Thursday, June 21, 2012


courtesy of

In recent years actor prices kept climbing, adding to the troubles of film investors.  Often they suffered drastic losses. Earlier a Mainland production company boss due to failed investment committed suicide and sounded a big alarm for the film industry.  Many directors like Feng Xiaogang and Lu Chuan criticized some actors for excessive pricing.  Two days ago, filmmaker Manfred Wong (Man Jun) and Mainland male star Huang Xiaoming attended the Shanghai Film Festival New Power Star Producer forum.  Man Jun mentioned that high priced stars were not box office guarantees and that some stars last year charged 1 million last year but this year he wanted 10 million.  Some also messed around with the opening price, "Out of the blue asking for 20 million". It was truly outrageous!

More and more upset, Man Jun even put high priced actors like Jet Li (Lee Nin Kit) and Shu Qi on the table.  Man Jun first revealed Lee Nin Kit's price.  "For FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON SWORD (LUNG MOON FEI GAP) Lee Nin Kit charged 90 million.  Finally the box office was 500 million, but I asked investor Yu Dong if it didn't star Lee Nin Kit. Yu Dong's answer was 'it might still make that much!' Lee Nin Kit's other film THE SORCERER AND THE WHITE SNAKE (BAK SEH CHUEN SHUEN) bombed brutally, its total box office didn't reach 200 million!"

In order to bring out that only when directors, scripts and actors worked together would they achieve good box office, Man Jun even cited a film that starred Shu Qi, Liu Ye, Chang Chen and Sun Honglei but bombed badly.  On the other hand Feng Xiaogang used unknown actors when he made THE ASSEMBLY and made Zhang Hanyu a star.

Man Jun yesterday said, "I only heard about that, ultimately I wasn't the one who paid, how would I know how much he actually charged!" As for saying even with Shu Qi and Liu Ye the box office might not be good, was he afraid of insulting anyone?  Man Jun said, "I only wanted to point out when a movie had good actors like Shu Qi, if the other area didn't coordinate the box office wouldn't perform well."

Rumored to be paid in tens of millions, Huang Xiaoming after hearing Man Jun's comments lamented that the market drove artist salaries high and unknowingly revealed Tony Leung Chiu Wai's salary.  "Like the people going grocery shopping, garlic costs five (yuan), if it was sold  for ten it wouldn't work; I couldn't possibly randomly raise my price, it still depended on the market.  Brother Chiu Wai wasn't so expensive before because Hong Kong film only sold in the Southeast Asia market, but now it could be sold for several hundred million.  Thus Brother Chiu Wai's salary reaching tens of millions wasn't excessive."

His film investment bombed at the box office, Xiaoming stated that he would never regret supporting good movies and praised Zhang Ziyi's investment SOPHIE'S REVENGE as a successful example.  "I am not a example of success, but some would always die on the beach for those after them to have even better chances.  I am willing to be the person who is sacrificed in front, I am not someone who can't lose."

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