Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

At the end of the first quarter, the film market seems to be recovering well. On March 20, the box office (excluding pre-sales) of the movie in 2023 exceeded 15 billion Chinese mainland 2023. Compared with 2022, the time for the box office to cross the 15 billion threshold is 2 months earlier. After the Spring Festival, this spring, which carries heavy hopes, finally has a glimmer of joy.

However, just four weeks after the release of the Spring Festival film, the general market in February and March repeatedly fell below 100 million at the weekend box office in a single day, and even continued to fall below for four weeks. Before the release of the movie "Keep You Safe" directed by Dapeng, there was an atmosphere in the industry that was called out and looked forward to a big rescue, and gave high expectations to this high-reputation topic film that was screened at last year's Hainan Film Festival. But the results of the film's first week were not entirely satisfactory.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

【2012-2023 Q1 box office comparison (except 2020)】

At the end of the first quarter, the box office totaled 15.857 billion, an obvious increase from last year, but compared with 2018, 2019 and 2021, the box office in the first quarter decreased by 12%-21%. The market wants to return to the annual box office of 60 billion, in addition to the difficulties that can be seen in the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of numbers, there are some hidden worries that need to be explored.

Have movies really become holiday consumption?

The box office performance in the first quarter has not fully recovered, but the box office of the Spring Festival file included in it reached 6.765 billion, ranking second in the box office history of Chinese films Spring Festival file. The proportion of the Spring Festival box office in the annual box office has increased year by year. Before the epidemic, it was a low increase, and after the epidemic, it changed sharply, accounting for 20.17% by 2022.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

[Comparison of the proportion of the box office of the Spring Festival in the annual box office from 2012 to 2022 (except 2020)]

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

[Comparison of the proportion of the box office of the Spring Festival file in the first quarter of the year from 2012 to 2022 (except 2020)]

Movies are increasingly showing festive consumption rather than everyday consumption. The obvious reason for this kind of agglomeration consumption is that due to the impact of the epidemic, the audience has reduced their daily gathering activities. It is undeniable that the consumption behavior of the audience has been reshaped in 3 years. But we can't ignore what's happening in parallel—the increase in entertainment competing with movies for consumers' attention, and changes in macroeconomic pressures.

According to the 2023 McKinsey China Consumer Report, "economic pressures are still making consumers more cautious when making shopping decisions, and they are increasingly focusing on quality and functionality when choosing products." ”

In the era where content is king, the film industry pays more attention to its content attributes, but it cannot ignore the functionality of movies. The core of its value is the functionality and experience of the consumer product itself. Movies have abstract meanings and experiences in many aspects, such as pleasure to the audience, emotional experience, value transmission, and taste symbols, but starting from a more practical and more figurative function, it is to meet social needs, and the social needs are likely to be linked to holidays. So questioning the idea that movies are holiday consumer goods is a false proposition.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

[Comparison of the proportion of the box office in the annual box office from 2012 to 2022 (except 2020)]

It is not that the movie has become holiday consumption, but the movie itself has the function of holiday social consumption, and consumers pay more attention to the function of holiday social entertainment in the current consumption environment.

The proportion of the box office in the overall market fluctuates between 40% and 60% (except for 69.17% in 2022), and the proportion of several giant stalls in the Spring Festival, National Day, and Summer is rising, and the auspicious light of the box office only shines on a few films in the mega schedule. The Matthew effect is more prominent, and high-quality and competitive films choose the big file in the decisive battle in order to obtain the best box office.

As a result, the reduction of high-quality films in non-festival files has been catalyzed, and the inability to stack buffs to give the audience rich choices, and then large-scale guidance for the audience to enter the theater, there is a phenomenon that the film is green and yellow, and the audience is also green and yellow.

Audiences' consumption habits are more fixed in this cycle, and more and more people choose to enter the theater during the festival. Therefore, the off-season in March after the Spring Festival has become more and more "light". Excellent films of medium-sized size cannot raise the box office market on a large scale, and the living space of small and medium-sized films becomes smaller, a vicious circle.

Judging from the performance of films in March, the film side of the volume content generally cannot lose, but the big market wants to roll up, and the big market no longer falls below 100 million on Sunday, and it needs a number of films of different magnitude.

On a monolithic basis, as stated in the McKinsey report, quality and functionality will be the main factors in consumer decision-making in 2023. High-quality monolithic tablets may not be able to pull up the market, but they will not be buried in the market. "Keep You Safe" before the start of filming, because of its excellent script, it was highly anticipated in the industry, after the ups and downs of name change and two file changes, it was still given a box office forecast of 7-800 million by institutions and media, although the box office in the first week of release was not as good as market expectations, but because of its high reputation, the box office peak appeared in the second week. The market is relatively cold, but it is possible for a single film to go to its own high point after the screening.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

Xinhai Makoto's sentimental work "Journey to the Bell Bud" pre-sold more than 100 million, which boosted the market in a short period of time. However, due to the long-criticized logic problems in Shinkai Makoto's creation, as well as the aesthetic characteristics of each flower into each eye, it is currently impossible to achieve the 800 million box office forecast on the first day of release. The audience is becoming more and more mature, and it is basically difficult to have the phenomenon of high box office of bad films and buried good films. 

In the face of the current large-scale feast, fast dining, daily schedule clear soup and water, more monks and less porridge, starting from the mainstream demand for functional consumption under the macroeconomy and the audience's requirements for quality, it is necessary to reshape the audience's consumption habits, pull the audience back to the theater, and make the film a daily entertainment choice, you can take a look at the following aspects to explore. First, the serving should be rich. From the perspective of the industry, provide the audience with sufficient and rich film choices, and try to get rid of the dependence on a certain schedule or a single film as much as possible; Second, improve functionality. In film creation and marketing, we can slightly focus on the needs of the audience's consumption scene to meet their social needs; Third, increase the experience beyond the content. Improve the overall entertainment experience of cinemas and build small adult parks, such as many Wanda Cinemas organizing golden egg smashing activities in the lobby, placing game consoles, etc., and there are also many newly opened cinemas to create personalized experience theaters, couples' seats, family seats, children's paradise cinemas, etc., forming an entertainment consumption experience of content + scenes. A few years ago, some people issued an initiative to upgrade the consumer experience of the cinema scene, and after three years, the demand for this upgrade has become more and more urgent, and the publicity of it should be upgraded to the nature of industry promotion and platform.

From the end of March to the beginning of April, several small and medium-cost films of various genres such as "Great Night", "Loyal Dog Hachiko", "Space Exploration Editorial Department", "Dragon Horse Spirit" and "Loyal Dog Hachiko" were released one after another, as well as "Super Mario", "Detective Conan: Undead on Baker Street" and "Dungeons and Dragons" and other big IP films several foreign films, predicting that the highest box office films also stopped at 300 million, but the weekend market did not fall below 100 million. Let the audience come back, there are more possibilities.

Is the movie stock enough?

The basis for pulling audiences back into theaters is an adequate content list. A total of 77 new films were released in the first quarter, compared with the first quarter of previous years, whether compared with 2017-2019 before the epidemic or 2021-2022 after the epidemic, the number of new films in the first quarter of this year is the least.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

[Comparison of the number of new films in the first quarter of 2017-2022 and the number of new films released throughout the year (except 2020)]

From 2017 to 2019, the number of new films released rose to 547, and the overall 2021 in 2021 during the epidemic was relatively normal, basically the same as in 2017. This year, a total of 168 domestic and foreign films have been set so far, and if the box office market wants to recover to the box office before 2020, it is still far from the number of new films in the country from 2017 to 2019.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

【Maoyan 2022 Annual Report】

At present, there are still a large number of big factories, big directors, and big production movies that have not yet been finalized, which is worth looking forward to. Emperor Films released the film list in March, and many large-scale and commercialized films such as "Goldfinger", "Customs Front", "Hedgehog", "Insider" and "Burst Point" will be released soon; China Film, Guangguang, Huanxi Media, Huace, Huayi, Happy Twist, Ruyi and other mainstay production companies are all pending or finalized films, Maoyan, Ali Taoqiao Ticket also hold a number of films to be announced. National directors, a new generation of commercial film directors, and rising literary film directors all have works in hand waiting to be released. Feng Xiaogang and Rao Xiaozhi also said a few days ago that their classic masterpieces are about to start shooting sequels.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

【Partial start-up film project in the first quarter of 2023】

This year is also a year to get out of the epidemic and make global efforts. A number of Hollywood blockbusters have been finalized one after another, and some have been confirmed to be introduced, only to be released as scheduled. As well as European, Japanese, Indian and other multinational batches as our market supplement.

At present, the number of new films that have been set is still far from the number of new films in 2019, but the supply of inventory plus foreign films should be enough this year, but the source of films next year may be a problem.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

【Number of feature films filed in national film scripts from 2017 to 2022】

The number of filings in the three years of the epidemic has dropped significantly compared with before, among which the number of films filed in 2022 has fallen from a cliff of 3 in 2017 to a 1. The decline in the number of filings raises concerns about supply in the following years on the one hand, and the reasons for the decline in filings on the other. Is it a lack of confidence in the industry, no money, no people, no company to set up a project?

Is the investment and financing smooth?

At a time when entertainment consumption choices are becoming increasingly diversified, not only in the face of online short videos, games and other industry competitors that occupy a lot of time for entertainment consumption audiences, but also expanding offline projects, such as talk shows, immersive dramas, script killings and other popular projects in recent years, the market space of movies is being squeezed step by step.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

【 DT Financial Data - Offline Consumption Choices of Generation Z 】

However, movies are one of the most likely entertainment industries to produce scale effects for businessmen, and it is also one of the cost-effective offline entertainment methods for consumers. Business models exist, market demand exists, movies for investors have the advantages of compound interest value, economic benefits and long tail, etc., investing in movies is still a good business. High returns come with high risks, in the current pursuit of stability, is there a benign blood transfusion channel?

After the rapid development of the film industry in the Red Sea, it is necessary to form a new balance through this black swan event - I believe that after passing through this market downturn cycle, more benign mechanism rules will be formed, and more people will take new tickets to the old ship. We can observe boarding from multiple dimensions.

In addition to sitting on capital, large film companies firmly grasp national directors and national actors, and continue to invest heavily in the film field. At the end of 22, when the future of the film industry was not clear, Huanxi Media released a 2023 film list that gathered Zhang Yimou, Ning Hao, Chen Kexin, Gu Changwei and other directors, and planned to diversify the layout and continue to steadily play on the main line strategy of "content is king". On March 31 this year, Huanxi Media released a financial report showing that it earned about 1.2 billion yuan from the movie "Manjiang Hong". Emperor Film held a press conference in mid-March, gathering mostly industry seniors and five movie stars, and announced more than ten project film lists, with the slogan "The original intention remains unchanged, cheer for the movie".

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

Starting from the end of the industry supply chain, the new film production company has gradually emerged from the end of the head and tail, and has blown a new wind into the film industry. Starting from the distribution experience of many years of in-depth market frontline distribution, Lianrui Films, which has produced or developed small and medium-sized films with emotion-centered and topical degrees such as "My Sister", "Life Events" and "Send You a Little Red Flower", has made a lot of money at the box office. Lianrui travels back from the end downstream to the upstream, masters the upstream and downstream ends of the head and tail, and the market and content are strongly combined, and it is constantly increasing investment in content production. Matt Films, which started as a marketing company, delivered an excellent answer to "I'm Fine in Another Country" in the field of dramas, and cooperated with young directors with a keen sense of the market and determination. Matt's thriller comedy "Great Night" produced this year has attracted a lot of attention. As a native IP, the shooting method and content are very novel, "Great Night" reflects the current life of young people, blowing a new wind into the film content that has long been controlled by the core film and television circle, and this IP has the possibility of compound interest that can be extended to other entertainment scenes of script killing, escape rooms, and games. The new new film company is not only new ideas, but also the discovery of new creators, Matt has cooperated with the FIRST Youth Film Festival for many years to cooperate with the "Mai Meng Film Common Growth Plan Award", and also stopped during the epidemic, maintaining confidence in the film, "others fear me greedy", and continue to select "stunned" film projects and film creators.

The epidemic has been liberalized around the world, and Chinese and foreign film festivals and venture capital conferences have emerged one after another. On April 3, the Beijing Film Festival announced the venture capital jury. On April 8th, the "Golden Key Venture Capital" program honorary recommendation conference surrounded by big guides and shining stars was successfully held. The Shanghai Film Festival venture capital buyer registration channel opened on April 17. The Cannes Film Festival announced last week, with a three-year backlog, and this year's list can be described as a gourmet feast and full of people. Film festivals, venture capital, and film trading markets are buzzing, and the mobility of funds and talents is also going to rise.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

It has been more than a year since the National Film Administration released the "14th Five-Year Plan for Chinese Film Development" in 2021, and the goal in the "Plan" is to build the mainland into a film power by 2035, and the discourse power and influence of Chinese films in the world film pattern will be greatly improved. Time is tight and tasks are heavy, and last year the entire industrial chain suffered a moment of life and death. Since the end of December last year, the film has been gradually released, and the Spring Festival file has taken a breath, and there is no longer a situation of limit fixation. At the end of last year, the film bureau appointed a new director of the film "Old Man" Mao Yu, after immediately stabilizing the existing market and smoothing this breath, it is to pay attention to the regulation and production of high-quality content, grafting funds and talents, and gathering living water for the film power.

The Matthew effect exists in all links of the film industry chain, especially the venture capital link, "drought death, waterlogging death", film projects supported by government funds are not lack of investment, and projects that are not notable in the market are not not boutiques. This year's Beijing Publicity and Culture Guidance Fund Council and Shanghai Cultural Development Foundation have been opened, and the application for the national special fund for film industry development was also released on April 17. The industry needs government funds to connect with the market, increase support and publicity in an easy-to-understand way, expand the scope of funding projects, penetrate into ordinary creators and media, and increase the number of high-quality projects with inclusive soil. And the industry needs more government to take the lead and match the intention funds in the society and institutions with excellent film and television works, creators and companies.

Chinese Movie: After crossing 15 billion, there are three questions to ask!

The Zhejiang publicity public account also gave a detailed and practical introduction to the Zhejiang Culture and Art Development Fund (, and pointed directly to the problem, which is of great reference significance.

Thousands of sails passed by the side of the sinking boat, and ten thousand wood springs in front of the sick tree.

The same is true in the domestic film industry, under the mixed factors of objective and subjective factors, the film industry has experienced "scraping bones and healing wounds", and there are many hidden worries in the supply chain, which need to be pierced one by one and then cultivated. In the current cost reduction and efficiency increase, the economic environment changes, the industry is getting more and more volumed, the overall industrialization level is getting higher and higher, the content is getting better and better, and the audience's appreciation literacy is becoming more and more diversified (the box office of "Space Exploration Editorial Department" exceeded 50 million), I believe that in the process of continuous repair of the supply chain, the benign investment output cycle runs up again, returning to the audience and users, the film returns to the essence of the product, consolidates, and creates consumption scenes, and the film is still the audience's friendliest friend. PS. Hurry up and make friends with Gen Z in time, "the process of rejuvenation in the past three years has stalled" (Maoyan 2022 annual report).

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