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The power of the internet and youngsters' online habits


08-19-2014 00:35 BJT

A growing number of movies are using plotlines and characters that target net-savvy young people who are active online.

The youngsters are doing their bit, too; using social media and the Internet to feedback opinions that can make or break a movie.

Old Boy: The Way of the Dragon

Old Boy: The Way of the Dragon

Taking 400 million yuan at the box office, "Old Boy: The Way of the Dragon" has been this summer's blockbuster. Its makers, the Chopsticks Brothers, could have hardly imagined this when they uploaded their micro-movie some years ago.

The original video they uploaded soon became an internet sensation, gaining many likes and tweets on social networks. Just the feedback the Chopsticks Brothers needed to make it a bigger movie.

Online popularity such as this has also worked for Chinese writers Guo Jingming and Han Han. Their books, hugely popular online, were soon printed and then turned into movies. The two writers have successfully led their loyal fans from the internet into the cinema.

"Our lives are changed greatly by the internet, and so will the movie market. I can hardly tell what the internet will do to the art of movies say in ten, twenty years, because we don't know yet what our audiences will be like in the future. But based on my observation, the world changes everyday and there are new things that surprise me every single day," said director Zhang Yimou,.

Numerous Internet companies have dabbled in the movie industry since the beginning of 2014, with an aggregate 20 billion yuan in investment. This has resulted in movies tailor made for young people who like interacting online about the movies they see.

"Many movie protagonists are of the same age as the theater-goers who are about to enter college. This is not an individual case. This is based on the research of the Chinese movie market conducted by production companies. These movies are targeting youngsters," said Jia Leilei, Deputy Director, Chinese National Academy of Arts.

Analysts say that the younger generation has grown up with the internet, and their consumption patterns are heavily dependent on it. Young people are also increasingly shaping the way movies are made.

To what extent this interaction will progress is the 400 million yuan question.

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