Hollywood Fame and Fortune

Martin Davis, a gifted yet uncelebrated actor trapped in the mediocrity of his circumstances. However, fate takes an astonishing twist when he miraculously finds himself in the body of an impoverished youth in the year 2003. Determined to escape the clutches of poverty and relish in wealth and stardom, Martin sets his sights on Hollywood, a city that beckons with its extravagance and promises. With his cunning intellect and a disregard for traditional morality, he embarks on a relentless quest, willing to go to any lengths to achieve his goal. As Martin navigates the glitzy yet treacherous world of showbiz, he leaves a trail of fallen adversaries in his ascent to becoming a global sensation. His journey is marked by unexpected alliances, moral dilemmas, and sacrifices that challenge the very core of his being. The story of his transformation, ambition, and the relentless pursuit of dreams, even if it means rewriting the stars. The unapologetic drive of the Martin has, and the timeless quest for fame and fortune. #Hollywood #Showbiz #America #Celebrity #Star #Reallife #Antihero

Rqmk · Realistic
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821 Chs

Chapter 365: Box Office Share

Louise followed Martin into the suite at the Four Seasons Hotel. The floor was littered with crumpled waste paper, and unsettling and strange pictures adorned the walls.

In some of these portraits, the subjects were clearly not human, featuring tentacles and other bizarre attributes. One of them seemed to be a self-portrait of Martin, though his painting skills were quite limited.

"I haven't had time to clean up," Martin said, having immersed himself in character study for over a month. He spoke in an odd tone, "It's a bit messy, but it's visually pleasing to me." Hearing this, Louise couldn't help but shiver, finding the surroundings eerie.

She quickly drew the curtains open, letting the bright sunshine in, but it couldn't dispel the gloom in her heart. She turned to Martin, realizing that this unsettling feeling stemmed from his presence, as he continuously exuded an eerie and eccentric aura.

Louise, adjusting her black-rimmed glasses, cautioned, "Be careful not to get too absorbed in it and lose yourself."

Martin chuckled, "No worries, I can always shed the disguise."

Louise raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"

Martin clarified, "You can discard false personas whenever you wish."

Louise noticed a thick notebook on the coffee table, titled "Joker's Experience," and inquired, "Can I take a look?"

Martin didn't mind and replied, "Sure."

As she flipped through it, she discovered Martin's notes and wild ideas about characters, such as forming an army of beauties, attacking the White House, and cultivating mushrooms on American soil. She couldn't help but laugh, "Your ideas are truly eccentric."

Martin patted the space next to him on the sofa, saying, "I don't relate to comic book clowns, so I combined the Nolan brothers' script with my own traits, and these ideas flowed naturally. Maybe I'll use them someday." Louise sat down and teased, "I want to grow mushrooms. Let's play and become the commander first."

Martin laughed, "I'll definitely bring some excitement to this country! I'm sure there will be plenty of people trying to assassinate me."

Louise, perusing the notebook, remarked, "I thought you were just fooling around in the hotel, but it seems you're actually preparing for something."

Martin playfully pinched Louise's chin, saying, "What? You don't believe I'm a committed actor?" Without waiting for her response, he continued, "You better believe me, or I'll have to punish you!"

Initially, Louise held a psychological advantage over Martin, but that was dwindling fast.

"Wait a moment; I'll call someone over," Louise said. She wasn't afraid of Martin but sensed a dangerous madness in him today. She didn't want him to face it alone. "Kelly is taking the crew to Atlanta for a shoot, so she can come to Los Angeles."

Martin smiled menacingly, "Call Kelly right away! And put your phone on speaker so she can hear on the way."

Louise dialed Kelly's number and, switching her black glasses to gold-rimmed ones, said, "You can think of me as Harley Quinn."

Meanwhile, the Joker, Atlanta Catwoman, and Harley Quinn began their confrontations, and Thomas engaged in tough negotiations with "The Dark Knight" crew.

These negotiations included various aspects like insurance, food, lodging, and transportation. Hollywood had established mechanisms for such matters, so the discussions were not too challenging.

The main point of contention was the actors' salaries. The crew proposed a basic fee plus a share of the net profits, while Martin insisted on higher guaranteed payments.

The following morning, after hearing Martin's perspective, Louise commented, "Just as you can't trust the integrity of Hollywood stars, you shouldn't fully trust the film companies either."

Kelly asked, "What about the net box office share in North America?"

Martin explained, "The North American box office is initially divided with theaters, and distribution companies deduct at least 25% for fees, publicity, and management. After that, it goes to the producers, who deduct various expenses. What's left after all that?"

Kelly inquired, "And what about North American box office losses?"

Martin turned to Louise, "What's your take on this?"

In most situations, Louise, as one of the investors, wouldn't side with Martin. However, at this moment, she was in Martin's grasp, and she casually replied, "Nolan said you have to be the clown."

She took a breath and added, "But remember not to push it too far. When it comes to DC superheroes, Warner executives can be quite challenging."

Martin nodded and asked, "What are Warner's box office expectations?"

Louise, playing the traitor, answered, "Warner Brothers' most optimistic estimate is a $300 million North American box office and $750 million worldwide. After all, the first film only made $370 million globally."

During their break, Martin picked up the phone and called Thomas. He got straight to the point, saying, "I've got two options for you: a salary of $14 million or $5 million plus a share of the box office earnings above a certain point." Nolan knew it wouldn't be easy to break the ice with this negotiation.

Martin had some solid credentials, with four movies making over $100 million at the North American box office. So, he had every right to demand such a price.

Apart from the salary, there were other matters to discuss. Thomas needed to talk to the crew about how they'd handle merchandise featuring his likeness and even the copyright of Lily's statue. An example of this was Johnny Depp, who made a fortune from licensing his likeness for figures and toys from his role as Jack Sparrow.

Of course, Martin couldn't expect to secure a deal like Depp's 45% image rights share in the Pirates series; that was a pipe dream at this stage. Martin vaguely remembered that Depp had raked in $300 million in net profit from the Pirates series, a significant chunk of it coming from licensing his image.

The negotiation on this front was no walk in the park. Lily's agent was also part of the discussion. They were pushing for an additional 1% for the newcomer, Lily.

The casting negotiations were still ongoing, and Nolan was eager to have a private chat with Martin about the role. When Martin entered the coffee shop, he noticed Nolan studying him.

Nolan thought every move Martin made was like something out of a clown's playbook. However, he quickly dismissed the thought, realizing that Martin was indeed playing the clown.

Nolan quipped, "Aside from the face paint, you're just as you were at the audition."

Martin grinned strangely and replied in an offbeat tone, "There's one difference – I'm not hatching any crazy schemes right now."

Nolan recognized that some exceptional actors maintained their character's essence at all times. So, he got down to business, stating, "I want this character to be a nightmare in Gotham, spreading chaos to everyone."

Martin enthusiastically slapped the table and chuckled, "I like it! I'm best at doing things my way."

"As you want?" Nolan confirmed. Martin continued, "Bad guys often have motives for their actions, but not me. I'm not after money or power. I just revel in chaos and want to bring joy to the world."

This resonated with Nolan, who noted, "Batman relies on violence to maintain order, while the Joker brings chaos through reason."

Martin invited, "Director, you're a genius. One day, let's set off fireworks at Buckingham Palace together."

Nolan raised an eyebrow, slightly concerned by Martin's malevolent grin, and agreed, "When the film's a hit, we can light up the square in front of Buckingham Palace. Let's make it a date."

Martin added humorously, "Can you invite the old lady to join? Is there a 50-year-old crown prince in the world?"

Nolan swiftly ended the meeting, saying, "Go back and prepare. If all goes well, the crew will head to Atlanta soon."

Martin rose, a bit unsteady, and bid farewell, "Goodbye, director."

Nolan pondered Martin's intense immersion in the role but decided it was a good thing. He resembled a real-life clown, and mental issues aside, the actor's performance mattered most.

It was a done deal; Martin joined the cast. Soon, Thomas began negotiating Martin's salary with the crew.

Once you've attained star status and your past works have done well, you gain the confidence to negotiate with a new crew. Martin's salary included a $5 million base plus a tiered share of the North American box office. The base share started at $250 million. For every $50 million increase in box office earnings beyond that, Martin would automatically receive an additional 1%, capping at 6%.

This shared risk encouraged the crew to work hard and aimed for commercial success, which in turn boosted the lead actor's income. Additionally, Thomas negotiated a 2% share of North American DVD profits, mirroring Christian Bale's terms.

Hollywood's compensation and box office sharing can get incredibly complex, involving project setup bonuses, distribution bonuses, net profit sharing, gross profit sharing, and more. I've simplified it as much as possible.