Why can't you take the Japanese market when it sweeps across the world?

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Why can't you take the Japanese market when it sweeps across the world?

The picture is from the Avengers League 3 film dynamic screenshot, article: Chen Bin, editor: Shi Ye Dong

On May 10, the Avengers League 4: the final War (hereinafter referred to as "Rev 4") exceeded 4 billion in China, second only to "Wolf Warriors 2 > (5.68 billion) and" wandering Earth "(4.65 billion). It ranks third in the history of domestic box office. Although it has been released for 22 days, compound 4 is still the second highest box office in one day in China.

By the time the eyes were released, the global box office had reached $2.5 billion (17.1 billion yuan), less than $300 million behind Avatar, directed by Cashen. At the latest exchange rate, the domestic harvest is worth more than $600m, second only to $720 million in the local market, accounting for about 53 per cent of the total box office of the two places alone.

The drug lord statistics found that under the inspiration of Marvel's "unlimited legend" finale, "Reunion 4" almost won the box office champion in all countries of the world, but only in Japan to fight hard. According to the statistics of .com, "Reunion 4" has only been held for a week at the box office champion in Japan. In the second week of the release, "Reunion 4" was overtaken by "Detective Conan: The Boxing of the Fist" for 4 weeks. The latter returned to the top with a total of 440,000 viewers and 587 million yen.

As of May 12, Founding 4 had exceeded 4.8 billion yen in Japan, setting the best score of 11 years in the Marvel series, but there was still a lot of gap with the 7.9 billion yen of Detective Conan: cyanotic fist. Why is Marvel, who is "lonely and defeated" all over the world, difficult to capture the Japanese market?

Marvel in Japan: repeated defeats, it is difficult to win a win

By combing the achievements of the "Marvel Movie Universe" in Japan, you will find that Hollywood's number one movie series has been defeated in Japan. Before 2019, the best result of Marvel film in Japan was the Avengers. In the ninth year of the year, many movies ranked in the list of forty or fifty in the annual box office rankings in Japan.

Subtly, starting with Iron Man, Marvel's first phase grossed less than 1 billion yen at the box office in Japan, and the Invincible Hulk and Captain America even ranked above 100. Of course, Marvel movies during this period are still trying to cultivate fans, and the box office is excusable. Until 2012, the Avengers Alliance, which the heroes gathered, won 3.2 billion yen in one fell swoop and raised its annual ranking to ninth place.

However, the situation of other countries taking off after the incubation period is very different. Since then, most of the Marvel's single-player movies have not improved significantly in Japan. Only a few regiments and "Spider-Man: Return of Heroes" barely entered the top 20 In fact, there are many works in the middle of the 50. For example, "Iron Man 3" and "Raytheon 2: Dark World" ranked 2nd and 19th in the Chinese market, and ranked 18th and 58th in Japan respectively. Strong as the "Avengers" can only be on the brink of the top 10, Japan seems to have built an "enchantment" for Marvel.

On the other hand, as many as 15 of all 22 Marvel movies in the Universe have never won even one weekly title in Japan, including all Iron Man, Captain America, Guards of the Milky way and Ant Man. In addition, although six of the entire Marvel series reached the top at the opening of the painting (at the box office), the first two Avengers and Dr. Strange avoided the hit. This time < double couplet 4 > finally in "strong dialogue" successfully won the one-week title in terms of number of people.

Not only is it rare to have the upper hand in competition, Marvel movies have been struggling to break through the global box office share in Japan.

It should be noted that even if the growth rate of the box office in Japan is stagnant, Japan, with a population of 120 million, will still produce 222.5 billion yen (about 13.6 billion yuan) in the box office in 2018, and it will be more than 200 billion yen for the fifth consecutive year. The third largest movie market is an important ticket position for Hollywood blockbusters. However, looking at the 22 works of the Marvel Film Universe, the global share of the Japanese market is surprisingly stable, with most of it falling between 1% and 3%, which does not match the global “third pole” identity.

In contrast, Marvel's fan base in China has expanded sharply over the same period, with Iron Man, for example, accounting for 1.93% of the mainland, almost the same as Japan's 1.48% over the same period. By the time the mainland grossed more than 4 billion yuan at the box office, its global share had soared to more than 26 percent, while Japan still stayed at 1.6 percent-that is, after 11 years of long operations, Marvel was almost "zero growth" in Japan.

No matter how big the waves Marvel has caused in the rest of the world, the Japanese market seems indifferent, and it looks like Japan has become a "sad place" for superheroes. However, if it is not limited to the scope of Marvel Film Universe, the Spider-Man trilogy produced by Sony at the beginning of this century was also popular in Japan, winning 7.5 billion, 6.7 billion and 7.1 billion yen in a row. In the first two films, Japan was also the largest overseas ticket warehouse outside North America. But by the restart version of Spiderman, Spider-Man seemed to have lost its appeal, shrinking to just over 3 billion yen in Japan, and the latest Spiderman: hero return fell into this range.

Marvel fancy marketing, the Japanese market is unmoved

In the face of such an "unfriendly" Japanese market, Marvel is not without thinking.

The first is to let the key film wrong peak release. As early as 2008, Marvel set the appearance time of Iron Man at September 27, nearly five months later than in other areas, or even later than the "invincible Hulk" that opened the painting in the summer. Unlike China, where strict quota restrictions are imposed on imports, Marvel's move is aimed at avoiding Japan's 4, May hit schedule in the hope that Iron Man will win a "good start" in the Japanese market. But the strategy was not surprisingly effective, with Iron Man still earning only 830 million yen, not even in the top 50 of the year.

"Iron Man" only earned 830 million yen

However, this did not shake Marvel's determination, in the Avengers League schedule, Marvel still postponed the Japanese release time. For example, the first Avengers did not land in Japan until August 14, while the rest of the world began painting at the end of April and early May, while Avengers 2: the Austrian era was also delayed by two months.

Kevin Fitch, who was propagating to Japan at the time, explained that this is the "Avengers" distribution strategy in Japan: Marvel's superhero is not well known in Japan, so it is not the same as the choice of propaganda. At the release time, it is better to postpone the film release time to the time after the movie box office hot sale, because the film continues to set a box office record in other countries, which is itself a very attractive way of publicity."

But contrary to expectations: Although the first two "Avengers" both broke 3 billion yen, they are already "standing in the family", but they are still trapped in the invisible "ceiling." Perhaps it is realized that the effect of postponing the release is limited. The follow-up of the Avengers last year chose to be released simultaneously, so that the third and fourth parts directly collided with the theatrical version of "National Animation" and "Detective Conan".

In order to adapt to the new strategy of simultaneous global release, Marvel's marketing in the Japanese market can be described as hard-working, but it has little effect. For example, before the release of "Avengers 3: Unlimited War" last year, the issuer tried to capture the "doom-out" atmosphere in the film, trying to capture the fear of disaster in the local audience. .

Avengers 3: infinite War Marketing in Japan

Rao is like this. In the face of the three-week release of Detective Conan: the executor of Zero, the Avengers 3: infinite War, which has been fully attacked, is still crushed on the number of viewers, only to be slightly ahead of the box office with a higher average price. It ended up with only 3.74 billion yen (230 million yuan), which made Japan the only market where Avengers 3: infinite War failed to reach the top. Detective Conan: zero executor continued to travel to 9.1 billion yen (560 million yuan) for a long time, surprised Marvel fans.

By this year, compound 4, which knew its strength was not good, had even played a joint promotion with the famous detective Conan: cyanotic fist of the same period, raising attention in a way of "rubbing heat." It is not difficult to explain why Marvel held its premiere and fan festivals in China and South Korea, and mainly Kazi attended all the publicity in person, but only dubbing actors attended the "special screening activities" in Japan. And from the sound of the "practice" to the shrine.

This year, Funlian 4 played a joint marketing with Conan.

From the results, "Reunification 4" only refreshed the series with a new two weeks, and achieved a "week tour" on the top of the championship, but was still quickly released two weeks ahead of the "Detective Conan: 绀Blue Fist defeated - even if it was the heat of Conan, it did not make "Fulian 4" even more than a week of box office champion.

Japan's "New normal": real people have receded, animation is the mainstream

In fact, Hollywood live-action films once had a honeymoon period in Japan: since the 1980s, with the take-off of the Japanese economy and the improvement of consumption levels, the Japanese film market has also grown rapidly. The annual mobilization of viewers has stabilized at more than 100 million all the year round, and Japan once became the most important overseas market for Hollywood films.

In almost 30 years, Hollywood's real-life visual effects have been shown in Japan, and they have all won good box office results. From "Alien ET" (13.5 billion yen), "Jurassic Park" (12.85 billion yen) to "Peaceless Robbery" (13.5 billion yen), "Phantom of the Star Wars" (127 Hundreds of yen), there has also been a "miracle" of "Titanic" long-term life to 26.2 billion yen. In the first 10 years of the new century, the first three "Harry Potter" sold 20.3 billion yen, 17.3 billion yen and 13.5 billion yen respectively. "Avatar" also took an amazing profit of 15.6 billion yen.

Japanese poster of Avata

During this period, Japanese films relied mainly on Ghibli animations to fight against them, Thousand and thousand fathom (2001, 30.8 billion yen), Hal's Mobile Castle (2004, 19.6 billion yen), Ghost Princess (1997). 19.3 billion yen, goldfish on the cliff (2008, 15.5 billion yen) and other classics are still at the top of history.

In the era when the Chinese market has not yet emerged, the Japanese audience has also embraced the Hollywood live-action film that is leading the world in production. It has become the most important ticket warehouse for American studios. According to statistics, from 2000 to 2009, Japan’s imported films have surpassed local works in terms of market share for seven years. This phenomenon is quite similar to the domestic market that shouted “Good Laihu” after 2010.

However, with the stagnation of the overall growth of the Japanese film market and the stylized stereotype of Hollywood live-action films, more and more mature Japanese audiences are no longer flocking to it, but will play their love for animation works to the extreme. In Japan, where the quadratic industry is extremely developed, not only the Changqing Theater Edition, such as "Detective Conan" and "Doraemon", has reached new highs year after year, but also many new ones have reached the big screen through the image. Animation has often occupied four to six of the top 10 in recent box office rankings, the only one in the world's largest markets.

Japanese viewers' preference for animated films can also be seen in the performance of Hollywood animated films in Japan. Although the Marvel series has average results, Disney/Pixar animations have achieved excellent returns in the Japanese market. In 2014, "Frozen" completed an amazing 16-week championship and eventually entered the top three in history with 25.9 billion yen. In addition, "Toy Story 3" and "Finding Nemo" also seized a huge harvest of more than 100 million US dollars.

Japanese consumers' love for animation is inextricably linked to the development history of their animation culture.

After World War II, cartoonists, represented by Shizuka, brought great psychological comfort to the Japanese people at that time by creating works expressing reflection on life and peace. In the 1970s, Japan's economy entered a period of rapid development, and the outline of living standards and the increase of work pressure led to a huge demand for relaxed and pleasant cultural consumption content, all kinds of hot and blood. As a result, love has been sought after by all ages. With the development and reform of animation culture, animation plays a very important role in the daily life and spiritual world of the Japanese people, and also promotes MiyazakiHayao and other animation masters to become national directors.

Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" breaks the box office record in Japan

After the 1990s, a large amount of capital entered the animation industry, which led to many breakthroughs in Japanese comics in terms of painting techniques, production techniques, and conceptual design. Coupled with the turmoil in the game industry and the booming Internet industry, the boundaries of animation consumption and secondary culture have been greatly expanded. In today's society, the animation culture has not only been limited to entertainment itself, but has fully penetrated into all levels of Japanese society, so that national-level IP such as "Detective Conan", "Pokémon" and "One Piece" can easily form " The grand occasion of a call for one hundred.

The Marvel brand, which has thrived in the global market, has encountered a Japanese audience with more and more animated animations. It can be described as “untimely”.

It is worth mentioning that in the Hollywood live-action movies after 2012, only "Beauty and the Beast" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" sold over US$100 million in Japan, and the common selling point of these two is music. Feelings: As early as the 1990s, the animated version of "Beauty and the Beast" was popular in Japan, and the live-action version perfectly re-enacted many handed-down hits, which naturally helped the box office; as for the Bohemian Rhapsody "It is a carnival of fans of the "Queens", and thus entered the top 20 in the history of Japan. If you count the "Let It Go" fire animation "Frozen", you will find that Japanese audiences in recent years are more interested in the "singing and dancing" American film, which is probably a new phenomenon unexpectedly expected by Hollywood studios. .

Bohemia Rhapsody topped Japan's annual box office list in 2018

It can be said that animation has become the "king" of the Japanese market, Marvel movies are not satisfied. For the highly mature Japanese market, the period of flocking to high-concept production is over, and more local production to local tastes is on the rise, a trend that is deepening further. Perhaps, this will be the future picture of many latecomer markets.

For the Chinese film industry, it also seems to be going back to this process. With the exception of Marvel's 10-year finale, imported blockbusters have not done well in China in recent years, and many Chinese film viewers have begun to complain about "aesthetic fatigue" of Hollywood blockbusters.

However, unlike the rise of anime films in Japan, there seems to be no type of film in China that will not fall behind in the positive competition. Perhaps with the rise of more industrialised military films and science fiction films in China, with the precise control of the cost of shooting and the unique grasp of the tastes of the audience, domestic films will have the strength to participate in the competition with Hollywood's top production. However, for the domestic film industry, this is still a patient way to cultivate.

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