed to February 17. "Chinese Table Tennis: Jedi Strikes Back" is the best work in Deng Chao's directorial career, but the box office is not satisfactory. Deng Chao's dilemma is that the previous directorial works "Breakup Master" and "Villain Angel" overdrew the audience's trust in him, the previous box office was high and the reputation was not good, this time the reputation was good but the box office was not high, it took time and the accumulation of more good works, so that the audience's trust in director Deng Chao slowly returned, and finally reached a stage of word-of-mouth and box office balance.

On the other hand, the "Running Man" variety show is honey and arsenic for Deng Chao, this national-level explosive variety show has helped Deng Chao's career flourish, but it also consumed his mystery as an actor in variety shows. Deng Chao has accumulated enough national popularity through variety shows, Spring Festival Gala, etc., it is time to reduce his exposure in variety shows, so that the audience's interest in Deng Chao returns to the identity of an actor.

In recent years, the careers of the students have been ups and downs, but it is happily that they are not competing with each other, but there is still a lot of cooperation. In this year's Spring Festival, we saw Wu Jing make a guest appearance in "Chinese Table Tennis Jedi Strikes Back" directed by Deng Chao, and the two crews also visited each other to cheer each other on; In the blockbuster film of the Spring Festival file, we also saw the cooperation of Shen Teng and Zhang Yi, and Huang Bo, Shen Teng, and Xu Zheng appeared in the same movie before, and it is the audience's luck to see these excellent actors on the same stage.

The entertainment industry is a place where each leader has been around for three or five years, this circle is very cruel, no one will always be like the sky, but as long as you don't get off the table, there is still the possibility of turning over.

If someone is temporarily left behind, someone will fill the position. Lei Jiayin and Xiao Yang are both new forces of middle students, and the team of middle students is constantly growing.

The "Detective Chinatown" and "Manslaughter" series helped Xiao Yang star in the movie with a total box office of nearly 10 billion, and these two best-selling series were also led by Chen Sicheng. Xiao Yang has the ability to be a director, and if he wants to take a step forward in his career, he needs to show his ability to save the game. Lei Jiayin has two works "Manjiang Hong" and "Exchange Life" into the Spring Festival file this year, through two completely different characters, Lei Jiayin shows multi-faceted character shaping ability, and may win awards this year. Last year, he also had a big hit such as "The World" in the field of television, and the film and television aspects developed simultaneously. Lei Jiayin and Xiao Yang are still post-80s, and there are more opportunities in the future.

The market is constantly changing, some people try to adapt to the market, and there are people who do not catch up with the market, stick to their choices and even return to family life. The middle students have overcome difficulties to come to this stage and coffee position, through the accumulation of one work after another, the honing of one role after another, so everyone has their own uniqueness, respects their choices, and looks forward to more good works.

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