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Unexpectedly, the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested"

Vista Hydrogen Commercial 2024/02/18 14:05

Text: Liu Nandou

This article is reproduced with permission from DomoreDumouVista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested"Marvel spent ten years making solo movies until "Avengers 4" ushered in a box office climax. And "Bear Infested", which has also made a series of movies for ten years, gathered popular characters from the past 9 works in this year's "Bear Infested: Reversal of Time and Space" (hereinafter referred to as "Reversal of Time and Space") and ushered in its own "Avengers Moment".

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested""Bear Infested: Reversing Time and Space" (Source: Douban)

"This is a gift of growth for Bear Infested fans on the 10th anniversary." Shang Linlin, executive president of Huaqiang Fangte Group, told Poison Eyes. As one of the few representative cases of brand films in China, Poison Eye (id: DumoreDumou) studied the film production strategy and brand building of "Bear Infested" in detail two years ago (click here to read: "From Movie to Brand, How Many < Bear Infested > Are Missing").

Two years later, the box office of "Bear Infested" seems to have reached new heights. As of the press release, the AI forecast box office of the Maotao dual platform has reached 2.257 billion and 2.212 billion, which is an order of magnitude higher than last year's series best of 1.495 billion. Under the narrative that the film market is generally discussing "returning to the pre-epidemic X percent", only the "Bear Infested" movie is still in a continuous rising narrative.

Data source: Maoyan Pro

In the past, when "Bear Infested" was mentioned in the Spring Festival file, the description of "making a fortune with a muffled voice" would always be used, but now it is "making a fortune with a loud voice". Although no one has been able to see where the ceiling of "Bear Infested" is yet, no one has ever been able to keep rising. Compared with the rising box office, what is more noteworthy is its stability as a brand film, which is an important reference for Chinese films to get rid of the "box office theory".

It may be difficult for many people to imagine that today's "Bear Infested" can be described as fashionable.

The first fashion is the packaging, the "time fragment" setting used in "Reverse Time and Space" is similar to the setting of the "multiverse" that has become popular overseas in recent years, which is still very rare in China.

Poison Eye once analyzed in an article last year (click here to read: "Spider-Man Teaches You How to Use the "Multiverse" Correctly") that the "multiverse" has become one of the most popular story settings for Hollywood commercial blockbusters in recent years, and has even caused "multiverse fatigue" among overseas audiences to a certain extent. But in China, there are almost no commercial blockbusters that have begun to use the setting, and "Reversal of Time and Space" is the closest one.

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested""Spider-Man: Across the Universe" (source: Douban)

Shang Linlin introduced to Poison Eye that the production cycle of "Reversal of Time and Space" is longer than the previous "Bear Infested" film, which lasted for more than three years, and the earliest initial idea was formed in 2020, "We actually didn't regard it as a 'multiverse', but focused more on the concept of bald head restarting life, but in order to reasonably connect the first nine movies, that is, the life experience of bald head Qiang, we put forward the concept of 'time fragment', which is indeed the same as what everyone can see in the past from the packaging." The multiverse' is somewhat similar. ”

In all fairness, the core audience of most Hollywood "multiverse" films is young people, and if you want to take into account the viewing needs of young audiences, the threshold for understanding "multiverse" is somewhat high.

Choosing to use the concept of "time fragmentation", the creative team of "Reversal of Time and Space" was also worried that it would be a bit complicated for children at the beginning, "so we also deliberately made some passages such as 'Small Chapter Classroom', hoping to tell everyone all the concepts in a centralized link." There are also many times in the plot, including what is the 'key event' and what is the role of the 'key event', and we have changed these related lines and plot design many times. ”

In order to match the emotional concentration of the characters returning to the scene in the past 9 films, "Reversal of Time and Space" has also been further upgraded in terms of special effects packaging. 70% of the shots in the whole film involve special effects, a total of more than 1,300 special effects shots, according to Shang Linlin, "There are more than 500 original characters returning to the scene, and in the climax of the scene, there are even thousands of characters, all the characters and scenes need to be renovated or redone, and the production volume is indeed very large." The climax scene covers special effects for each character, and there are many special effects such as explosions, bullets, smoke, fire, etc., some lens special effects are layered with more than 100 layers, more than 400 synthesis nodes, and a single frame rendering time is up to dozens of hours, in order to achieve the best effect, there are more than 40 iteration versions, and the production cycle is as long as 6 months. ”

Of course, being too similar to overseas commercial blockbusters such as Marvel has also become the core controversy in the current negative reviews of films. How to make differentiation and localization in packaging may be one of the directions that "Bear Infested" needs to work on next.

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested"

In addition to the fashionability of the packaging, the core of the theme to be expressed in the film can also be called fashionable. Last year's "Bear Infested, Stay with Me "Bear Core" explored the issue of whether robots can produce human emotions, although this is already a regular topic in overseas science fiction films, but domestic science fiction films started late, and there are few similar theme expressions at present.

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested""Bear Infested, Stay with Me "Bear Core" (Source: Douban)

This year's "Reversal of Time and Space" explores the proposition of the difference between life in big cities and small cities, and its core is realism. Topics such as "escaping from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou" and "returning to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou" are actually hot topics of frequent discussion during the Spring Festival homecoming season every year, but they are rarely covered in domestic films.

Coincidentally, science fiction and realism are both categories that have risen rapidly in recent years, and the film planning of "Bear Infested" not only has a sense of market, but also a certain degree of forward-looking.

The chic at the core can also cause controversy, and another negative review of "Reversing Time and Space" focuses on "Is this suitable for children?" ”

The logical premise of this kind of evaluation is that "Bear Infested" is a movie for children. But in fact, such a stereotype can no longer summarize today's "Bear Infested".

Shang Linlin told Poison Eyes, "The number of young viewers who do not have children at all in the user portrait of the "Bear Infested" movie is increasing year by year. ”

The reason is not difficult to understand, the first TV animation of "Bear Infested" premiered in January 2012, and the children who loved to watch it at that time are now in the 18-25 age range. This is also the main movie-watching group in the Chinese film market. Therefore, at the node of the 10th anniversary of giving back to "bear fans", the children of that year have now become "social animals", and only then will there be the creative basis of "Reversing Time and Space" with the feelings of "social animals" as the starting point.

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested"

Behind the growth of "bear fans" is an implicit change in the chain of contempt. Shang Linlin mentioned, "I used to watch Hollywood animation or foreign animation, and I was at the top of the chain of contempt, and at that time, everyone would think that watching "Bear Infested" would be relatively unreasonable. In recent years, as more and more audiences have entered the theater and really watched the movie "Bear Infested", the quality of the "Bear Infested" movie has also been recognized by more and more audiences. ”

Including in the discussion of the Spring Festival file, "Bear Infested" is often excluded. "Every year, when I read the audience's movie reviews, I see a lot of people saying, such as 'I've seen all 5 movies' and the like, "Bear Infested" is the one that will be automatically ignored every time. When everyone talks about Spring Festival movies, they basically don't talk about "Bear Infested". And now, it has slowly become a little more presence. ”

Whether it is based on the chain of animation or the chain of disdain based on live-action films, it is essentially a transfer of the audience's right to speak. Poison Eye once pointed out in a past article on the study of games (click here to read: "The Four Kings of Mobile Games, Sweeping Douyin Primary School Students"), the essence of all contempt chains is whether the audience behind them has the right to speak, and as the fans of "Bear Infested" gradually grow to the age where they can master the right to speak on the Internet, it is almost inevitable that "Bear Infested" will slowly climb up from the chain of contempt.

As a result, the expansion of the incremental movie-going group has also become one of the reasons why the box office of "Bear Infested" has continued to break through the ceiling in recent years. On the other hand, new young audiences are also continuing to inject fresh blood into the "bear fans" group.

The TV animation of "Bear Infested" is still mainly for children, among which there are different series for young 3-6 year old children and 6-12 child audiences, known as the "Little Bear" series is "Bear Paradise" and "Bear Gang Gang", and the "Big Bear" series is the past "Bear Infested Monster Project" and this year will be broadcast "Bear Infested Small World", of which "Bear Infested Small World" is a story line derived from the fifth movie "Bear Infested: Metamorphosis".

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested""Bear Paradise", "Bear Gang Gang", "Bear Infested Small World" (Source: Douban)

Even this "Reversal of Time and Space" is not a work entirely aimed at adult audiences, and it still adheres to the family movie genre. Shang Linlin explains, "For the children, we want this story to be like a rehearsal of life. We used to talk about IQ and EQ, but in fact, in the current environment, everyone will find that reverse quotient is also very important, so we hope that through such a video, let children think about what you will do if you encounter such a situation in the future and encounter such judgments from others. ”

Of course, whether it is the incremental group and the stock group, the fundamental logic of the recognition of "Bear Infested" still comes from the good viewing experience accumulated in each film in the past, and the brand effect formed.

In the pre-sale stage of this year's Spring Festival, in the case of canceling the distribution of sub-lines and the scheduling fee, the ticket supplement war has become the only remaining means to seize the proportion of the film schedule, and the only film that does not participate in the ticket supplement is "Reverse Time and Space". Since its release, according to Tuopu data, "Reversal of Time and Space" still maintains the highest attendance rate of 34.32% during the schedule, more than 5 percentage points higher than other films.

Especially in the sinking market, the advantages of "Bear Infested" are even more obvious. According to Maoyan Professional Edition, as of the press release of Poison Eye, the box office of "Reversal of Time and Space" in third- and fourth-tier cities accounted for 66.1% of the overall box office of the film, while the proportion of "Hot and Hot", "Flying Life 2" and "Article 20" was only 58.6%, 59.4% and 59.5% respectively. The gap is especially reflected in the fourth-tier cities, where the fourth-tier cities in "Reversal of Time and Space" account for 42.3%, which is 4 to 5 percentage points higher than the other three.

The Spring Festival itself is the key period for watching movies in the sinking market, and the audience in the sinking market is the most difficult group to reach with conventional publicity actions, and the advantages of "Bear Infested" as a brand film are undoubtedly revealed at this time - relying on the audience mentality that has been formed, there is no need to reinvest huge publicity and distribution costs every year, and a stable film scheduling ratio can still be obtained, as well as a reassuring attendance rate for theaters.

After "Avengers 4", Marvel also began to decline, proving that blind character assembly and easter egg linkage are not real wealth passwords, and a story that can move people is essential.

From the first to the tenth, "Bear Infested" has walked out of a track that has never been walked by a movie in China, and even in Japan, where theaters are everywhere, there are only a handful of animation IPs that can produce more than ten movies. In the past ten years, "Bear Infested" has consumed a large number of available conventional materials, and there is almost no experience from predecessors to guide in what direction to go in the future.

In Shang Linlin's view, the most important thing in the film is, of course, the core of the story, and one of the ways to find a good story is to find the growth arc of the character, so as to find resonance with the audience. One of the benefits of "Bear Infested" is that since the protagonist group has Xiong Da, Xiong Er, and Bald Qiang, the annual film can be excavated from the three people in turn. In the past three years, in "Return to Earth", "Stay with Me "Bear Core" and "Reversing Time and Space", the protagonists with growth arcs are Xiong Er, Xiong Da, and Bald Qiang.

In addition to the aforementioned "Little Bear" and "Big Bear" series, in 2023, Huaqiang Fantawild will also launch the TV animation work "Zhao Lin's Adventure Diary" derived from the IP of "Bear Infested". However, Shang Linlin revealed that there is currently no plan to launch IP derivative works in terms of films, "It is already very frequent to launch a movie every year, and at present, we are normalizing two or three creative teams to produce the "Bear Infested" big movie project in parallel, and there are other new directions to do in the future." ”

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested"Zhao Lin's Adventure Diary

One of the most noteworthy phenomena in "Reversing Time and Space" is the use of product placement. In the film's patch advertisement, Bald Qiang, Xiong Da, and Xiong Er appeared as the spokespersons of the brand, and in the feature film of the film, Bald Qiang once again inadvertently mentioned the brand's products, forming a linkage.

This is a relatively old way to diversify film income, but in recent years, it has been relatively rare in domestic films, especially in the field of animated films, which is basically the only one in "Bear Infested". According to Shang Linlin, "Bear Infested" has already used the form of product placement in the second and third films, "This depends on our long-term brand accumulation and long-term cooperation with all derivative licensing partners, whether it is product placement or product licensing, some partners have been cooperating with us for a long time." ”

According to Huaqiang Fantawild 2023 semi-annual report, during the reporting period, there were more than 100 newly listed products in terms of Huaqiang Fantawild brand authorization, and new categories such as three-dimensional plush, collector's cards, and handbook cultural and creative products were added. Cross-border cooperation with Baidu Maps, the Meitu App, Douyin, People's Daily, and criminal investigation dramas of the Ministry of Public Security has innovatively expanded the influence of bear-infested IP in the fields of beauty and travel, government and enterprises, and public welfare. The operating income of Huaqiang Fantawild in the "digital animation" category was 369 million, a year-on-year increase of 54.81%.

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested"Source: Huaqiang Fantawild 2023 semi-annual report

However, Shang Linlin also said that the brand's licensing revenue has only recovered from the epidemic and has not yet returned to the pre-epidemic level.

The application of AIGC is also a hot topic faced by animation companies since last year, Shang Linlin revealed that before the outbreak of AIGC last year, Huaqiang Fantawild had already paid attention to the application scenarios of AI technology. At present, the company's application of AI process is more focused on conceptual design and character and scene design refinement stage, and there are still fewer parts that can be directly used in the formal 3D production stage. ”

No one can keep the rising narrative forever. Looking back at the ten-year history, "Bear Infested", which refreshes its own record every year, has actually encountered a moment of decline. The box office of the third "Bear Infested: The Return of the Bear Heart" declined from the previous year, and some industry insiders pointed out that 300 million was the ceiling of the "Bear Infested" series. The box office of the seventh "Bear Infested: Wild Continent" also declined, and some industry insiders believe that 800 million or 1 billion is the ceiling of the "Bear Infested" series.

Vista hydrogen business, I didn't expect the first to become "Chinese Marvel" was "Bear Infested""Bear Infested: Reversing Time and Space" (Source: Douban)

Until this year, it is expected to exceed 2 billion, and no one can judge where the ceiling of "Bear Infested" is. Shang Linlin said, "I think in fact, the ceiling may be artificially determined at a certain stage, ten years ago, when we first made animated films, it was a big deal for Chinese animated films to break 100 million, and now I don't know how much it has exceeded." So I think that whether it is an animated film or a live-action movie, as long as the quality gets better and better, there will definitely be a higher box office, and for ourselves, the most important thing is to do a good job in each work. ”

Behind the stable box office every year, what is more worthy of the industry's attention is its operation idea as a brand movie. "Bear Infested" uses film content to lead the direction of brand extension, and then maintains brand influence through brand licensing and multimedia operation, so as to feed back the box office. Compared with the idea of building a brand based on existing film content, brand awareness first has a better chance to open up the commercial imagination of the Chinese film industry.

Instead of expecting that "Hot and Hot" will appear in the Spring Festival every year to make the market "hot", the expectation for a healthier market is that more "Bear Infested" is budding.

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