Why do such ugly movies have such high box office

Author | Er Dong Chen

Edit|Wu Dongdian

Ten hours in theaters, the box office broke 100 million.

This is the record of the movie “I Want Us Together” on May 20th.

Obviously the release date is not a holiday, the 51st file of the same type of “Your Wedding” has not yet been released, and the Hollywood super series “Fast and Furious 9” is also released at the same time. Why are the audience willing to pay for a youth romance film that can fill the plot by just listening to the name?

It is undeniable that 520 has done a great job.

The date is easy and the schedule is friendly, which is an important factor for the beauty of the box office.

However, it is not surprising that “I Want Us Together” can have such a good box office performance. If you stretch the line, you will find that youth films have been popular in the market for a long, long time.

The Chinese film market has such a peculiar landscape. From 2013 to the present, except for 2015 and 2017, the top ten domestic movies at the box office each year, there is a youth film that cannot be beaten.

Moreover, these youth films are not as well-received as other high-grossing movies. Except for a few cases, most of these films are bad films with one-sided reputation, and Douban scores are hovering outside the pass line.

So the question is, why is word-of-mouth box office inversely proportional, but youth films are still the most stable type of nuggets in the current Chinese film market?

01 Feelings card

The most intuitive reason, of course, is that someone sees it.

Don’t look at cinemas in these years, there is no shortage of youth films at all. Pushing forward for a decade, this is a rare type of cinema in our country.

The romance films at that time were the love and hatred between urban white-collar workers such as “Zhi Ming and Chun Jiao”, “Single Men and Women” and “Love”. Compared with real life, they were more like other people’s stories.

Romance movies are not moving, the key depends on whether the sense of substitution is strong or not. The scope of the audience depends on whether the protagonist’s career and life are connected.

In China, there are undoubtedly more people who have experience in high school life than white-collar workers and domineering presidents.

Recall that when “The Girl We Chased Together in Those Years” was released, there must be many students around you who changed their QQ signatures into movie lines. A couple used Ke Jingteng and Shen Jiayi as their avatars. “It’s all synonymous with a girl with good looks.

Although the plot of the movie is more dreamy than life, but compared to the previous scenes of cheating and tearing up the junior three, everyone must have more resonance with high school life and pure love.

Ke Jingteng likes Shen Jiayi. He changes himself for love and goes all out. It is a pity that the two people who pretend to be each other are too young. They met without learning to love others and could only miss it.

I want to be good to a person, but because I am young and powerless, this kind of feeling will be more precious when I think about it in the future, the more I enter a complex environment.

This kind of precious sales later became the subject of many youth films.

In the second year of successful Taiwanese youth films, Zhao Wei came with her graduation work “To Our Dying Youth”.

The college campus in the 90s, Zheng Jun’s “Cinderella” in the background music, and the PHS used by the students are all memories of a generation of youth.

If the direct audience of “Those Years” is the student group, “To Youth” uses a unique era to expand the audience.

The story is a school love that ends without a disease. There is no lack of dog blood, all elements of derailment, abortion, car accident and betrayal, but the theme of loving someone alone when they were young still touched many viewers.

After that, one youth passed away, and countless “to youth” rose up.

The theme of campus love has become an evergreen tree in movie theaters, and the box office has stabilized at over 100 million.

In 2014, “The Year In A Hurry”, “You At The Same Table”, In 2015, “Left Ear”, “Gardenia Blossoms”, “My Girlhood”, “Passing Through Your World”, “To Youth” in 2016 2″, “The Later Us” in 2018, “You of the Younger” in 2019, and even in the special environment of 2020, “I’m Waiting for You at the End of Time” will be released on Tanabata for a short time to “rescue the market.”

In these movies, except for “My Girlhood” and “Young You”, none of them scored more than 6 on Douban.

When “Your Wedding” was released this year, a friend posted to Moments, “Although I know the plot is clichéd, I hope I don’t cry later.”

I asked her why she still looks at the clichés if she knows it?

She thinks that the movies that resonate are good movies, and there is no chain of contempt.

“Besides, that kind of single-minded and high-purity love will disappear when you grow up. It can only be found in youth films. When girls watch youth films, they will inevitably bring themselves in. The reality is not satisfactory, and only in In the movie, I was dreaming while reminiscing about my youth.”

02 “Fourth-tier cities”

There is a basis for saying that youth films are selling feelings.

You can see that for so many years, youth films are still bad boys and goddesses, ordinary girls and school tyrants, sincerely like them, good luck separates people, growth is painful, and the formula is the same.

But if you say that youth films succeed only by selling their feelings, they are still biased.

After all, when “Mermaid” was released, netizens were clamoring, “I used to see Stephen Chow in the video room, and I owed too many movie tickets to Master Xing, and I finally got a chance to pay it back.”

This sentiment was sold for 3.3 billion, but the second year “Journey to the West: The Demon” was released again, are there so many people who paid back movie tickets?

Therefore, youth films can be evergreen, and there are other ways.

First of all, I benefited from the saying, “No one will always be seventeen, but someone will always be seventeen.”

Youth films, as the name suggests, the main audience is young people.

Looking back at the portraits of users who wanted to see from “To Our Gone Youth” to “Your Wedding”,You will find that the age of the audience is gradually decreasing.

For “Youth”, users are relatively evenly distributed across all age groups. The 20-30 year-old group is the main force, with 15.2% of people over 40, and the least proportion of teenagers, only 10.1%.

The ratio of men to women in “To Youth” is relatively even, with female users only 13.8% more than male users.

In 2014, the ratio of men to women was basically 1:1, but the number of users over the age of 40 who wanted to watch dropped to less than 10%, and the number of teenagers rose to nearly 14%.

In 2015, “Left Ear” users who want to watch, women are almost twice as many as men. After the release of “Passing by Your World” in 2016, the number of female users who want to watch accounted for 71.2%, which is close to male users. People aged 20-24 accounted for 51.6%, which is 2.7 times the total number of people over 30 or 40 years old.

So far, youth films have formed an extremely fixed core group-female audiences under the age of 25.

People of this age are either still on campus or new to society.

Young teenagers who have not been involved in the world watch youth films. Because they are of the same age and have not experienced the complete journey from youth to adulthood like the characters in the film, they have limited judgment on the authenticity of their growth.

Because of this, their interpretation of the pain will be infinitely magnified based on their limited personal experience. The so-called youth do not know the feeling of sorrow.

Understanding, it means that the tolerance is stronger.

So although the overall quality of the film is not good, it can capture the emotional points of the main audience.

The post-80s and post-90s have grown up, and they are so embarrassed that they can squeeze their feet, but they do not prevent the post-00s and 10s who are in their youth from continuing their second year of youth.

In addition, the continuous sinking of the film market is also invisibly escorting youth films.

According to Sullivan’s statistics, there were 5,598 theaters in China in 2014, which rose to 11,864 in 2018.

The increase in the number of cinemas means that more places have cinemas. What naturally drove was the increase in the number of movie viewers. In 2018, the number of movie viewers in China exceeded 1.7 billion, which was nearly twice the number of 830 million in 2014.

As the first- and second-tier cinema market is becoming saturated, the channels of third-, fourth-, and fifth-tier cinemas are expanding, and the audience is sinking, and the market share is gradually increasing. From 2015 to 2017, the compound growth rate of moviegoers in China’s third-, fourth- and fifth-tier cities reached 49.9%, far exceeding the growth rate of first- and second-tier cities.

Compared to suspense crime and art films with higher barriers to viewing movies, comedies and romance films are the main choices for third- and fourth-tier audiences.

Because comedy and love are more entertaining and easier to get emotional resonance, for them, the main purpose of watching movies is to have fun. Youth films have a strong and straightforward emotional expression and are easy to resonate.

Nowadays, with the division of moviegoers by various new entertainment methods such as secret rooms in first- and second-tier cities, script killing, immersive drama, etc., the “heavy task” of supporting the movie market is gradually transferred to third- and fourth-tier citizens.

In this year’s Qingming, May Day and even 520, the number of moviegoers in the fourth-tier cities was extremely high.

It can be seen that the plates of youth films are large and rely on “small town youths.”

03 More quickly and better

Someone sees it, so naturally someone shoots it.

From the beginning of “To Youth”, youth films have been making big money with a small cost, and they can give investors confidence every time.

The total cost of the production and distribution of “To Youth” on the Internet is 60 million.

It was released for 11 days and the box office exceeded 500 million. Now it sounds like a drizzle, but in terms of the big environment where imported films were taken away by half of the country, the performance is simply not too eye-catching.

Zhao Wei’s directorial debut has its own flow, and Xinyiwu’s original novels have book fans. The story is set in the 1990s, and nostalgia is an attractive thing.

From the story to the main creation to the subject matter, a little bit can arouse some people’s curiosity, so the final box office of “To Youth” is 700 million yuan, ranking third in the annual box office, and Feng Xiaogang’s “Private Order” has never been beaten. it.

Look at this input-output ratio again. New actors have low pay, urban youth films are ready-made, and production costs are low. Zhao Wei became China’s highest-grossing female director as soon as she shot, and the investor’s share price of Guangguang Media rose 40%.

When the box office is harvesting, the reputation of the movie is not bad, and people are always very tolerant of the familiar faces who are trying new fields for the first time.

Although you re-watch “To Youth”, you will find that the story’s twittering heroine is extremely noisy. For the Weibo crowd, this film still has a strong suspicion of “fascinating men”, but it is the first time it is placed in the context of 2013. Zhao Wei, the director, undoubtedly pointed a good way to her investors and colleagues——

Shooting youth films.

So, Zhao Wei’s good friend Su Youpeng next filmed Rao Xueman’s “Left Ear”. The management is still Light Media. The content of the film is described in the words of today’s netizens, that is, “I’m so embarrassed that I took out three rooms with my feet in 100 minutes. One hall”.

But this does not prevent the market from continuing to be optimistic about youth films. After all, the investment of 30 million at the box office is nearly 500 million, and 80 million can be obtained after the account is divided.

Youth film is a type with small investment and big return.

Not only does it have low production costs, but more importantly, compared to other types of movies, youth films do not rely on big stars, and do not rely on a fixed creative team, so they are relatively easy to make.

Although there are many examples of low-cost and high-yield comedy, for so many years, there are only a few drama teams active in the public eye, such as Ge You from the older generation, Ning Hao, Huang Bo, Wang Baoqiang, and Xu Zheng from the Mesozoic era. Another happy twist team joined.

So many movies are released every year, and these familiar faces have the box office appeal in the comedy market.

As for movies, science fiction and other films that win by genre, after a box office miracle, it will take a long time for the myth to continue. Not made so quickly.

There are only youth films, which have nothing to do with who the director is, and who the actors are. If the announcement is made, the film will basically be finished.

This is evidenced by the introduction of new directors and new actors in “To Youth” and “Left Ear”. The youth IP with topical traffic and the theme song sung by a very national singer, the attention is naturally opened. .

Faye Wong sang for “To Youth” and “In a Hurry”, Zhao Wei sang the theme song for “Left Ear”, Eason Chan and Tian Fuzhen released a single for “The Later Us”, Karen Mok sang a new song for “I Want Us Together” .

The film crew with a lot of publicity and dissemination cost a lot of money to join hands with the heavenly queen singers, and the movie became popular before the theme song was released.

There is no need to panic if the crew announces that the cost is low, and a good schedule can unlock the box office miracle.

After the epidemicThe release of “I’m Waiting for You at the End of Time” perfectly proves that the youth film does not rely on luxury casts.

From director Yao Tingting to starring Li Hongqi and Li Yitong, no one is well-known, but in the end they won 500 million at the box office.

The release of Qixi Festival is the real wealth code of this movie.

This is similar to this year’s “I Want Us Together” play.

Choose to be screened on Valentine’s Day. The format is bigger than the content.

The target audience is young couples who are in love. On such days, even if they are not very interested in this subject matter, they will still watch it for the occasion.

After all, there is only one day for 520 in a year. Is it the same as watching “Fast and Furious” to watch a romance with your loved one on this day?

It’s okay to watch other movies early and watch one day at night, but the Valentine’s Day ritual is not full, that’s not okay.

Youth films do not rely on celebrities, choose the right schedule, and tickets can be sold in pairs, and they have the potential to become popular with newcomers.

From the early years of Chen Yanxi and Yang Zishan to Chen Duling and then to Zhang Ruonan now, the investment in youth films can be described as a huge profit.

Since there are always people who eat youth routines, why not “being youthful”?