Hu Ge + Wu Lei, box office fiasco! Is it difficult for TV to support the big screen?
This is the box office data of the 11 days since the release of the movie "Worth the Trip" as of the morning of September 21. If you know that this is a film co-starring Hu Ge + Wu Lei (Douban score 7.2, which is not low), you will be surprised why its box office is so dismal.
The two of them, as the absolute "top stream", can trigger countless hot searches with every move, but the box office appeal of the movie is so weak.
Because they are so-called "TV coffee"?
|Hu Ge Wu Lei can't afford the box office?
For the pair of "partners" of Hu Ge and Wu Lei, most audiences' impressions should still stay in the costume dramas such as "Langya List", or even earlier "Young Yang Family General", the roles of the two are either a master and a servant, or Wu Lei plays the "Hu Ge" in childhood.
Hu Ge has not participated in many movies, and there are even fewer starring roles, and the most impressive is "The Party at the Southern Station" in 2019, which has a box office of 200 million and a Douban score of 7.4. But to analyze the main reason why the film is still good at the box office, it is likely to be influenced by director Diao Yinan - 2013's "Daylight Fireworks" won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and the box office was also very successful, making him one of the must-see directors for domestic fans.
Compared with TV series, movies will pay more attention to the influence of directors.
As for the "Alone, Alone" starring Hu Ge and directed by Chen Kexin, after some twists and turns, it is said that it has passed the trial, but the schedule is still undecided.
And Wu Lei, who is 17 years younger than Hu Ge and was also born in Shanghai, also focuses his career on TV series, and the most "well-known" of the starring movies should be the "Asura" that has an indissoluble relationship with "Fengsheng". It was released on July 14, 2018, and announced the withdrawal at 22 o'clock the next day, and there has been no follow-up so far... The cumulative box office is 49.84 million, and the Douban score is three points.
On August 29, 2006, Hu Ge was hit by a car accident on the Jiaxing section of the Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway on the way from the Hengdian studio to Shanghai, and Zhang Mian, the female assistant who accompanied her, died after ineffective rescue. After six and a half hours of rescue, Hu Ge had more than 100 stitches in his neck and right eye, and underwent skin grafting surgery at the corner of his right eye, and there are still scars on his eyelids, which are even more obvious on the big screen.
On June 22, a year after the accident, Hu Ge announced his comeback in Beijing, and in addition to continuing to film TV series, he also began to switch runways. In 2013, he starred in the first mainland version of the eight-hour drama "Dream Like a Dream" directed by Lai Shengchuan, playing the role of young patient No. 5.
The core plot and even the structure of "Dream Like a Dream" have similarities with the recent movie "Worth the Trip" cooperated by Hu Ge and Wu Lei, and I believe that it is also Hu Ge, who has been in a car accident and is willing to participate in thinking and excavating people's life problems.
The director of "It's Worth the Trip" Liu Jiayin is a typical academic, who won the Fabisi Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2005 for "Cowhide", and the last directorial feature film was "Cowhide 2" 14 years ago, and "It's Worth the Trip" has also won a lot of acclaim. At this year's Shanghai International Film Festival, Hu Ge won the Best Director Award, and Hu Ge and Dapeng of "The Eighth Suspect" both won the Best Actor Award.
Both films have literary and artistic temperament, and they were released at the same time on September 9, and the Douban scores of "No" and "No" are currently 7.2 and 6.3 respectively, and the box office is more than ten times different. "It's Not Worth the Trip" is only more than 20 million, and the AI box office prediction is no more than 30 million.
When promoting the film in Shanghai, Hu Ge said: "We also need the box office, we want more people to see what Chinese films should be like today, if you love art, I hope to support it." This remark was commented by netizens as a miserable seller, but it also showed his box office anxiety.
In August, Hu Ge said on Weibo that he wanted to "withdraw from the circle" for five years, and said, "I try my best, I try to stay calm, I am sorry for many people, I hope to be worthy of this short life." This remark, in addition to showing that he is also a romantic person in private, also has obvious intentions to create momentum for the movie, but what netizens, especially fans, are worried about is his mental condition.
Therefore, this "withdrawal from the circle" doubt, not only did not raise the box office of the movie, in fact, it also blurred the focus. Because of today's film market, audiences are paying more and more attention to emotional resonance, which can not be achieved by relying on the "traditional hype routine" of some protagonist news.
|The finished film is difficult to impress the general audience
The structure of "It's Not Worth the Trip" is actually similar to Feng Xiaogang's earliest "Party A and Party B", which is to connect multiple related stories with a single protagonist, but "No" is not a comedy. Although joking about life and death has long been the standard for black comedy, Liu Jiayin is obviously not this type of director.
No matter what Ge You plays, he has his own rhythm, and the dialogue is very slow, which is colder than the usual cold humor. And Hu Ge in "No" can only be said to be slower and colder than Ge You, and not only him, almost all the characters in "No" show a slow and cold state, it seems that this is the temperament and emotional standard of the new middle class.
There is no gong and drum noise in the film that usually occurs in Chinese-style funerals, crying the sky, and any emotional exposure seems to be a faux pas, even a sin.
Therefore, for ordinary Chinese audiences, the experience of watching "Worth the Trip" is not only obviously different from the funeral rites in real life, but also closer to the Nordic kind of cold and ascetic movies in terms of image style, or a very alternative pessimistic sci-fi film. For example, George Lucas's earliest feature film "THX 1138 500 Years Later" and his later "Star Wars" series to the audience fans are like being in a completely different universe.
This also shows that a professional director can not only make one style of film, but can completely ice and fire.
Then again, it's not a problem to distance yourself from reality and create a personal style that is self-contained, comedy or not. But in general, the choreographer should set a buffer for the audience in it, but Liu Gayin, the director of "It's Not Worth the Trip", doesn't seem to have such considerations at all.
The character played by Hu Ge always maintains a cold distance from the audience in the film, and at the same time is so easy to be hired and accepted by the characters in the film. He looks more like a fallen angel or some other surreal character than just a cold mortal.
Writing a eulogy is certainly not a surreal, or even sci-fi setting, which has existed since ancient times, such as elegy.
The philosopher Jin Yuelin once wrote an elegy for Lin Huiyin: "A poetic thousand-year-old waterfall, four days in the ancient world." Let the 5 words of "April Days on Earth" be famous all over the world. Before Yuan Shikai's death, it is said that he also planned to save the alliance: "Go to a major enemy for Japan and see China recreate a republic." And Yang Du, one of the six gentlemen of Qi'an, wrote this in Yuan Shikai's union: "The republic is wrong for the republic, and the republic is wrong for the republic? After a hundred lifetimes, peace is prison. The constitution of the monarch bears the Duke of Ming, and the Duke of Ming bears the constitution of the monarchy? Under the nine springs, Sanfusi said. ”
That is to say, the previous elegiac and eulogy, regardless of whether the deceased has a name, whether it is a good name or notoriety, is generally written by people who are close to each other and know the roots, and are similar to the absolute sentence, the number of words will not be too much, and it is exquisite and meaningful. Later, especially the rise of public media such as newspapers and periodicals, obituary reports and columns also became an indispensable part of the page.
And the eulogy writer played by Hu Ge in "No" is different from the above mentioned, firstly, it is aimed at ordinary people, and secondly, he almost does not know the deceased before his death. And this "emerging" industry is almost becoming a part of the funeral home service project, and it will even be reminiscent of the characteristic service of "crying for generations". And the competition in this line seems to have a very low threshold, but the competition is not fierce at all, and he easily became a head writer and slowly maintained his status as a quack.
The terrible thing is that although he has been talking and writing from the beginning to the end of the movie, by the end, no complete eulogy was concretely presented.
The reason should also be very simple, no matter how well his eulogy is written, you can easily imagine that the scene at the memorial service when it is read out by the family or even by "Hu Ge" himself, no matter how affectionate, is useless, it will only be beaten back to the original form of "reality" at once, and the atmosphere when chatting for the purpose of writing the eulogy, as well as the "poetry" in the brewing process, are all exhausted.
|The gap with excellent movies of the same type
Also the theme of ultimate care, "It's Not Worth the Trip" will inevitably be compared to the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film "The Undertaker", which focuses on portraying the sense of ritual itself, which is almost completely missing in "It's Not Worth the Trip".
What makes "It's Not Worth the Trip" even more unbearable is that "The Undertaker" was introduced 12 years after its completion, and the 4K restored version will be released in China in 2021, with a box office of more than 60 million, more than twice as much as "No".
The male protagonist played by Masahiro Motoki in "In" originally played the cello, but after the band disbanded, he had to return to his hometown and became an undertaker's apprentice by mistake, or the only one, and the competition in this line was indeed not fierce enough. After experiencing a gut-testing learning process and overcoming the prejudices of himself, as well as his wife and friends, he truly understood the responsibility and significance of this special profession from a series of hand movements, skin kisses, and gratitude from the deceased's relatives, and untied a belated knot with his father.
And these origins, twists and turns, and the transformation of the male protagonist are either completely omitted or brushed aside in "It's Not Worth the Trip", without positively showing the process of "Hu Ge" from a screenwriter to a eulogy writer, and there are no twists or turns or changes in the understanding of this line in the process, and finally return to the screenwriter's part, and just to write a fictional character with only a surname for a long time, and take a complete name.
In other words, the deceased who was originally the focus of "No" has never entered the camera, and the male protagonist has never had any "communication" with TAs, but is only interviewing the surrounding living people. Although "the dead are also talking", usually only exist in reasoning detective stories, but the "Hu Ge" in "No" is equivalent to an easy chair detective, who does not go to the scene at all, just listens to the gossip of relevant personnel in the "comfort zone", and even gossip news, and in the end solving the case is not the key, but the detective finally knitted a knitwear that has not been able to form on the easy chair.
This is almost also a common disease of mainland academic schools and literary film directors, who regard "drama" as manure and regard sullen "self-expression" as supreme.
However, the beginning and end of the plot of "The Undertaker", including the final entry of strangers to the end of sending off loved ones, so that the dramatic treatment of returning to the original point does not compromise its artistic value and audience popularity in the slightest, and the two are not incompatible.
Similarly, in 2013, "Still Life", which won the best director in the Horizon section of the Venice Film Festival, the actor's job is to find relevant relatives for the deceased who died alone, but then he was not only laid off, but also died alone... It is also in reality and drama to find a balance.
"The Undertaker" stills.
Is the box office difference related to TV coffee?
Despite the ridicule of the contempt chain in the film and television industry, an actor is an actor, and we believe that there is no distinction between film and television.
Acting is everything.
For example, nowadays, the status of American dramas is getting higher and higher, and Hollywood movie cafes have also "gone down", and by the way, they also have more right to speak.
The situation in the Chinese-speaking entertainment industry is more "complicated", most of them straddle the two worlds of film and television, just like tobacco and alcohol do not separate families, and do not give up the "industry rules" for one thing. After all, even the "innate movie coffee" Zhang Ziyi (who played Zhang Yimou's movie as soon as he debuted) has made dramas.
In the early years, the Hong Kong film and television industry was even more so, and now the superstar level we are familiar with such as Chow Yun-fat, Stephen Chow, Andy Lau, Tony Leung and others have all "changed" from TV series to the film industry. Among Chow Yun-fat's best works, the TV series "On the Beach" should have a place.
But the transition from TV to film is bound to be a struggle.
Chow Yun-fat was the same at first, always being box office poison... It was not until "The True Color of Heroes" that Brother Fa really became a movie coffee with box office appeal.
Some actors can't wait for their "True Colors of Heroes" all their lives, such as Zheng Shaoqiu has always been an evergreen tree in the TV industry, but he has never had any masterpieces in movies.
"Variety show coffee" like Jia Ling, compared with movie coffee and TV coffee, is more "waiting and down", but also with "Hello! Li Huanying" established the highest box office status of female directors.
In the Internet era, television is precarious, and the term "TV coffee" is about to become history. Dapeng, the star of "The Eighth Suspect", who fought against "It's Not Worth the Trip", has never made a TV series, but he has filmed the online short series "Disi Men".
His starting point is, of course, worse than TV cafes and variety shows. But thanks to the good sense of the net, Dapeng filmed "Pancake Man" and gained a foothold in the film industry.
Many times, time is also fate. As an Internet mogul said, success depends on "one life, two fortunes, and three feng shui".
This is especially true in the film and television industry.
If you have to break the reason why a TV café's transformation into the film industry has not been successful, one of the main reasons is that the audience is used to seeing you on TV "for free", and they are very reluctant to pay for tickets to watch.
Of course, now is the era of online dramas, video platforms have paid membership as a profit model, and it is difficult to see "TV coffee" for free. But Hu Ge's current dramas are all landed on satellite TV, and the above reasons are barely applied.
To be honest, the quality of "It's Not Worth the Trip" is not bad, it belongs to works above the passing line, but it is just a cold temperament, not appetizing to ordinary audiences, so the box office is dismal.
In the end, "TV coffee" is not the most critical, it depends on the work itself, and if Hu Ge does not withdraw from the circle, he needs to wait until his own "The True Color of Heroes".
Written by | Li Yi
Curated | Editorial Department of Entertainment Spring and Autumn