iQIYI’s ‘Action Master’ Season Unveils Diverse Charm of Martial Arts Films

iQIYI's 'Action Master' Season Unveils Diverse Charm of Martial Arts Films

Innovative Multi-line Distribution Model Optimizes Audience Targeting

BEIJING, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI, an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, has recently concluded the first season of ‘Action Master,’ showcasing the multifaceted allure of action movies. Throughout the season, iQIYI released four premium action films including Blocking the Horse, Eye for an Eye 2, Hunt the Wicked, and The Wild Blade of Strangers. These films not only pay homage to the venerable tradition of martial arts culture but also explore its contemporary relevance and novel expressions, while pioneering a groundbreaking multi-line distribution model for such movies.

Diverse Interpretations of Martial Art Chivalry

The ‘Action Master’ Season films by iQIYI offer a captivating and culturally rich experience for audiences of all ages and tastes. Seamlessly blending traditional elements such as Chinese classical opera, oriental aesthetics, and martial arts tales, these films showcase the vibrant diversity of action and martial arts cinema. Going beyond conventional storytelling, they introduce innovative narrative backgrounds, captivating action sequences, dynamic storytelling techniques, and compelling character development.

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Featuring unique oriental action aesthetics, Eye for an Eye 2 continues the story of the blind swordsman and elevates the genre with upgraded action scenes, character arcs, and narrative styles, redefining chivalry for modern audiences. The movie bagged RMB 2.79 million at the box office and scored a record-high rating of 9.7 on iQIYI on the premiere day.

Meanwhile, Blocking the Horse draws inspiration from the traditional opera, presenting a visual feast of culture and innovation as it follows a family’s quest to reclaim their legendary sword, blending humor and suspense in a riveting adventure.

Additionally, The Wild Blade of Strangers unfolds against the tumultuous backdrop of ancient China, telling a gripping tale of unbreakable righteousness amidst the conspiracies of the Prince of QI, while Hunt the Wicked offers a modern interpretation of martial arts culture, starring powerhouse actors in a narrative filled with real stakes, hardcore action, and a high-octane showdown between good and evil.

In addition to the action movies, iQIYI has also introduced numerous martial arts series in recent years, including Mysterious Lotus Casebook, The Ingenious One, Pledge of Allegiance, and Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty

Renowned Wuxia novelist Louis Leung-yung CHA, better known as Jin Yong, once defined the essence of martial arts chivalry as “being a hero for the country and the people.” Today, this spirit is imbued with new contemporary significance, according to industry insiders.

“Even though the era of purely action-packed martial arts films has passed its prime, martial arts, when combined with other cinematic elements, will undoubtedly undergo a renaissance, breathing new life into the genre,” stated Hu GUO, director of Mysterious Lotus Casebook, in a recent interview.

Multi-line Distribution Addresses Diverse Interests

Notably, through both cinema screens as well as online platform, The Wild Blade of Strangers successfully reaches to more audiences, allowing its stunning action and martial arts aesthetics to meet audiences on the grand scale of cinema. The multi-line distribution model enables film producers and theaters to tailor film presentations to the characteristics of the film and the preferences of specific audiences, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to a market-driven, flexible strategy that caters to the varied tastes of Chinese filmgoers.

Liangwen LI, a producer at iQIYI, shared that The Wild Blade of Strangers was initially targeted for release in iQIYI’s Cloud Cinema, later expanding to include a theatrical release, and attracted overwhelming interest from over 6,000 cinemas. Film director Wei LI added that the eagerness of so many cinemas to show the film proves a significant persisting audience for martial arts films and a desire to experience them in theaters.

Yu GONG, Founder and CEO of iQIYI, also believes that the cinema’s winner-takes-all effect does not foster diversity among creators or meet the various demands of audiences, while multi-line distribution promotes a broader content offering and supports the long-term development of the industry, allowing for the production of more films that cater to the demands of internet users.

CONTACT: iQIYI Press, [email protected]

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