Original title: Dragon Boat Festival box office bleak reflects the domestic and foreign difficulties of film giants
“Intense and bleak.”
When it comes to the main forum of the Shanghai Film Festival in June, most of the participants will feel this way.
It is very rare that the decent entertainment industry leaders who have always paid attention to relationships are “choking each other” in the film festival forum, which shows the deep grievances.
On June 12, at the opening forum of the Shanghai International Film Festival “China Film Industry Summit,” Yu Dong, the founder, chairman and president of Bona Pictures, “fired” Maoyan and the high service fees of Taoping tickets. He believes that it is unreasonable for the online ticketing platform to charge 3-5 yuan for each ticket sold. He even directly compared the service fee with the fees of the exclusive funds, saying, “From the perspective of industry development, (service fees) cannot exceed the national standards. Exclusive funds are used at least for the development of the film and television industry. Where does the service fee end up? Up?”
“You can take out your cell phone and check it out. Yesterday, the box office of the day before the Dragon Boat Festival was 75 million. How much is the service fee removed? Over 67 million, of which 8 million is the service fee.” Yu Dong said.
At the China Film and Television Capital Summit on June 11, Wang Changtian, chairman of Guangming Media, said that the film industry has a very serious “triangular debt” problem. “The theater owes money to the distribution company, the distribution company owes money to the production company, and the production company owes money to each other. , And the production company owes money to the creators.”
All the arguments emphasize the same problem, lack of money, but in the end the water outlet is clogged. The 21st Century Business Herald reporter calculated based on the data released by the National Film Funding Office that the box office of the 2021 movie “Dragon Boat Festival” (June 12-June 14) is about 466 million yuan, which is at a historical low. Based on the huge number of fixed files for more than a dozen films, the industry generally expected that the box office of the “Dragon Boat Festival” this year was expected to exceed 1 billion yuan.
From 2015 to 2019, the film “Dragon Boat Festival” was 605 million yuan, 846 million yuan, 760 million yuan, 912 million yuan, and 785 million yuan in sequence, and the overall trend was in a gradual upward trend. Affected by the epidemic, theaters across the country will be closed in 2020.
Specifically, from the perspective of the film, the sports inspirational film “Beyond” starring Zheng Kai won 88.78 million box office in 3 days; American cartoon “Bed Rabbit 2: Escape Plan” was released in 4 days box office of 77.203 million yuan; Ning Hao, producer, Peng Yuyan “Tropical Once Upon a Time” starring Zhang Aijia was released for 3 days with a box office of 52.35 million. No film has a box office exceeding 100 million.
In addition, the film giants are also facing a strong invasion by Internet companies. On June 13, Tencent Pictures released a film list, including a total of 70 works such as the Time Melody Series, the Oriental Story Series, and the International Exploration Series. Tencent Pictures, Xinli Media, and China Reading Film and Television have formed a “troika” and are building their own ecology.
Many project directors stated that the key to cooperating with Tencent is that it owns the copyright, and Tencent has gone deep into the entire process in the main investment project.
On the other side of the world, Amazon announced a wholly-owned acquisition of MGM for 8.45 billion US dollars. At this point, in addition to Disney, the eight major Hollywood film companies in the United States have all been acquired.
The movie giants are still in the ice age, although they have the most resources in the industry.
The financial report shows that in the first quarter, Huayi Brothers had a revenue of 397 million yuan and a net profit of 235 million yuan, but its non-net profit was a loss of 70.891 million yuan. From 2018 to 2020, Huayi Brothers lost 1.169 billion, 3.978 billion, and 1.048 billion in turn. In the first quarter, Huayi’s debt ratio rose from 63% in 2020 to 65%.
Light Media worked hard to maintain stability during the ice age. In the first quarter, its revenue was 239.8 million yuan and its net profit was 198 million yuan. In 2020, the revenue of light is 1.159 billion yuan, -59.04% year-on-year; net profit is 291 million yuan, -69.28% year-on-year.
Guangguang has stated on many occasions that it adopts a prudent and prudent strategy in terms of funds. Even so, in the first quarter, the balance of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period still fell to 1.515 billion yuan, compared with 2.175 billion yuan in the same period last year.
The capital market reacted very directly. On June 15, Huayi Brothers closed at 3.75 yuan, a drop of 2.19%; Guangguang Media closed at 11.3 yuan, a drop of 1.48%.
It is true that the film giants are struggling in performance, due to multiple reasons such as the epidemic situation and project failure to meet expectations, but in Wang Changtian’s view, the capital blockade is an important factor.
“Beginning in the second half of 2018, the entire capital’s attitude towards the film and television industry has undergone a major change, which has led to a sharp decline in investment in the entire industry. For example, in terms of equity investment, few companies can receive equity investment in the early stages of establishment or during operation. The investment and capital of the project itself has also been drastically reduced, causing many projects to be unable to start. Basically it is a blockade policy. There is no new company in our industry to go public, and there is no way to raise funds. It directly leads to key enterprises, listed film and television companies, and There is a funding problem,” he said.
As the most well-preserved survivor, Wang Changtian is not too optimistic. Regarding the future, he said, “I don’t know much about it.”
Why did capital “block” the film industry? Yan Yan, founding managing partner of SAIF Asia Investment Fund, believes that there are too many uncontrollable factors.
“China’s box office accounts for almost 90% of revenue, but in the United States, the box office usually only accounts for about 30% of revenue. 1/3 and 2/3 of revenue come from the following markets, such as DVD, cable pay TV, etc., and derivative The product (revenue) is also very high. For example, “Titanic” has a box office of more than 2 billion U.S. dollars, but the subsequent revenue is nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars.” Yan Yan explained at the China Film and Television Capital Summit.
Yan Yan also emphasized that uncontrollable factors in the film industry flood all links. The country is a director-centered system. Some projects have been squandered because of the director’s arrest and investment. In addition, the general environment also affects weak movie projects. “In many crews, investors promised to invest. In the end, half of the money was paid out, and the next half was gone. They said that the real estate was not good recently, the house could not be sold, and the money was not available,” he said.
The relatively high risk of Chinese film completion is another major difficulty. “Some actors had problems with their private lives during the filming, and the film was not allowed to be accepted, and the censorship had to go through a lot of barriers. Basically, a filmmaker in China can only get about 30% of the box office revenue, and the other 70%. It is divided into different channels. And the American production company, a movie, can get about 60%-70% of the money. China is divided too much.” Yan Yan added.
The erosion of internet giants
Just as the movie giants are exhausted for financing, Internet companies’ dimensionality reduction crackdowns are increasing.
Cheng Wu, vice president of Tencent Group, CEO of China Reading Group, CEO of Tencent Pictures, and Chairman of Tencent Animation, revealed at the press conference that its “troika” will include realist themes, system development, and high-quality web texts and animations. IP, to promote the exploration of the three directions of creative ecologicalization and production industrialization.
There have been results. Director Xu Hongyu told the 21st Century Business Herald that he took the initiative to ask Cheng Wu to act as the director of the film and television drama version of the comic “Under One Man”. Xu Hongyu’s works include “Like You” starring Takeshi Kaneshiro and Dongyu Zhou, and “Home at One Point” starring Liu Haoran, both of which have won both box office reputations.
Tencent’s biggest barrier lies in IP. Cheng Wu revealed that among the most popular online dramas in 2020, the proportion of online text adaptations has risen to 60%. According to the “Evaluation Report on the Adaptation Potential of Network Literature IP Films and TV Plays” released by the China Film Association, among the 46 IPs on the list, more than 52% of the IPs are read. Among them, in the most valuable first echelon, reads account for more than 52%. Than 75%.
In addition, Tencent is also involved in the production process, which was originally the core advantage of movie giants. “The production team is still my own, but Tencent has gone deep into all aspects. Xinli’s production team is very good.” Another well-known director told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter.
In front of Internet companies with capital, traffic, and even IP, the advantages of traditional film and television giants are quite limited, and it is even difficult to afford the title of “giant”.
In this case, they are also looking for a way out. Enlight Media chooses to deepen the animation, Huayi Brothers is telling the story of cultural and travel integration, and Bona Pictures is betting on the main theme.
“It’s hard to say which one will find the way, but the existing path is definitely not going. Traditional film companies will only become more and more passive.” A former film executive told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter.
He himself chose to start a business under the giant ecosystem.
(Author: He Hongyuan Editor: Li Qingyu)