I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 121[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:58]
Chapter 121 - Cruise runs away
If 《Road House》 is a fuse, then Richard Gere interview that was published in "The Hollywood Reporter" is the spark that ignited it.
The same day the interview was published, CAA spokesman refuted Richard Gere remarks and declared that if the other party publish any more irresponsible remarks, CAA will resort to legal means to seek justice.
Although many people can see that, Richard Gere spoke to the reporter when he was agitated, and that he put himself in the victim position, and that there are many loopholes in his remarks that can be easily seen through by the industry experts. But that does not prevent the media from digging deeper into some of the facts in his speech.
Gossip is a powerful force, the next day after the interview was published, articles about Kapoor Sid and Michael Ovitz conflict started popping up everywhere, inside stories about why Kapoor Sid left CAA, and him almost getting forced out of Hollywood and go into Europe have been exposed again.
Although CAA has grown into a towering tree, their history was riddled with black spots, Plus CAA forced bundling strategy, had lead to many film failures, these failures were naturally dug out by the media.
- "From friends to enemies, exposing the dark side of CAA"
- "10 companies that were the victims of CAA forced bundling strategy"
- "9 superstars who gradually declined after joining CAA"
- "The black hands behind the rise of the cost of producing Movies in the last ten years"
- "The saboteurs of the film industry rules"
As more and more articles were written about CAA, some newspapers unwittingly began demonizing CAA and what they stand for.
The rapid growth and development of CAA, not only squeezed the living space of other Hollywood brokerage companies, the set of rules invented by Michael Ovitz and the forced bundling strategy, also made many film companies in Hollywood miserable. CAA not only let the actor\'s paychecks increase significantly but because of the film bundling strategy, film company also had to increase their film budgets.
The Six major Hollywood movie giant didn\'t suffer too much, they usually don\'t have problems with CAA, but a large number of Hollywood second and third line film companies, as well indie film studios, can\'t resist CAA bundling strategy. They aren\'t like Eric who manege to achieve phenomenal success in every film, they can only obediently accept CAA binding conditions.
A large number of brokerage firms, and a large group of film companies, plus countless independent filmmakers, and finally some TV channels who saw that CAA has started to bundle some TV projects the same way they did to movies. These forces started using their power to discredit CAA. What\'s more, almost all these forces have no communication at all, they Instinctively started doing it.
Of course, no one is saying anything in support of CAA, when some of CAA\'s actors were interviewed, they more or less said just a few good words. After all, CAA to improve their profits they raised the film company\'s production costs, and the biggest beneficiaries are those actors. But their words didn\'t change anything, Mainly because of the manipulation of those forces, they Deliberately diluted the voices of those actors who support CAA.
Although CAA also has a strong media presence but facing all those powers, their strength basically weren\'t able to change anything, they were completely passive.
Then, because of 《Road House》 failure at the box office, the CEO of United Artists whose position in the company was in jeopardy because of the 《Road House》 failure suddenly jumped out. He used what Richard Gere said in the interview, to blame the film failure of on CAA shoulders, he even threatened to claim damages from CAA. Of course, this kind of thing is impossible, but that high-level person needed a scapegoat for making the company lose tens of millions of dollars in investment, and this scandal came just in time to save him. This quickly escalated into a battle of words between him and CAA representatives.
And at the same time, in this wave of unrest, several other Hollywood brokerage firms had a tacit agreement to take some talents from CAA, and within a week. CAA lost more than twenty second and third line actors, this didn\'t cause any big harm to CAA, but another big thing happened that caused a wave internal unrest within CAA.
Tom Cruise suddenly announced he was going to leave CAA!
Tom Cruise can be considered Hollywood\'s most popular idol star, Since his debut, none of the films he shot failed, Most of the films he starred in have made huge profits for film companies, and most of his movies are small cost films. in 86 his film 《Top Gun》 cost only $15 million to produce, but the film ended up making more than $350 million at the box office world wide. And recently his new film 《Rain Man》 although the film still hasn\'t brook the 100 million mark, that is only a matter of time, and he also received a number of Oscar nominations. "premiere magazine" recently named him as one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. Tom Cruise as an actor, was placed close to the top, way ahead of some film company executives, big directors, and golden producer.
Him leaving CAA Without accident caused a wave of unrest in the industry. And Tom Cruise\'s leaving, also caused another storm to start.
Because all those forces were demonizing CAA, the media transferred their attention to the negotiations between Eric and the two leading men. After some digging, they were able to expose the conditions proposed by CAA.
"6 million US dollars plus 20% of the profits, this kind of offer only CAA this emboldened company can unashamedly propose, it is obvious that CAA want to make Eric Williams give up. It seems, that even after experiencing 《Pretty Woman》 success Mr. Michael Ovitz is still obsessed with the ridiculous idea of banning Mr. Eric Williams. Through this unrealistic conditions, we can conclude that what Mr. Richard Gere said is true, CAA has already begun treating the actors in their hands as pawns to play with as they wish." Los Angeles Times
In fact, before Richard Gere interview, CAA had already started backing down when negotiating Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks paycheck. Before the release of 《Road House》 CAA has already dropped their conditions to 12%, but after Richard interview, CAA again dropped their offer to 10%.
Although after the exposure, CAA immediately made a clarification, saying that their current offer is not so high, the media still sized this matter and repeatedly made a fuss. Some analysts also published their views in the newspaper, they said that if CAA keep using this mode, the cost of production of films will increase exponentially. At the same time, the profit margins will significantly decrease, and that achieve profitability will become even more difficult. In this case, Hollywood studios enthusiasm for making movies will diminish, causing a fatal blow to the rapidly recovering film industry in America.
Some media outlets have even begun to call on the federal government to investigate the behavior of CAA that disrupts the film market. Under the influence of some forces, a member of the California State Legislature, who was interviewed by the media, said that CAA may be under investigation for alleged monopolistic behavior. Although he soon denied his statement, but that still put a lot of pressure on CAA.
The thing American industry giants are most afraid of is not the tax bureau, but the anti-monopoly investigation. Let alone other industry cases, just Hollywood, Because of the Paramount Act that happened in 1948, has caused the film industry for many years to stay silent.
Michael Ovitz who was responsible for the negotiations between SONY and Columbia returned CAA to try to stabilize the situation, he personally conducted a personal interview with Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks, hoping that the two can give up the previous Profit sharing program, and take a pure paycheck to help CAA through this crisis.
Tom Hanks was easy to convince, because he has never took profits from any of his movies, even his highest paycheck still hasn\'t reached five million, his latest film 《Big》 that was able to get more than $100 million at the box office he only took a $2 million paycheck, and he also value this cooperation with Eric, so he agreed.
Tom Cruise said he wanted to think about it, but the second day after that he Declared that he was gonna leave CAA with his agent Ms. Paula Wagner and that he will personally negotiate with Firefly his paycheck.
Cruise has always been a very ambitious person, coupled with this public opinion storm, he really felt that CAA was treating him as a pawn. This feeling was a very hard for a powerful and capable superstar like him to accept.
Plus, the success of "Rain Man", has let him see another road. Collaborating with film companies in profit sharing, can bring him more benefits, and can also help him gain more control over the film production.
He wants to get all those benefits and not be subject to the constraints of a brokerage firm, getting out of CAA is the first step. But him ditching CAA this at this time, is like him thrusting a knife into Michael Ovitz back.