Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, May 24 (Reporter Zhang Yunlong) In the first quarter of 2023, the sequels of many popular movies have been registered and approved by the National Film Bureau, including “Flying Life 2”, “Unknown 2”, “If You Are the One 3”, “Love Myth” 2″. At the same time, movie fans are also looking forward to new works in series such as “The Wandering Earth” and “Detective Chinatown”. Industry experts said that the Chinese film industry is ushering in more series of films, and the key to success is whether or not branding can be achieved.
In recent years, the series of movies have performed well at the box office in the Chinese market. On May 15, 2023, the Spring Festival movie “The Wandering Earth 2” was officially released in theaters, with a cumulative box office of more than 4 billion yuan, ranking tenth on the box office list. The previous work “The Wandering Earth” earned nearly 4.7 billion yuan at the box office in 2019, making it the highest-grossing sci-fi movie in China.
The “Detective Chinatown” series also has brilliant box office results. Since the first film was released at the end of 2015, the series has launched a new work every three years, among which “Detective Chinatown 3” released in 2021 won a box office of 4.5 billion yuan.
“The Bears” is another high-profile movie franchise. Since its first theatrical release in 2014, a new “Bear Infested” movie has been released almost every year. Because the audience base and box office appeal are relatively stable, the series is quite popular with theaters.
Released in 2021, the film “Changjin Lake” on the theme of resisting U.S. aggression and aiding Korea became the first place in China’s box office list with a record box office of 5.775 billion yuan. The sequel “Shuimen Bridge of Changjin Lake” will be released in 2022 and won the annual box office champion. The two films have combined revenue of 9.8 billion yuan, making them the highest-grossing franchise.
Film industry experts point out that series films have a significant box office advantage over single films.
After the accumulation of multiple works, a series of movies usually has a loyal audience. The audience maintains a strong interest in the characters and plots, which may bring relatively stable box office performance for subsequent films. A series of films can carry out more complex storytelling and character development, establish a deeper emotional connection with the audience, and thus keep the audience’s attention on the film for a longer period of time.
In addition, franchises can generate more revenue through merchandising, derivatives, and other media adaptations, further boosting total box office performance and long-term profitability. These advantages have been fully demonstrated by the success of series such as “Star Wars” and “Marvel Universe” in the United States.
The “14th Five-Year Plan for Chinese Film Development” proposes to encourage original works and encourage the development of branded and serialized films. Experts believe that although the development of Chinese film series has made impressive progress, it still has a long way to go in terms of brand building and sustainable development.
Rao Shuguang, president of the China Film Critics Society, pointed out that a series of films needs to establish trust and emotional connection with the audience, maintain continuity through good interaction, so as to win the audience and the market, gradually form a brand, and release brand benefits. The series of films “is not a one-shot buy and sell”.
At the same time, many series of movies are not the product of planning, but the result of “temporary intention” after the first movie achieved commercial success. This kind of accidental and tentative way of spawning makes its brand building unstable. Therefore, experts suggest that film stakeholders should strengthen their self-awareness and long-term planning capabilities in building a series of film brands.
Chen Xuguang, director of the Film and Television Drama Research Center of Peking University, believes that having branded series of films is one of the indicators of the maturity of the film industry, and it also has far-reaching significance for cultural construction. The Chinese film industry should maintain an open vision, actively explore the prototypes of Chinese culture, and promote the modernization of China’s excellent traditional culture.
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