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iQIYI looks to replicate success of 'Light on Theater' in the action genre

By Yang Xiaoyu | | Updated: 2024-02-02 16:00
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A still from film Blocking the Horse [Photo/Douban]

Following the successful premiere of Blocking the Horse on iQIYI's Cloud Cinema on Jan 25, another three new action-packed films — Eye for an Eye 2Hunt the Wicked and The Wild Blade of Strangers are slated to hit the platform during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, promising its users a smorgasbord of thrill and excitement. 

The four total films are the first lineup of the "Action Master Season", a new brand focusing on the action genre that the Chinese streaming service giant has recently launched. 

"We created the 'Action Master Season' based on our insight of male users, who contribute more than 60 percent of playback time for online films, making them Cloud Cinema's mainstream user group, and they show a preference for action films," said Yang Haitao, iQIYI's senior vice president, during a media event to promote the brand on Wednesday in Beijing. 

In 2023, among the 24 titles released through the Cloud Cinema's Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) model, 19 were action films, and they contributed an impressive 91 percent of user orders among all PVOD films, Yang added. 

Yang Haitao, iQIYI's senior vice president, speaks at a media event to promote the "Action Master Season" brand in Beijing on Jan 31, 2024. [Photo provided to]

As a crucial category for iQIYI Cloud Cinema, action films have consistently delivered impressive performances online in recent years, according to the company. 

Films such as Blind WarEye for an Eye, Fight against Evil 2 and The Comeback have received significant acclaim and achieved box office success. Notably, The Comeback grossed over 47 million yuan ($6.6 million), while Fight Against Evil 2 raked in about 36 million yuan ($5 million), making them the top two highest-grossing online films in 2023.

Yang said the creation of the "Action Master Season" is an attempt to replicate the success of the "Light on Theater", the streaming platform's star brand famous for nail-biting suspense. 

He noted that the open recipe for the success of the "Light on Theater" series includes three main ingredients: focusing on suspense, a genre of wide popularity; gathering the industry's best screenwriters, directors and actors to create premium content; and releasing the content serially and intensively to give users a strong impression of the brand. 

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