I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 28[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:27]
Sure enough, the boss was taking out his anger on him. Lester Reed couldn’t help but lament in his heart, but he didn’t try to refute, or he would certainly be driven out.
“Mr. Cohen, perhaps we could try …… try to negotiate with Eric Williams again, and get him to re-sign a sharing agreement instead.”
“This is your plan ?” Blount Cohen laughed loudly: “If you were Eric Williams, would you agree to re-sign the agreement ?”
Lester Reed gritted his teeth and said: “Eric Williams should know that the current box office trends is nothing short of unfair to Columbia who has invested so much, so….”
Before Lester Reed finished, Blount Cohen directly slammed the table as he roared: “Enough ! Unfair ? Since when has the world ever been fair, what I need are concrete ideas, not wishful thinking !”
Lester Reed bowed his head in silence, not daring to peep. Blount Cohen looked at the others when his sights finally fell at the end of the conference table where Amy Pascal was sitting. During their previous meeting, Amy was the only one to have been against Eric Williams’ gambling agreement, which left him with a glimmer of hope.
Blount Cohen slightly controlled his tone as he said to her: “Amy, do you have any good ideas ?”
Although Blount Cohen had been blowing up his fuse, Amy Pascal was somewhat absent-minded. She had been disappointed by Blount’s conservative style, cowardliness, paranoia and lack of composure, she didn’t know how Coca-Cola had selected this mediocre president. She even thought that he should probably change jobs.
However, after she heard Blount Cohen’s question, she sorted out her thoughts, and stated: “Mr. Cohen, I don’t have the slightest idea on what to do about that agreement. Even if we forced out a sequel, without the Home Alone copyrights, we would face a lawsuit of several hundreds of millions.”
Talking up to here, Amy Pascal paused, giving everyone room to think, and started speaking again before Blount Cohen had a chance to: “So, what we should do now, is to try to win over Eric Williams and seriously honor our part of the agreement to show our sincerity. Home Alone’s box office will go past the 50 million $ mark without a doubt, and overseas copyrights are still in Eric Williams’ hands. Moreover, Home Alone will certainly have a sequel, so if we maintain a good relationship with him, once he produces one, I believe Eric Williams will be smart enough to continue cooperating with us. I think that this is the only way to gain more benefits for Columbia.”
When Amy Pascal finished, several seniors in the conference couldn’t help but nod. While Blount Cohen somewhat agreed with Amy Pascal’s point of view, he still thought that Amy, Jeffrey Hanson and Eric Williams were friends, and his paranoid personality made him feel that Amy’s suggestion was biased.
So Blount Cohen could not help but open his mouth again: “Amy, you are Columbia’s employee, you should work for the sake of the company instead of always trying to help outsiders. If you can get rid of the gambling agreement, I’ll immediately give you a promotion.”
As if the scene from a few weeks ago was repeating itself, her hard work and dedication to the company were again questioned. She had first been kicked out of the Home Alone project for voicing her opinion, but in the end felt the need to avoid arousing suspicions and didn’t complain. Now she had been asked to speak up as she had been the only one to have been against the agreement in the first place, but was once again questioned once she did.
This made Amy Pascal feel cold, she felt so aggrieved her nose turned slightly sour and she had a hard time suppressing her tears. Women are made of water*, and in the end, she was one as well.
She suddenly stood up, and the chair behind her was knocked to the ground by her sudden action, issuing a loud bang.
“Mr. Cohen, I quit !”
As her cold womanly voice sounded in the conference room, Amy Pascal didn’t bother reorganizing her files like last time, she directly turned her heels and left the office.
“Too far, that’s going too far, who does she think she is ?” Because the Home Alone matter was already at its critical point, Blount Cohen didn’t reflect on his own mistakes, he pounded on the table again as he turned towards the assistant behind him and roared: “Notify the security immediately, I want that bitch out of here, don’t let me see her in Columbia’s headquarters again !”
“Yes, Mr. Cohen.” The assistant softly assented, before carefully getting up and leaving the conference room.
Taking a sip of coffee to stabilize his mood, Blount Cohen coldly said: “Well, let’s keep going, if any of you has another nonsensical idea, I don’t mind signing a few dismissal documents today.”
Although the majority of the executives felt that Amy Pascal’s recommendation was the most benefiting, Blount Cohen had been completely caught in some kind of hysteria, so at this time, no one would risk being dismissed by supporting her.
Thus, the executives could only bite the bullet and try to come up with something. Several hours of later, the crowd finally settled on a countermeasure.
The meeting over, Blount Cohen could not wait as he told his assistant: “Help me to contact Mr. Eisner from Disney, invite him for dinner tonight, say it’s something important that has to do with Home Alone.”
“Yes, Mr. Cohen.” Cohen’s assistant felt like his hostility had disappeared after the meeting, and was relieved.
The next morning, Home Alone first week’s box office of 27.55 million $ was disclosed in the newspapers, so Eric once again became the focus of public opinion.
Before the movies were released, the news was controlled by the two giants, but now they had talked about Eric on their own initiative.
In this case, the day after his return to Los Angeles, Eric woke up to find that the paparazzi who were wandering in front his house had already disappeared, replaced by a heap of reporters; yes, the number could only be described by ‘heap’, he had even trouble seeing anything besides their clustered heads. And almost all of them were holding the heavy artillery: long range lenses.
Because of Columbia intentionally or unintentionally hiding it, Eric didn’t get the box office’s data about Home Alone. But seeing the mass of reporters, he knew that the movie had hit it big.
Although he was very grateful towards these reporters who had come to ‘inform’ him about the good news, Eric didn’t want to deal with them, so after having breakfast, he directly went into the garage. He was going to drive past the surrounding reporters and look at the situation at the Columbia Pictures’ headquarters.
But obviously, the past Eric had never encountered such a spike in fame, and hence made an error in judgment. The car had just left the house that it was directly surrounded by a pack of reporters, some had even climbed on the hood of the car, while loudly asking questions and brazenly taking photos of Eric in his driver’s seat. Reporters in the other direction were also frantically beating on the doors, shouting a bunch of things.
“Mr. Williams, what do you think about Home Alone’s staggering first week at the box office ?”
“Mr. Williams, do you think Home Alone will do better than E.T ?”
“Eric, in accordance with the gambling agreement, you will soon become one of Hollywood’s youngest millionaires, after you get the money, what will you do with it ?”
“Mr. Williams, I’m a reporter from The Los Angeles Times, would you give me an interview ?”
As if millions of ducks were clamoring, Eric’s ears started ringing. Although he had felt somewhat excited after hearing that the movie had made 27,550,000 $ in its first week, he felt even more tensed and anxious looking at the sea of reporters. He didn’t dare to bite the bullet and step on the accelerator as the way in front was blocked by the car of a white, fat and obviously eager reporter, who seemed to be wanting nothing more than that.
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* Google says it might be a quote from a HK drama.