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Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
On the first.
The news of Commando 2’s strong premiere made it into the country.
On Weibo, the netizens were feeling a swirl of emotions.
“Wilson’s new movie is selling well?”
“They’ve earned 4 million USD in just two hours?”
“How did they do so well in the box office! Damn!”
“Is the Commando franchise on steroids?!”
“Goddammit! I was hoping it would fuck up!”
“It looks like Wilson and Hollywood have won the bragging rights again this time!”
“Yeah, I really can’t stand that look on Wilson’s face. It’s so annoying!”
“Hai, this is terrible news.”
“Zhang Ye’s new movie is in danger.”
“Whatever, I’ll just buy a ticket.”
“Motherfucker, support domestic movies!”
“Haha, I booked the tickets half a month ago.”
“Whatever it is, we definitely have to watch Zhang Ye’s new movie.”
“I’m already waiting at the theater entrance. It looks like there’s quite the crowd!”
“Looking forward to Zhang Ye’s new work. I’m also waiting to see Zhang Ye’s crossover into the film industry and what kind of movie he can bring us. This is his first time making a movie.”
At the premiere of Wolf Warrior 2.
Zhang Ye and the main cast and crew were in attendance. There was also a grand lineup of special guests who graced the event that was unlike any other past movie premiere.
Other than the media.
Other than the staff.
Zhang Ye had nearly invited half of the entertainment circle!
Chen Guang and his wife.
Grandma Zhang Xia.
Li Ke and seven or eight other big name directors.
His eldest younger sister, Cao Dan, as well as many of her Internet celebrity friends.
His parents, his parents-in-law, his relatives, and close friends.
The entire theater was full. By rights, a movie premiere should have set aside some tickets aside for public moviegoers, but Zhang Ye really couldn’t do so this time.
On the stage.
Zhang Ye was holding a microphone and saying with a smile, “Thank you, everyone, for coming to attend the premiere of Wolf Warrior 2. I’m really grateful. Actually, the organizers asked me to get an emcee for the event today as per standard practice.” He then turned to look at Dong Shanshan, who was standing next to him. “But when I thought about it, Shanshan and I are both professional hosts anyway, so surely there wasn’t a need to get someone else, right? We might as well do it ourselves.”
Dong Shanshan added with a laugh, “The crucial thing is that we can save money this way.”
“Yup, that’s right,” Zhang Ye said.
The people in the audience were tickled.
After that, it was time for the media reporters’ question and answer session.
A Central TV reporter asked, “Director Zhang, do you have any expectations for your new movie’s box office performance?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Of course I do.”
The Central TV reporter asked, “How much?”
Zhang Ye gave it some thought. “I’ll be glad if it breaks even, hur hur.”
A newspaper reporter asked, “This is your and your team’s first time making a movie. Strictly speaking, you and the team are not really professionals, right?”
Zhang Ye nodded and said, “But we’ve got courage.”
Another reporter stood up with a smile. “Why wasn’t there an advance screening this time?”
Zhang Ye answered, “I was thinking that if we want to watch it, everyone should watch it together, so I decided to go with screening it all at the same time. It’s not my style to do it any other way.”
A dozen-odd questions were thrown out.
Then it was almost time for the movie to start playing.
Zhang Ye led the team offstage and sat in the first row.
Ha Qiqi was very nervous and her hands were trembling.
Beside her, Sophia kept taking deep breaths.
Zhang Ye smiled and comforted, “It’ll be fine.”
Ha Qiqi gave a wry smile. “I’m really worried about the box office earnings.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “We’re at this point, so let’s just leave it to the market to decide.”
Actually, not even Ha Qiqi, Sophia, Yao Jiancai, and the others knew how the movie turned out after it had been edited. This was because everything was handled by Zhang Ye alone. They didn’t even see the final version of the movie, and no one knew what it was like, so how could they not be nervous?
It was finally time!
Their production was finally going to be assessed by the market!
The atmosphere in the theater had become a little bit tense.
At the seats of several of the few big name directors.
“Old Li, how many theaters is the movie released in?”
“I heard they’re showing in 33.7% of the total domestic theaters.
“Yeah, they’re really giving him face.”
“But the foreign screening rate is not even 0.01%.”
Near where Zhang Ye’s family was seated.
His three younger sisters were busy chattering.
“It’s starting soon!”
“Come on, Bro!”
“You can do it! Our Bro has never failed before!”
At the celebrity seating area.
“Sister Ning, do you feel optimistic about this movie?”
“Is Zhang Ye really intent on challenging Hollywood?”
“But how is he going to do that?”
The lights dimmed in the theater.
The big screen lit up and the movie began.
The theater fell silent. Everyone picked up their 3D glasses and put them on. Some of the people here were not too used to wearing 3D glasses. This was because, in the context of the Chinese market, even though 3D movies were no longer considered to be using some sort of complex technology, there weren’t too many Chinese directors who were willing to film in 3D. The VFX could not catch up to 3D technology, and the costs were just too high. In addition, there were no Chinese 3D movies that had performed very well at the box office either. For example, his parents and his parents-in-law. Some of these people were even coming to the theater to watch a 3D movie for the first time, and they all found this to be quite a novelty.
The music started playing.
In the vast ocean, two speedboats were attacking.
“Attention, pirates alongside!”
“Attention, pirates alongside!”
“Take cover! All crew below deck!”
“I repeat, pirates alongside! Initiate emergency procedures!”
The cargo ship was halted!
The pirates surrounded it!
Gunfire rang out in staccato bursts!
At this moment, Zhang Ye’s figure appeared on the deck of the cargo ship as a piece of passionate music played. He opened his arms wide and dived into the ocean!
Everyone in the theater began shouting!
This scene immediately left an impact on everyone!
But this was only the beginning. When Zhang Ye started the intense hand-to-hand combat with the pirates in the ocean, everyone in the theater gasped!
Li Ke was startled!
Beside him, several of the Chinese big name directors were also so shocked that their 3D glasses nearly fell off!
What the heck!
A long take!
It was Hollywood’s long take technique?!
Zhang Ye, have you gone crazy? You actually resorted to doing a long take in the ocean?
A layman might not know about the danger of this, but how could Li Ke and the other directors not know!
The fight scene was very intense!
Everyone was on the edge of their seats!
Zhang Ye bound the pirates together.
When Zhang Ye climbed onto the speedboat, he picked up a sniper rifle belonging to the pirates and took aim. Then he fired it! There was a loud bang, and the bullet came flying towards the screen!
The entire theater screamed!
The bullet looked like it was headed straight for them!
This was the effect of a 3D movie. It was just too realistic!
Many of those who hadn’t watched a 3D movie before were petrified!
Clearly, Zhang Ye had deliberately created this scene. This was done through a combination of film and VFX techniques to bring out the 3D effect. It was a “badass” move that was done to make the bullet look as though it were flying out of the screen and into the audience to excite their visual sense.
It was really badass!
And the effect it had was extremely obvious!
At this moment, the movie’s title slammed into view—Wolf! Warrior! 2!
Ning Lan took a deep breath. “Fuck!”
Shu Han said stunned, “This…”
Yao Jiancai was nearly left kneeling. “Awesome!”
Jacques said with wide eyes, “This wasn’t there when we were filming the scene!”
Ha Qiqi said dumbfoundedly, “Was this filmed by us?”
His eldest younger sister, Cao Dan, had her jaw drop. “Heavens!”
The group of Internet celebrities were also shocked. “Our domestic movies can actually achieve such a level of special effects?”
Zhang Zuo looked at Zhang Ye. “Was this made with imported techniques?”
Zhang Ye couldn’t help but chuckle. He said, “What do you mean by imported techniques? It was created by our very own domestic VFX firm. Don’t always think that something imported is gonna be good, China isn’t that backward.”
Everyone found this a little unbelievable!
The short opening to the movie turned out to be shockingly beautiful!
At this moment, a question surfaced in the minds of a lot of people: Is this really something that a fucking nonprofessional film crew could film?
Are you fucking kidding me?
This is clearly at the fucking level of a Hollywood production!
A team that had previously worked on variety shows!
A director who had never made a movie before!
A combination like that can actually produce a domestic movie like this?
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