[Medical Daily] Chinese Media Company Averts Financial Disaster, Releases Movie On TikTok Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak, now referred to as COVID-19, was an unprecedented dampener on the nationwide celebrations of the Chinese New Year this year. The Spring Festival, as the holiday period is called, starts any time between Jan. 21 to Feb. 20 on a new moon day. It is when people get together, eat, drink, celebrate and watch movies with their family. Not this year, though, according to CNN.
A total of 66,492 cases of the infection have been diagnosed nationally. Authorities have directed nearly 70,000 theaters to remain shut to contain the spread of the virus, as per Hollywood Reporter. The movie business, a huge part of the world's second largest economy, is set to incur severe losses as a result.
Particularly, distributors and cinemas have witnessed the biggest slump in their revenue especially since they make more than a quarter of their annual revenue during the holiday season. Theaters are probably going to remain closed till April, cutting a huge hole in the pockets of film producers as the COVID-19 outbreak in China seems to be escalating, reported Variety.
The country's National Health Commission made a statement on Saturday announcing that 143 people died on Friday alone. Overall, the death toll rose to 1,523 and that 2,641 new cases were caught, according to CNBC. One company did not want to take this setback to business lying down.
Huanxi Media Group acted quickly since the company knew they would not be able to deliver on the minimum guarantee deal signed with film distributors in November 2019. They were banking on the movie "Lost in Russia" being screened to instant success on the first day of the New Year, generating billions of renminbi (RMB).
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange was informed they were backing out of the deal as a precautionary measure since the expected gross box revenue of billions in renminbi (RMB) was close to impossible. An innovative media company, Huanxi Media Group, owned partially by talented artists, formed an unlikely alliance with ByteDance, the company that launched TikTok among other popular video streaming apps.
The choice to partner with Chinese short video streaming platforms owned by ByteDance including Douyin, Jinri Toutiao, Xigua Video and Huoshan Video was considered unusual because their content is largely user-generated. Exceeding two hours, this was a first for ByteDance, which risked alienating its loyal users seeking extremely short video content.
So what sealed the deal in 24 hours? "Lost in Russia" was exclusively streamed on ByteDance platforms, along with access to several other movies and TV shows produced by Huanxi in the future. This move averted a major financial disaster for the Huanxi Media Group, which gained 630 million yuan or $91 million from the partnership, in addition to a cut from revenue generated from advertisements.
In two days, "Lost in Russia" garnered 600 million views, making the movie a commercial success. The business negotiation was thought to be a risk at first but it was hugely appreciated by the audiences who were stuck at home and unable to watch movies in theaters. It offered them a temporary source of distraction from the outbreak and made many people happy, reported Global Times.
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