Chapter 135: Let the battle begin!
A reporter was interviewing Zheng Rongrong on TV.
Zheng Rongrong was dressed in formal attire and looked radiant.
Reporter, “Director Zheng, everyone is saying you lost money out of this. You spent 700 million in advertisements alone and didn’t receive 100 million in return. How do you see it?”
Zheng Rongrong responded with a smile, “Any company will need to invest a huge amount of money if they wanted to expand and enter a new market. We spending 700 million might seem a lot but the return we got was much more than that.”
Reporter, “Oh? Can you elaborate?”
Zheng Rongrong responded with a smile, “First of all, it concerns the distribution rights of ‘Love Letter’ recently and we expect to receive around 200 million from that side, adding that to what we received before, we actually only spend 400 million or so.”
“Then second point was who could believe that our Shanhai Streaming could make a movie before ‘Love Letter’? They all felt weren’t skilled enough and not a good choice.”
“But now it’s different as everybody saw ‘Love Letter’ and knew that our Shanhai Streaming has the confidence and the means to make a movie.”
“In the future, many great producers, directors and actors will choose to cooperate with us which is a great improvement for the image of Shanhai Streaming!”
“The reputation we gained was not comparable to the 400 million we spent! If there was another opportunity like this next time, we will definitely invest even more and strive to make a better brand!”
Reporter, “But isn’t this generosity affected your company’s profit?”
“We are at the stage of developing into a new business so there is no pressure for profit. All we need to do is to integrate the film and TV industry as soon as possible.” Zheng Rongrong said with confidence, “The industry is old so as a newcomer, I must bring great change! I hope everybody could see it!”
The chairman of Shine Technology Gan Liangchen couldn’t help but smile as he said, “This princess is truly bold! Worthy of being old Zheng’s daughter! She’s just like her father!”
“Who said the contrary?” His subordinate Qian Wangxi said with a nod, “She just smashed 700 million in, everyone here was startled by it, much less those little guys in the entertainment industry.”
Gan Liangchen smiled at that.
The film industry was obviously not something small. They were certainly arrogant but their investments in movies were sometime very high.
For example, although Chen Hao performance at the box office had been better over the years, it was also proportional to the budget of his movies.
So far, ‘Deadly Trap’ was the top box office movie in China and even in Asia, it was filmed across five different countries. The budget was 120 million yuan but it exceeded 200 million if they added the post production and advertising fee.
This didn’t even count the Wang Mu’s director pay and Chen Hao’s actor salary. Those were counted as investments so they could get a share.
Fortunately, the total box office of ‘Death Trap’ was 2.8 billion in Asia and with some sale of copyrights, everyone could be said to be filled with money.
But big production like this was also very risky.
It would be difficult to recoup the capital if they relied on the domestic market alone so they would lose money if they didn’t gross enough box office in the Asian market.
As loss would likely to be tens of millions which wasn’t a small numbers for those film companies.
That was why film companies preferred to do comedies or feature films. The risk were small and it had a probability of exploding in popularity.
For example, Song Yan’s ‘Invincible Soldier’ where Yan Shan starred, the total cost for everything was only around 50 million. It generated incredible profit by grossing more than 2 billion yuan in box office thorough Asia.
Before October of this year, ‘Invincible Soldier’ was the model for small budget, huge return.
But now it wasn’t.
Now, the box office miracle was ‘Love Letter’ with a budget less than 9 million.
The combined box office of China, Japan and South Korea was 1.27 billion yuan. It was the highest return on investment in the world.
“But that’s fine, it can be counted as pioneering and opening a path for us.” Gan Liangchen said, “Looking at how popular Shanhai Streaming is, I feel envious even as the number one.”
Shining Technology owned by Gan Liangchen also owned Youyi, the largest video streaming website in Asia. It accounted for 27% of the Asian market and had 48% of the Chinese market, which was very impressive.
Shanhai Streaming had the support of Shanhai Group and Zheng Qian while Zheng Rongrong was also a very good businesswoman but over the years it had only occupied 13% of Asia’s market and 30% of the Chinese market, which was much worse than Shine Technology.
After no way of winning in the original business, Zheng Rongrong started to diversify as she started to make TV dramas and now she wanted to make movies.
Gan Liangchen was a very keen person and could see from Zheng Rongrong’s action that she was unwilling to live under Youyi’s shadow.
How could she stand it!?
That was why Gan Liangchen went to poach Qian Wangxi the former production director from Weibao Film last year and make him in charge for the preparation of Youyi entering in the TV and film market.
Gan Liangchen gave Qian Wangxi tremendous support but Youyi’s self-produced TV series and movies were struggling. They had made 5 TV series so far but the numbers of views were quite small as there were no more than 20 million people watching.
After all, they had more than 300 million registered users in Youyi at China and it exceeded 1 billion thorough Asia!
Their results were also much worse than Shanhai Streaming TV series which was extremely unacceptable.
Seeing Zheng Rongrong’s big statement today, Gan Liangchen felt a bit relieved but also a bit worried.
The reason he was relieved was that they came from video streaming website and they weren’t seen as the traditional entertainment industry. Now that Zhen Rongrong gave those in the industry a vicious slap to the face, it also counted as fighting for video streaming websites.
His worry was because Shanhai Streaming was developing so fast. With its reputation gain in their new venture, would Youyi still be the number one video streaming website in Asian in the future?
Youyi was the lifeblood and foundation of Shine Technology!
Qian Wangxi also felt pressured when he heard what his boss said, “I recently contacted several good directors while also looked for some good scripts. I hope they could give us some good surprises.”
“Can you hire people at the caliber of the five great directors, six film superstars or four film empresses?” Gan Liangchen suddenly asked.
Qian Wangxi was stunned by this question.
Although Gan Liangchen had great expectation from their own made TV series and movies. His investments were much lesser than Zhen Rongrong.
That was probably one of the reasons why Youyi hadn’t been able to make their mark so far.
It seemed that Gan Liangchen had changed his stance but Qian Wangxi still couldn’t figure out his true intention so he asked carefully, “If you want to hire them, the budget will increase dramatically.”
“How much will it increase? Is 50 million not enough? How about 100 million?” Gan Liangchen said with a frown.
“Honestly, the salary is only one aspect. The most important things for people at their standing isn’t only the pay but also on the various preparation.” Qian Wangxi patiently explained it to Gan Liangchen.
“For example, Fei Qingyang, shouldn’t you at least give him a first-class director if we wanted to work with him? After the first-class director, wouldn’t you need a great script? Wouldn’t you need a group of experienced actors? Wouldn’t it be necessary to make the shooting more meticulous? … if you counted thing like that, you probably really need 100 million in budget.”
“100 million it is then!” Gan Liangchen said through gritted teeth, “I’ll pay the advertisement fee separately. You will be responsible for making a good movie for me! I won’t ask for big office score or a return in investment, I just want a population again like ‘Love Letter’, can it be done?”
Qian Wangxi smiled bitterly as he said, “If I say I can make a movie like as publicly exclaimed as ‘Love Letter’, I would be lying. How would ‘Love Letter’ be so liked if it wasn’t for being Teacher Chu Liuxiang’s work and ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’?”
Gan Liangchen’s eyes suddenly lit up when he heard that, “Right, right! ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’! How about that? Wouldn’t you be able to make me a great movie if we get ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’?”
“’Miracle in Cell No.7’?” Qian Wangxi he heard it wrong.
“Yes!” Gan Liangchen slapped his hand, “I read Qiantang Evening News every day and that novel is indeed very good! If we bought it, the movie will definitely be liked by the public, no?”
“You’re not wrong.” Qian Wangxi cautiously said, “If you are able to hire Zhu Mei then it wouldn’t be a problem. Youyi will definitely gain great reputation and impress everybody!”
“Why Zhu Mei again?” Gan Liangchen asked in puzzlement.
“With the relationship between Teacher Chu and Director Zhu Mei, would it even be possible for him to let other people have it?” Qian Wangxi spread his hands helplessly, “Beside, where are we going to find Teacher Chu Luxiang? It wasn’t like Teacher Lu Xiaofeng where you needed to reveal your real name to register the copyright. Qiangtang Evening News also locked down the news and there will be dire consequence if anyone dares to disclose it. So nobody knows.”
“I have no idea why he’s making it so mysteriously for!” Gan Liangchen said in dissatisfaction.
In his opinion, a writer like that should just come out and enjoy fame and fortune, why would he stay like a recluse for?
Gan Liangchen noticed at this moment that Qian Wangxi didn’t show any enthusiasm at all.
He curiously asked, “Old Qian, is there any problem? It is because you’re not optimistic about my plan?”
“I’m very optimistic about ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’ and whichever company gets it will be destined to be recorded in the history of the film industry.” Qian Wangxi said with a wry smile, “But to be honest, the possibility for us to snatch Director Zhu Mei from Shanhai Streaming is very small, too small.”
Gan Liangchen was able to start from scratch and built Shine Technology by himself while becoming the eighth richest man in China, he certainly wasn’t a fool.
With Qian Wangxi reminder, he immediately thought back at the interview he just saw and remembered that Zheng Rongrong spent 700 million to advertise ‘Love Letter’ and smash the records in the film industry.
He even mocked her for being wasteful at that time and that it wasn’t worth the loss even if ‘Love Letter’ was good.
But his face suddenly sank after realizing that ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’ was in play.
Gan Liangchen felt ashamed and irritated.
He didn’t see as far as ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’ before. He originally completely ignored ‘Love Letter’ at the Busan International Film Festival which was also when ‘Love Letter’ was linked to ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’.
With Zheng Rongrong’s wisdom, wouldn’t she be able to see three moves ahead?
That was why she the never seen before moves of 700 million to advertise and paying immediately after the end of screening.
“You should understand now right?” Qian Wangxi said, “Zheng Rongrong threw in 700 million! They paid all the money the next day! How could Zhu Mei go to another company with the same conditions? If she was that kind of person, would she still be able to film ‘Love Letter’ against all that pressure?”
“No, no way!” Gan Liangcheng’s eyes had a sharp light, “I underestimated Zheng Rongrong! But as long as ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’ didn’t start shooting, we still have hope! Old Qian, I authorize you to represent Shine Technology when you go negotiate with Zhu Mei!”
“As long as Director Zhu Mei agrees to have our Youyi shoot ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’, I’ll promise her anything! That Zheng Rongrong could take out 700 million, do you think I’m worse than a woman!? Remember, I only need ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’!”
Qian Wangxi knew from his experience that Youyi had little chance of success but he could try since Gan Liangchen gave him free rein.
What if Zhen Rongrong didn’t want to spend anymore more money for now?
Qian Wangxi felt that he might have been thinking too much after Zheng Rongrong’s stubborn face flashed through his mind!