A number of policies support the film industry, filmmakers actively respond to the epidemic and flexibly save the market
In the past three years of the epidemic, filmmakers have never given up
According to the real-time data of Lighthouse Professional Edition, as of June 21, a total of 170 theaters in Beijing were open for business, with a total of 9,763 operating theaters nationwide, and the national theater operating rate was 80.5%. From June 10th to 12th, after a lapse of more than 100 days, the national movie market has exceeded 100 million yuan at the box office for three consecutive days, and the movie market has obvious signs of recovery.
Looking back at the past three years, the national movie market has been affected by the epidemic, unpredictable, and the curve has changed significantly. In recent years, the government has provided some policy support to the film industry. In order to alleviate the pressure of survival during the epidemic, some theaters have also actively carried out self-help. Chinese filmmakers are also in the background of the normal situation of the epidemic, filming at the border of epidemic prevention. Under the difficult conditions of tight time and heavy tasks, they have adopted many flexible methods to explore a new way out and filmed the “Changjin Lake” series. , “Hello, Li Huanying”, “My Hometown and Me” and “Chinese Doctor” and many other works with good box office and reputation.
In 2021, the total box office of the national film market will reach 47.258 billion yuan, an increase of 132.6% compared with the 20.314 billion yuan box office in 2020, and it has also successfully won the box office champion in the global single market, injecting a shot in the arm for Chinese films in the post-epidemic era. Today, the movie market is gradually recovering, and domestic new film masterpieces such as “Major Events in Life”, “Shocking Rescue” and “Mozart in Outer Space” have been set for June and July. The National Day stalls are heating up.
1 A number of policies have supported the film industry, the total box office and the number of screens have been leading the world
On January 23, 2020, affected by the epidemic, seven films originally scheduled for the Spring Festival, including “Jiang Ziya”, “囧 Mom” and “Win the Championship”, were withdrawn one after another. In the next six months, almost the entire film industry entered a cold winter.
In May 2020, the domestic epidemic was effectively controlled. The State Film Administration, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration of Taxation and other departments, also successively issued special funds for the development of the film industry and other preferential fiscal and tax policies. On May 12, the Office of the National Film Special Funds Management Committee issued the “Notice on Doing a Good Job in Film Special Interest Discounts to Support Cinemas’ Responding to the Epidemic”. On May 13, the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and the State Administration of Taxation jointly issued the “Announcement of the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation on Tax Support Policies for Film and Other Industries”. On the same day, the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and the State Film Administration jointly issued the “Announcement of the Ministry of Finance and the State Film Administration on the Policy of Temporarily Exempting the Collection of Special Funds for the Development of the National Film Industry”.
Due to the effective prevention and control of the epidemic across the country, coupled with the active self-help of the entire film industry, on July 20, 2020, theaters in low-risk areas across the country resumed business in an orderly manner, and theaters that had been closed for nearly half a year finally opened. In 2020, China’s movie box office market surpassed North America with 20.314 billion yuan, becoming the world’s largest box office for the first time in history. In 2021, the total box office of Chinese films will reach 47.258 billion yuan, of which the domestic film box office will be 39.927 billion yuan, accounting for 84.49% of the total box office.
Since March 2022, a new round of epidemics has affected 28 provinces. As a clustered contact service industry, the film industry faces prominent operational difficulties. Especially after March 11, many cinemas across the country were suspended, and the operating rate was even less than 50%.
In this context, nearly 20 provinces and cities including Gansu, Chongqing, Guangdong, Hunan, Shandong, Yunnan, Heilongjiang and Anhui have conscientiously implemented the “State Film Administration on Strictly Controlling the Epidemic in Cinemas”. At the same time, a series of relief policies were introduced to help enterprises, including tax and fee reductions, rent reductions, issuance of consumer coupons, promotions, employment support, financial support, and optimization of the business environment to help the service industry thrive. Over the difficulties, many of the support policies have given a certain preference to the film industry, especially theaters.
2 Filmmakers start working together to direct and flexibly shoot while preventing the epidemic
The repeated outbreak of the epidemic has caused a lot of trouble for filming. Many film crews are filming while preventing the epidemic. Under the difficult conditions of tight time and heavy tasks, many flexible and flexible methods were adopted to complete the shooting work.
“King Kong River” was jointly completed by the three directors Guan Hu, Guo Fan and Lu Yang from three different perspectives. The same is true for “Changjin Lake”. Due to the epidemic, the original shooting plan was disrupted. One director could not complete the shooting within the limited time, so he could only adjust the shooting plan. Three directors, Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark, and Lin Chaoxian, jointly directed the three teams Shoot separately. The “Sniper” co-directed by Zhang Yimou and Zhang Mo also adopted this kind of cooperation. At the shooting site, Zhang Yimou was mainly responsible for the Chinese sniper part, and Zhang Mo was mainly responsible for the US military part. When filming, the crew set up two battlefields on two hilltops. Zhang Yimou’s crew was in the south hill, and Zhang Mo’s crew was in the north hill. The two groups started filming and shut down at the same time.
In 2020, when Ning Hao was filming the “Beijing Good People” unit in “My Hometown and Me”, it was during the worst period of the epidemic in Beijing. Many of the major scenes in the film took place in the hospital, and the hospital in Beijing was also very nervous during the filming. A filming location that was originally planned was not allowed to enter the next day after the filming was completed, because the hospital detected confirmed cases, and there were no confirmed cases. The only way to do it is to shoot with a scene. At this time, there were only two days left for the art team to set the scene. Except for the scene where the blood was drawn, all the scenes in the hospital had to be set up. Ning Hao took advantage of these two days to rush to shoot other scenes. In the end, the art team tried to build a hospital scene by surprise. Due to the limited time, several spaces in the hospital were actually transformed by changing scenes back and forth in one place, so that one scene could be used for multiple purposes. During the shooting, Ning Hao could only cooperate with the photography, “you can’t shake it, you can wear it when you shake it.”
In the film, there is a group scene of eating at a food stall. Zhang Beijing sings Peking Opera to teach his uncle to liberate his nature. This is a big scene with about 200 people. However, because of the epidemic in Beijing, the crew did not dare to look for group performances, and they could not find them. They could only look for people who had undergone nucleic acid testing, because if an accident really happened, there would have to be a chain of clues to find everyone present. The employees and directors of Ning Hao’s Bad Monkey Company had undergone nucleic acid tests, and Ning Hao began to call and invite people on the spot. Many directors of Bad Monkey, including Lu Yang, the director of the “Embroidered Spring Knife” series, and the company’s producer. The filmmakers have come to do group performances. The scene was filmed at a food stall in the southeast of Beijing, and was filmed in one night.
3 Many anti-epidemic works are based on real and touching materials
In the past three years, Chinese filmmakers have participated in the fight against the epidemic in their own way, and have made many anti-epidemic films.
On January 22, 2021, China’s first anti-epidemic documentary film “Wuhan Day and Night” was released. The film reproduced the days and nights experienced by the “City of Heroes” Wuhan during the war against the “epidemic”, with the intensive care unit of the hospital at the forefront of the epidemic. The medical staff and patients are the main line, and the volunteers who transport pregnant women in the middle of the night are the auxiliary lines, showing the touching stories of ordinary medical staff and the public who are willing to give up day and night, life and death, watch and help each other, and overcome difficulties in the face of the epidemic. The director of the film, Cao Jinling, said that the film is all based on real events that happened in Wuhan during the epidemic, and fully presents the touching stories behind the images to pay tribute to ordinary heroes.
On July 9, 2021, the movie “Chinese Doctor”, based on the real events of the fight against the new crown pneumonia epidemic, was released nationwide. The crew restored Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital 1:1 in Wuxi. In order to ensure that medical principles would not be touched during the filming process, the crew also specially invited three medical consultants to follow the team for 5 months to train the actors and help the screenwriter polish the script. Responsible for overseeing the construction of the scene. The film eventually earned 1.328 billion yuan at the box office.
The movie “Embrace You Through the Cold Winter”, which is also based on the fight against the epidemic, will also be released in 2021. The film tells the warm stories of several pairs of ordinary Wuhan citizens who are optimistic and support each other in the face of the sudden epidemic. Many of the stories in the film are based on real interview material. In terms of scene selection, we try to shoot in Wuhan as much as possible. But the crew has to return to normal life after the unblocking. In a city full of fireworks, there are too many uncontrollable factors to shoot the atmosphere of the closed city. The crew can only conduct limited closed shooting, and the shooting time of the real-life environment is very limited, such as the landmark buildings Wuhan Yangtze River Tunnel, Parrot Island Bridge, etc., which have never been closed for filming before, and the crew can only communicate repeatedly and refine the shooting. plan, and strive to complete the shooting in a relatively limited time.
4 “Eight Hundred” once sounded the horn of victory for the resumption of work, and the re-screening of old films in the early days of the resumption of work was also a flexible way to save the market
There must be a brewing process in the early stage of theater resumption. Since the market has not fully returned to normal, some new films will have concerns about the release. Therefore, using old films or some films released in the past for re-screening is also a flexible way to save the market.
In recent years, films such as “Avatar”, “Paradise Cinema”, “The Pianist at Sea”, “The Undertaker” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy have all been re-screened in the mainland, especially in March 2021 “Avatar” will be released in the mainland. The re-screening brought in 375 million yuan (more than 56 million US dollars) at the box office, bringing the film’s total global box office to 2.847 billion US dollars, surpassing Marvel’s super British blockbuster “Avengers 4” and becoming the global box office champion again. Last year’s “May 20” box office champion “I Want Us to Be Together” was re-released on May 20 this year, with a box office of 22.14 million yuan on the first day, breaking the box office record on the first day of re-screening of domestic films in Chinese film history and setting a new record again. Box office miracle.
The re-screening only serves as a warm-up for the early stage of the theater’s resumption of work. In order to truly bring the audience back to the theater and make the film market recover, some new films, especially blockbusters, are needed to stimulate.
For example, on August 21, 2020, the war blockbuster “Eight Hundred” directed by Guan Hu was released. On the premise that the initial attendance rate did not exceed 50%, it still achieved a box office of 3.113 billion yuan, which not only won the box office of the mainland film market in 2020 The champion is still firmly in the position of the global box office champion in 2020. It has played a beautiful turnaround for the theater’s resumption of work, improved the morale of the industry, and also gave a boost to the recovery of the theater.
5 The current operating rate of theaters nationwide is 80.5%, and theaters call for more new films to be released to arouse enthusiasm for film viewing
Due to the prevention and control of the epidemic, theaters in Beijing have been suspended for nearly a month since the May Day holiday this year. According to the press conference on the prevention and control of the new crown pneumonia in Beijing on May 28, 2022, starting from May 29, in the districts in Beijing where there have been no new social cases for 7 consecutive days, theaters (except those located in underground spaces) will be treated according to 50 % current limit is open.
On May 29, the reporter called several theaters. Mr. Zhang, the manager of Anali International Studios (Creative Life Plaza), and the staff said excitedly: “Today is the first day of the theater’s resumption of work.” After the notification of the resumption of work from the competent department, in order to actively prepare for the resumption of work and provide a comfortable and safe environment for the audience, the whole store staff worked until late at night, the store manager Mr. Zhang said: “This morning, I saw the first audience enter He was still very moved, so we warmly said ‘Welcome’ to him. I remember that we closed on April 30, and it has been closed for almost a month today. As a cultural and entertainment venue, the cinema has indeed been so long. We miss each other very much, so we want to work extra hard to prepare everything to provide audiences with a safe and comfortable viewing environment.”
The staff of the Poly International Cinemas (Pingyuan Branch) in Shijingshan District told reporters that the cinema is currently resuming business according to the 75% current limit. Preparation: “If business resumes normally, we certainly hope that more new films will come to the film market, which will stimulate the desire and enthusiasm of the audience to return to the theater.”
The reporter called Yu Chao, deputy general manager of Capital Cinema, and he said that at present, all six cinemas in Beijing under Capital Cinema have resumed business: “The resumption of work is orderly, the operation method, ticket purchase method, distance between epidemic prevention, etc. These daily tasks are very mature. , will be able to ensure the safety of the audience and the smooth viewing of the movie, the difference is that the inspection of the admission and viewing conditions must be more strictly enforced, and the employees will do nucleic acid on time in accordance with the epidemic prevention regulations, but everyone understands these regulations and cooperates quite well.”
According to the real-time data of Lighthouse Professional Edition, as of June 21, a total of 170 theaters in Beijing were open for business, with a total of 9,763 operating theaters nationwide, and the national theater operating rate was 80.5%.
As the operating rate of theaters has rebounded significantly, many theater managers and industry insiders believe that the market needs more new films to enter the market to arouse enthusiasm for movie watching. According to the real-time data of Lighthouse Professional Edition, as of June 21, the film “Jurassic World 3” has been released for 12 days, with a box office of 654 million yuan, surpassing “Bad Guys” to temporarily become the box office champion of imported films in 2022, bringing a lot to the market. vitality. At present, there are still some domestic films that have been set, such as “Life Events” to be released on June 24, “Shocking Rescue” to be released on July 8, and “Mozart in Outer Space” to be released on July 15. The industry has high expectations. With the blessing of these domestic films, the performance of the summer season in the mainland market will continue to heat up.
Beijing News reporter Teng Chao
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