I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 182: Various Motives

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:14:22]
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Life had to continue after the funeral. Jackson, Shelby\'s son, had been growing up day by day with the affection from people around him. While Annil, who had been pregnant, expressed to Maureen, Shelby\'s mother, about her hopes of naming her baby as Shelby after it was born in memory of the dead woman. Maureen accepted it with tears in her eyes.

It was Easter again. In the vivid spring time, there were many people having a picnic delightedly in the outskirts. Suddenly, Annil felt a sharp pain in her stomach and all others hurriedly helped her get in a sports car which was driven through crowds, streets and bridges. And the scene stopped on a stream in the shades of green trees in the melodious sound of harmonica.

Subtitles rose up slowly.

"Tomorrow-is-another-day" Elisabeth Murdoch who was sitting behind Julia involuntarily uttered the concluding remarks of Gone with the Wind. Although the life experience of heroines in Steel Magnolias is not as much sorrowful as that of Scarlett who had been through decades of trials, and those in Steel Magnolias didn\'t even have any emotional outbreaks, their strongest emotions were hidden in tears running down their faces in silence. They led an ordinary life, which contained an emotion no weak than that of Scarlet who had been through the vicissitudes of life in troubled times. The Jeep gradually driving far away symbolized the hopes in the future.

All the people in the projection hall applauded involuntarily after the light was turned on.

"Julia, this movie was really amazing. I think Shelby is more lively and vivid than Vivian in Pretty Woman." Elizabeth applauded while whispering to Julia in sincerity.

"Thanks…Miss." Julia clapped her hands gently, sizing up the beauty next to her.

It occurred to Elizabeth that she hadn\'t introduce herself yet, so she extended her hand: "Hi Julia, My name is Elizabeth. You can call me Liz."

"Hi Liz." Julia shook hands with her politely without any change in her expression, which showed she didn\'t know the meaning of the surname of Murdoch.

But Elizabeth didn\'t mind it and continued whispering to her: "Julia, why do you say that Eric Williams is an asshole just now?"

"Ah, I...what I\'ve said is nothing personal… Mr. Williams is a good person. Without him, I was just an actor in obscurity." Julia tried her best to act collectedly, but her flickering eyes had betrayed her.

Elizabeth, who smiled a meaningful smile, didn\'t continue the topic that made her awkward: "Julia, can you tell me something about Eric Williams, I intend to use the success of his films as my graduation thesis."

"Liz, you can ask him, I don\'t know much about him." Julia didn\'t know the background of Liz from her surname, but she realized that the bright girl was not familiar with Eric, so she opened her heart gradually to Liz.

"It\'s fine. Just tell me what you know…" Sensing the subtle change of Julia\'s attitude towards her, she started asking questions that interested her.

In the meantime, the senior executives from top seven film companies harbored different motives after watching the movie.

After watching the movie, Michael Eisner was the first to express his feelings about the movie that deserved appreciation, which was no more than formality, though he actually thought it the other way.

Steel Magnolias was a movie too insipid and not well-plotted, which was not fitting his taste, although it indeed had some highlights. As the right-hand assistant of Barry Diller who had advanced the theory of high concept film, Michael Eisner witnessed the rise of Paramount Pictures under the guidance of this theory, which made him a hard-core supporter for it. The fast development of Disney Studios under the leadership of Michael Eisner was highly related to his sticking to such a theory.

However, this movie had no relation with high concept film. Steel Magnolias was like a meaningful prose, while high concept film was more similar to an interesting novel. Herbert Rose was no doubt a great essayist with more than twenty years\' of experience in directing movies. Even though, such type of movie would not be that popular among the audience.

Although Michael Eisner did not embrace the film, he was determined to get the distribution right for it. Otherwise, he would not come here personally. Since Eric thought highly of the film and he had achieved a remarkable success in his past films, he thought those would be solid reasons for his coming here.

Nard Tarn, the president of Paramount Pictures, who was sitting next to Eric, had the similar opinion of the film as that of Michael Eisner. But he kept tricking Eric into telling him the information about the movie in the hope that Eric would tell him the box office expectation so that Paramount Pictures could provide an accurate quotation for dividends of the movie.

This year, Paramount Pictures witnessed a steep decline in its performance after Barry Diller resigned five years ago. Although Raiders of the Lost Ark had a stunning performance pocketing 400 million US Dollars globally, including 20 million US Dollars in North America, the dividend it got from this movie was even less than that Columbia Pictures got from Home Alone in a VAM agreement, due to the strong presence of Lucasfilm and Steven Spielberg in the film. Therefore, Paramount Pictures paid more attention to these two films, if it were not Frank Mancuso, the CEO of Paramount Pictures, could spare time to attend the event, he would surely attend this event instead of sending Nard Tarn.

Although he didn\'t think Steel Magnolias would perform well, Eric thought it would have a good performance. None of the films that Eric had participated in its making got a box office less than 100 million US Dollars.

After watching the film, Nard Tarn quickly estimated that its box office would be between 30 million to 50 million US Dollars in consideration of the schedule and the bankable stars such as Julia, Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine, etc. Though Julia had become popular worldwide with Pretty Woman, Nard Tarn didn\'t expect much overseas box office from this movie. It would be a miracle for its box office to reach 30 million US dollars since it was deeply imprinted with the culture of indigenous Americans.

If it were the same as her estimate, the maximum revenue of the movie would be 10 million US Dollars after deducting the cost of making and distributing, which was nothing compared with that from Eric\'s other films.

Nard Tarn believed that Eric wouldn\'t input many resources in promoting the movie just for a profit of 10 million US dollars. No matter how did he beat about the bush and tricked Eric into telling him the estimated box office of the movie, Eric would only give him a plausible answer, letting him judge by himself.

For the sake of prudence, Eric didn\'t reveal his estimate of the box office. Although he was optimistic about the film, he was not fully certain of the box office, which he reckoned would be around 10 million US dollars since that movie hit more than 80 million US dollars in his previous life. With Julia being the heroine of the film, it would pocket an additional 20 million US dollars.

But he wouldn\'t reveal his estimate of the box office. Once said, if the box office failed to reach his expectation, his reputation would be damaged. Even if this movie was as successful as its predecessor, it had nothing to do with Eric since Firefly was only an investor and Eric did nothing but made Julia a heroine of the film.

Amy Pascal, sitting one seat away from Eric, liked the movie the most among seven senior executives. As a typical feminist, she preferred movies focusing on women and had supported a series of feminist movies in her previous life, the most well-known of which wereCharlie\'s Angels. She was such a sentimental woman that she was completely attracted by joys and sorrows of the women in the movie, feeling an impulse to take a vacation immediately and headed to southern town to live a trivial and peaceful life there.

But she also knew that she and Calta Hunter, the representative of Fox Studios, came here only for formality, since Fox Studios had owned distribution right for Eric\'s two films at the end of the year. Therefore, Firefly, in consideration of the marketing resources, wouldn\'t grant the distribution right of this film to it. As to Colombia Pictures, it would soon conclude a contract with Japanese whose strategy of business operation was hard to be anticipated, to avoid the risk, Firefly wouldn\'t let it distribute the film.

The representative from Warner Bros. was the calmest among those from top seven film companies since his company had a good performance this year. Though it wanted to make more profits, it would only make a suitable quotation for the revenue sharing of the film. If it could get the distribution right of the film, it was lucky, if not, there would not be much regret for it.

Universal Studios was experiencing a turmoil because its two leaders were competing for the power of controlling the company and they were not in a mood to get the distribution right of the film. While MGM was totally ruined by Kirk Kerkorian, a Casino Tycoon, who would only pay attention to its performance when he wanted to cash out and sell it for a good price. Even if the senior executives wanted to further develop the company, they could do nothing. The representative of MGM sitting in the front seat were having a good conversation with the vice president of Warner Bros., seemingly to consider a job-hopping.