Chapter 610 Grandmasters' box office earnings!
After an hour.
The ceremony was done and the movie started playing!
The lights in the venue slowly dimmed after they were switched off before fading out. All the recording equipment was brought outside while the reporters were invited to take their seats as the invited guests and audience watched closely at the screen in Hall 1. Although the premiere and public screening were scheduled on the same day, the opening premiere was screened ahead of the public screening which was scheduled for a later timing. For the selected first batch of viewers watching, their mood was naturally different. The atmosphere in the theater had a sense of grandness to it.
The music started.
This was the melody of the movie theme song that was sung by Zhang Yuanqi. But as it was used for the opening of the movie, there was no singing and only the melody was gently playing to signal the start of the movie.
Starring: Zhang Yuanqi
Starring: Wu Feilong
Featuring: Tian Xuetao
Featuring: Zhang Ye
Zhang Ye's name was the fourth to appear, and considerably near the beginning.
In the introduction, with the flickering images and music playing, Wang Chengpeng's name and introduction as the director appeared the screen and faded out. The scene cut to a group of children who were gathered together.
"My ball! That's my ball!"
"Haha, how dumb."
"Don't give it to him."
"Give the ball back to me."
"Come and get it from us then."
"I will definitely get it back! Give it back!"
"Ah! How dare you hit us!"
The child character of Dalong's role appeared on screen.
Following that, the child form of Zhang Yuanqi's character also appeared on the bridge. It wasn't known where they found the two child actors, but they really looked quite similar to Zhang Yuanqi and Dalong.
The beginning scenes and plot moved a little slow as they were mainly used to build up the characters' story. About ten minutes into the airing of the movie, the children had grown up. This was where the first conflict in the movie appeared. With a couple of lines, the plot slowly unveiled itself but part of the main plot was still hidden from the audience at this moment.
In the first row in the theater, Zhang Ye was watching intently and enjoying the movie. As he did not follow the film crew from the beginning of production but was thrown in at the end to rescue the situation when the movie was threatened with being taken down, he had not watched the final version of the movie in full. At this premiere, it was his first time watching it and he felt that it was really quite different from what he had expected.
At the 30-minute mark of the movie, Zhang Ye's character finally appeared for the first time!
"Who are you?"
"Do you know my teacher?"
"It's your teacher who knows me."
At the 52nd minute.
"I don't care where you came from, all I know is where I want to go. Even your master can't stop me, so who do you think you are? All that's left of Xingyi Fist now are your teacher and you. How pitiful, how regrettable, and how sad!"
"In this era, who still dares to claim they are grandmasters? Your master can't claim so, and you, you are even less deserving to claim so!"
"When...I die...my martial arts...cough...will really be lost for good....That's good, might as well...cough. In birth...we bring nothing....In death, we take away nothing. Hahahaha!" His character died at this moment and even laughed as he went.
Cao Mengmeng was thrilled. "The main character is so evil! Why did he kill my brother!"
Cao Tong also said angrily, "That Dalong is so annoying!"
Cao Dan said in a speechless way, "It's our brother who is the villain! Sister Zhang and Dalong are the main leads instead!"
Mengmeng's two classmates said together, "Mengmeng, your brother's acting is really good!"
Around them, many reporters and film critics couldn't help looking at each other, surprised by Zhang Ye's acting quality. Having appeared in scenes together with an experienced action star like Dalong, Zhang Ye seemed to have managed to hold his own and was not put down by Dalong's acting. He portrayed his character very well. And of Zhang Ye, who was just making his debut in acting, this was a totally unbelievable performance. Everyone knew that Zhang Ye was not a student of the performing arts!
A female reporter took a deep breath and said, "His acting is really good."
"Zhang Ye's character is a bright point in the movie! He really got our attention!" a film critic praised.
Another film critic also nodded. "Honestly speaking, I'm really amazed that Zhang Ye's acting can be so good. The character's development was done so well too!
"The fight scenes were also well done."
"Yeah, the fight scenes were beautifully choreographed."
"It was really well-arranged."
"Did Zhang Ye use a stunt double?"
"It didn't look like it."
"I had thought that Zhang Ye would mess things up, but who knew that I was in for such a surprise! This person could really act well!"
With the antagonist dead, the plot was already at it conclusion. As the scenes went back to Zhang Yuanqi and Dalong's characters, the movie's ending played out. Soon, the lights in the theater were turned on and slowly lit up the entire venue.
The credits rolled just as the main theme song started.
Wang Chengpeng along with the main cast stood up and faced the audience, bowing to them once.
The audience and media reporters broke into applause!
"It was really quite good."
"This movie is more than alright."
"The box office earnings shouldn't be too bad. With such a plot, cast, and quality, it should easily get a hundred million RMB in ticket sales. It looks like it has the potential to hit several hundred million at least."
"Yeah, it's a really good watch."
"I only find it alright. There's not enough screen time for Sister Zhang and that makes her feel like she was just making a cameo, although her acting was really good. But overall, I wasn't too entertained by it."
"Tian Xuetao's acting hasn't improved at all."
"Zhang Ye's performance was quite unexpected."
"Yeah, I think Zhang Ye's acting was quite surprising."
After the movie ended, the audience was still talking in whispering voices, exchanging their views on the movie. Besides Zhang Yuanqi's and Dalong's names getting mentioned often, Zhang Ye's name was also brought up numerous times.
Everyone began streaming out of the venue.
Wang Chengpeng smiled and said to the actors, "Let's go and get ready as well. The internal team celebratory dinner has dragged on for too many days already and it's time to fulfill that today. Everyone has worked hard."
The actors were also talking with each other.
Only Zhang Ye was relatively silent. Compared to when he was acting his role out and when he was watching the movie, he had very different feelings. Overall, Zhang Ye was quite satisfied with his own performance in the movie, but while he was watching Grandmasters as an audience, he noticed some mistakes, such as his expressions and actions, which he felt could be done better. He had also always thought that the martial arts movements were flawed; those dogshit-like moves of "Taiji Fist" were too flamboyant. All in all, he knew that there were many areas in which he could improve. However, whatever! Since this was only his first time acting in a movie, and being inexperienced, to have done what he did was already his limits. He would just have to work harder in the future.
All over the country.
Public screenings of Grandmasters were beginning.
A big name director, a big production, and a big lineup which included Zhang Yuanqi and Dalong helming the cast. There was no lack of Grandmasters being scheduled for screening at every cinema. In just the past two days, tickets for Grandmasters were already 30% booked on the online ticketing systems. On the day itself, in every cinema, the same scenes of huge crowds lining up for tickets could seen as every movie buff turned up to watch the blockbuster title.
"Yo, Old Sun."
"Old Xu? You came too?"
"Yeah. Are you here to watch Grandmasters as well?"
"Yes. I've been waiting for it for a month already and it's finally playing now."
"The opening premiere has just ended, but I've already seen the film critics giving their reviews online. It seems like they're all recommending it, so I came to take a look for myself. I'm mainly here because I want to see Zhang Ye, since I like him better."
"Whoa, does Zhang Ye know how to act?"
"The film critics say that he's pretty good."
"Really? How can that be!"
"I don't know either. That's why I'm here."
"Let's go. It's time to go inside."
One by one, the screenings starting.
One by one, the screenings ended.
On this opening day, the topic regarding Grandmasters was constantly climbing in rank on Weibo. Although a large part of these topics were discussing Zhang Yuanqi or Dalong, there were still quite a number of discussions surrounding Zhang Ye. At least, compared to Grandmasters' second male lead, Tian Xuetao, he had much more attention!
"Wow, Zhang Ye did really well!"
"Teacher Zhang's acting skills are so great they blinded my eyes!"
"That final crazed laughter was really the crowning glory!"
"I never would have expected Teacher Zhang's acting to be so good!"
"The movie's not bad. It didn't disappoint me!"
"Initially, I had thought that the film crew were left with no choice when they selected Zhang Ye to be the replacement. Who knew that Zhang Ye's acting was actually this good! He did not screw up at all in this critical moment!"
"I like Zhang Ye's role of being the villain. From the start, he was already very hateable, I really wished that he would die quickly, but when he really died at the end, I felt somewhat at a loss. I guess it was because of Zhang Ye's acting that the character came to life for me. What's more, something worth mentioning here is that Zhang Ye seems well-suited to play such antagonistic roles as well. It felt like he was just being himself. In reality, isn't Teacher Zhang also the type of person who leaves people gnawing their teeth over him?!"
"Congratulations on your successful debut, Teacher Zhang!"
"Zhang Ye, you're so handsome! I'll support you forever!"
Several scattered newspaper reports had also praised Zhang Ye's acting in Grandmasters while many other film critics were also full of praise for him. Only a few film critics were harsher as they pointed out the problems that Zhang Ye had in his acting. This outcome was in contrast to before the movie was released. Just a few days ago, many of the media and film critics were full of doubt and questioned Zhang Ye's joining of the film crew for this movie. However, after the movie was released, most of these criticisms were overturned as most of them had now given their approval to Zhang Ye's acting skills.
The next day.
Grandmasters' opening day box office earnings were tabulated: 31 million RMB.
This results were slightly lower than the predictions calculated by the film producer and film crew, but not by much and was still considered acceptable and within estimates. Besides, the reviews of the movie were pretty good. There were also enough commercial opportunities, so the box office earnings after the opening day would not be too bad and even had room to grow.
24 hours later, the second day's box office earnings were released: 38 million RMB. It was actually even higher than the opening day's numbers. Such a situation was not seen often in the market, so it was clear that Grandmasters was garnering better than expected acceptance from the viewers. It belonged to the late-bloomer type of film!
There was no doubt the final box office earnings would cross 100 million!
Crossing 200 million? That was likely too!
As for whether it could join the 300 million box office earnings club, it still remained to be seen, though it was unlikely. However, in the gloom of a market downturn in the film industry, having these results right now was already very good and the film producers had also reached their goals. On this matter, Zhang Ye's contributions were very prominent as he gave such a good performance even under the urgency of a rushed filming schedule. That credit could not be taken away from him!