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Unleashing the Power of Branch Distribution: A New Era for Chinese Film Industry

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Different Theaters Showing Different Movies

The film market tests the waters of “split distribution”

Beijing Youth Daily reporter Xiao Yang

The split distribution model of “different films shown in different theaters” can be said to be a major exploration in the domestic film industry this year. At the 24th National Film Promotion Conference and the First National Film Fair held recently, “Reunion”, “Porco Rosso”, “Asteroid Hunters”, “The Last Night”, “Beacon Sugar Field” and “Dive!” 24 films including “Young Man” have completed branch distribution contracts. The movie “Silence” is scheduled to be released on December 1, becoming China’s first new film to be released offline.

Industry insiders said that the branch distribution model means that through effective market regulation, producers, distributors and exhibitors can work together to make the market bigger. It also means that the audience will see more excellent films with rich content and diverse themes. Domestic films.

Not a new concept, but a new opportunity

Branched distribution means that a film can no longer be uniformly screened by theater chains across the country, and the film studio can choose to trade with theater chains or theater investment management companies that provide better conditions. For example, it provides more prime screenings, a higher proportion of film schedules, a longer screening period, and a higher proportion of film box office settlement accounts, etc., which all belong to the category of merit-based considerations.

Branch distribution is not a new concept, but it is a new opportunity for the Chinese film industry.

For example, branch distribution can increase the revenue of the film studio. The current common account sharing ratio is 43% for the film studio and 57% for the theater (excluding the national film special fund turned over). After the branch distribution model is officially launched, on the basis of unified distribution and unified screening, film producers and distributors can explore new market-led and flexible negotiation transaction methods. For another example, branch distribution can increase the utilization rate of theaters and screens and increase the income of exhibitors. Statistics show that as of 2023, there will be 11,000 cinemas in my country and the number of screens will exceed 83,000. However, blockbusters are clustered in important schedules such as the summer vacation, National Day, and Spring Festival, and there are no films available on weekdays and weekends. As a result, on the one hand, the single-day box office in the off-season is less than 30 million, and the audience’s willingness to enter the theater is low, and theater film scheduling resources are severely wasted; on the other hand, high-quality, medium- and low-cost movies suffer “miserably” due to limited publicity and distribution budgets. “One round tour”, it is impossible to get more space for film arrangement. From this perspective, implementing branch distribution can increase theater revenue.

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It is a new attempt and requires new efforts

As the first work released by the branch line, the release of “Silence Notes” marks the official launch of the branch line distribution. An online distribution plan shows: “Silence Notes” has selected 30 theaters for cooperation this time. The screening requirements include: the total number of screenings in the three days before the first weekend is no less than 8 (including no less than 3 on the first day), and the number of prime screenings in the three days is no less than 3; on weekdays, the number of screenings is no less than 1 per day. Industry insiders believe that for such a film that lacks the blessing of popular celebrities and is not a search topic before the screening, it can be said to be very difficult to get a prime screening if a unified film arrangement method is adopted.

Industry insiders believe that the most concerning issue for theater chains and theaters right now is how to increase attendance and box office revenue during non-prime periods and non-prime time periods – this is also the difficulty in increasing box office in the domestic film market. Differentiated operations such as branch distribution may provide new exploration to solve this problem. With the advancement of off-line distribution, small and medium-cost movies and small theaters will have more room to choose from each other. Some films with strong local colors can be screened regionally to achieve a two-way connection between content and audience.

Branch distribution is a new attempt for Chinese films, but industry insiders also said that the effect and role of branch distribution must be considered from the actual effect. It also puts forward higher requirements for film producers and theaters: it will test the precise marketing of film producers. Ability requires a clear judgment on the characteristics of the film and the audience group; while the theater chain must be very familiar with its theaters in order to meet the diverse film consumption needs.

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Related

“Silence Notes” becomes the first new film to be released on-line

On November 28, China’s first off-line release movie “Silence Notes” premiered. Producer Wang Hongwei, director and screenwriter Hao Feihuan co-starred Zhang Yu, and starred Ma Yinyin, Chubu Huajie, Tan Tian, ​​Zhong Bo and others. Zhang Yu won the Fei Mu Honor Best Actor Award at the Pingyao International Film Festival for this role.

“Silent Notes” tells the story of Li Lizhong (played by Zhang Yu), a joint defense captain in the 1990s, starting from a bizarre dog killing case and gradually uncovering the story of his father’s enemy. This is a process of finding the truth, but it is also a process of “breaking and reshaping” oneself. The audio-visual style of the film is unique, and the regional characteristics of the small town in southern Guizhou are throughout the film. The content of the story is profound and calm, and it is another new attempt at realistic crime-themed films.

Zhang Yu said, “What attracts me very much about this script is that Li Lizhong is constantly smoothed out in the process of pursuing the truth. When he discovers that all the unbearable things in the truth point to himself, he can only accept it in the end. Choose silence.”

Coordinator/Liu Jianghua

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