Cai Yishu saw the real-time update of the movies’ pre-sales ranking and finally showed a satisfied expression.
The ‘Night Detective’ movie he was starring in wasn’t as good as ‘Godslayer Flower Demon’ directed by Xu Cheng, but it had already achieved second place in the New Year’s Day pre-sales box office. The results were gratifying.
“Looking at the movie ‘Time Lobbyist’, its pre-sales box office rank is almost at the bottom of the ranking list. It isn’t as good as the movies that have already been released overseas. It is too embarrassing.”
You Meng approached and also showed a cheerful look.
The humiliation they received in the crew of ‘Time Lobbyist’ was finally paid back today with actual results.
“Ji Li and Feng Cheng? What trash. They aren’t even worthy of carrying my shoes now.”
“What is the saying? A loss might turn into a gain?”
If he hadn’t temporarily withdrawn from the crew of Time Lobbyist, Cai Yishu wouldn’t have had the good luck of picking up this script.
The movie’s final trailer had been released and fans of the original novel had expressed their satisfaction. Under the overwhelming marketing, the movie’s pre-sales had been rising.
This momentum just had to be maintained, and they would earn at least two billion yuan at the box office before the movie went offline. It was undoubtedly a proud achievement for a young actor like Cai Yishu.
The reputation and career of Jincheng’s No. 1 brother, Zhu Xusheng, had been severely damaged due to the car gate, and he hadn’t made a comeback yet.
If Cai Yishu could seize the opportunity with this movie, then the title of Jincheng’s No. 1 brother might change to him.
Cai Yishu became a bit arrogant and he suddenly wanted to target someone. “Sister You, I don’t think the crew of ‘Time Lobbyist’ has collapsed enough.”
You Meng asked, “What do you mean?”
Cai Yishu raised his chin in an arrogant manner. “Help me do something secretly.”
He wanted to completely ruin the reputation of ‘Time Lobbyist.’ Not only would he make Ji Li and the other actors fall silent, but he would also make it so that Qin Yue couldn’t earn back his investment money!
Time flew and it reached the end of the month.
Shanghai International Cinema.
The premiere of the movie ‘Time Lobbyist’ was arranged in a movie theater with 100 people. This scale could only be regarded as decent. It had to be known that the other movies released in the same period had done several rounds of screening promotions.
In the backstage of the cinema, Ji Li met the other leading actors after a long absence. A new work was being released, but the mood of Feng Cheng, Wei Lai, and the others wasn’t high.
After all, the movie hadn’t been officially released, but it was already being ridiculed by netizens. In addition, their competition released at the same time were all popular movies. Their ‘Time Lobbyist’ was a small shrimp trying to survive in the crack and it could easily be destroyed.
Wang Zhang sat calmly in his seat and said in a loud voice, “Relax and face the music. We have done our best for the movie. It isn’t like we didn’t film it well. What is there to be afraid of?”
It couldn’t compare to a big investment movie, but so what? These days, there were still a few examples of big investment movies collapsing and losing money. In any case, Yuexing had invested nearly 50 million in the movie. This time, it would definitely be fine.
The first step for all filmmakers was to overcome themselves.
Ji Li smiled and agreed with Director Zhang’s point of view.
“Director Wang Zhang is right. The movie competition hasn’t begun yet. Today is the premiere, and all fans are here to support us. At the very least, we should behave in a way that doesn’t let them down.”
His third male lead was much calmer compared with Feng Cheng, who was the male lead of a movie for the first time, and the second male lead Wei Lai, who had been unable to make waves.
Feng Cheng reluctantly smiled.
Ever since he ‘snatched’ Cai Yishu’s male lead position, the Feng and Cai fans had been feuding. They would often tear at each other online.
Now as soon as the pre-sales results came out, the Cai fans felt they had the upper hand and said many ugly things these days.
Feng Cheng felt sorry for his fans and for Qin Yue, his boss who valued him in the first place.
“Feng Cheng, you have to trust yourself and Qin…” Ji Li paused for a few seconds before changing his words. “You also have to believe in Brother Yue’s vision. Our movie really isn’t bad.”
For a movie, the most important thing was the word of mouth after its release.
How many movies with strong momentum in its early days ended up ‘crashing’ due to bad word of mouth? How many movies with dismal initial box office sales became dark houses due to word of mouth?
In the fast-changing movie market, anything was possible.
The audience members weren’t fools. If a movie was presented full of heart, then there would always be people who watched it.
Feng Cheng nodded and the burden in his heart was finally lighter.
Yes, this was a movie that Qin Yue invested in. He had the title of ‘golden hand’ in the movie and television industry. What should Feng Cheng be afraid of as an employee? He should trust his boss!
Wang Zhang continued to encourage him. “Okay, everyone. Cheer up, this battle has just begun.”
“Don’t forget, all of you were the first to recognize this story. We are preparing to promote it while having the lowest results. Every point we earn is worth it!”
The last sentence obviously aroused the leading actors’ initial feelings for the script, and their response was particularly loud.
The premiere process of ‘Time Lobbyist’ would start with a screening of the movie, followed by a question-and-answer session from the media and fans.
Fans immediately screamed when Ji Li and the other main creators came on stage.
“Baby Ji Li! Mama loves you!”
“Feng Cheng, jiayou! I’m looking forward to your Cheng Yu!”
“Wei Lai! Wei Lai!”
It was only a small screening hall, but the grand occasion with no empty seats still gave Feng Cheng and the others a lot of confidence.
The host came to the stage and conducted a simple interview session according to the process.
Fang Yue, who had already become a big Chinese Rose fan, sat in the audience and was so excited that her entire heart was about to explode. After four and a half months, she finally saw the real Ji Li again!
In order to match the image of Xiang Suian in the movie, Ji Li wore a white sweater and black pants today. It was very simple clothing and he seemed soft and clean.
Fang Yue immediately picked up her phone to take a picture and gave a ‘frontline’ report to her star chasing sisters in the CP group.
“Sisters, Brother Yue doesn’t seem to be here today! But Ji Li is really beautiful! So tender and soft!”
Just after typing this line, the host interviewed Ji Li. “I hear Ji Li’s fans screaming. Is it because everyone hasn’t seen him in public for a long time?”
“—Yes!” Fans replied in unison.
Compared with the single Ji Li fan who held up a banner at the premiere of ‘Country and the World’, a year had passed and at least one-third of the fan audience was here for him.
Ji Li looked around with a smile.
The applause and encouragement of the fans was always the biggest motivation for them to move forward.
“Ji Li, I heard that you have been on vacation abroad for the past four months? Can you share details with us?”
“In fact, it wasn’t entirely a vacation.” Ji Li took the microphone from Wei Lai’s hand and revealed a bit of information. “I finished filming a movie, and I believe I will meet you on screen in the near future.”
‘Long Island Iced Tea’ had finished filming, and Cameron allowed Ji Li to disclose a small amount of information in advance.
The moment the fans heard this, their cheers of surprise almost broke through the ceiling of the movie theater.
They thought that Ji Li had been on vacation this whole time. However, the other person was hiding from them and secretly finished filming an entire movie?
Sure enough, it was still their baby with a strong career ambition!
‘Thank you, thank you, the New Year’s Eve gift has been received!’
Ji Li saw the uncontrollable surprise of his fans and bowed deeply.
“However, I hope everyone will focus on this movie first. I assure you that this movie is worth your time.”
“Okay.” The response of the fans and audience was still loud.
Wang Peng was one of the movie critics invited to come today and had more than 300,000 fans on Weibo. He looked at Ji Li, who was talking freely on stage, and a smile of indifference appeared on his face.
He didn’t come here today to know how good the movie was or if it was worth watching.
On the contrary, Wang Peng was bought by Cai Yishu’s team and deliberately wore colored glasses to look for faults.
If he wanted to damage the reputation of a movie, he couldn’t just rely on random guesses. He had to combine it with actual content. Half-truths and half-lies were the easiest way to increase credibility with the public.
In addition to Wang Peng, there should also be other movie critics with the same sinister purpose in attendance.
Once the premiere was over, these movie critics, who had been hired with money, would immediately post public ‘disparaging’ remarks on the Internet, and the word of mouth would collapse completely.
This would most likely be a fatal blow for a newly released movie.
Wang Peng admitted that it was immoral to do this, but who asked the other person to give him so much money?
For youth-themed movies, only one out of one hundred could become a hit. The one in front of him showed no signs of becoming popular at first glance, so it was better for him to use this opportunity as a tool to make money.
After a brief self-introduction, everyone was ushered to the first row of guest seats by the staff members.
Soon, the lights in the screening hall completely dimmed and the audience fell quiet.
In the darkness, someone walked in quickly through the side door and accurately sat in the empty seat beside Ji Li.
Ji Li felt the movement around him and instinctively looked over with an inquiring gaze. Then he was caught off guard by familiar deep eyes.
The lover who obviously couldn’t make it to the movie premiere and coaxed him on WeChat suddenly appeared in front of him.
Qin Yue wore a mask and a hat. His handsome appearance was concealed, but the love in his eyes was enough to make people blush.
Ji Li was overjoyed and almost blurted out the name that lingered in his heart.
Qin Yue made a ‘shh’ gesture and took advantage of the darkness before the movie started to lean close to his ear. “Baby, I missed you so much.”
Qin Yue was the investor and Feng Cheng was under Yuexing. It was completely reasonable for him to attend the premiere ceremony. However, Ji Li was inexplicably filled with a sense of tension due to their ‘underground romance’ and the tips of his ears turned red.
The lights of the big screen turned on.
In order to not be noticed by others, Ji Li had to straighten his body and forced his gaze to move in front of him.
A smile appeared in Qin Yue’s eyes when seeing his lover’s cautious appearance. Then he also shifted his attention back to the screen.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the two of them had agreed on the ‘rules of association’ at the beginning, Qin Yue would’ve wanted to directly hug him and kiss him in public.
The movie’s pre-sales amount was unsatisfactory, and there were also peers in the movie and television industry who secretly operated to control public opinion and ‘mock’ them.
Qin Yue knew all of this, but he wasn’t in a hurry to solve it.
In his opinion, if a movie wanted to be truly successful in China, it had to rely on a steady plot and word of mouth after the release. For these bedbugs, they would sooner or later capsize in their own gutters.
The premiere would be the beginning of the counterattack of ‘Time Lobbyist.’
TL: Advance chapters are available over on my Patreon. You can go check out the details on my Patreon page.