The 17 Again movie preview went very smoothly, both the 20th Century Fox executives, and cinema’s representatives were unanimously optimistic about this campus comedy. For the Thanksgiving/Christmas period, if Eric hadn’t appeared, the 20th Century Fox was originally planning on releasing the comedy Working Girl, starring Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver, on the 23rd of December.
Now, with 17 Again, their once empty Thanksgiving timetable was full. After discussion, they gave the OK for the movie to be released on November 18th which Eric found very satisfactory. He had searched through his memory and couldn’t remember any interesting movie that had been released in November 1988, so it would be smooth-sailing for 17 Again. If it had been released in December, it would have to go against top grossing movies like Rain Man, Twins or Naked Gun.
Near noon, James brought Eric to a forty-year-old middle-aged man with rimmed glasses. This was the 20th Century Fox’s head of the Distribution Department, director Carter Hunt. James introduced the two of them a bit before quickly leaving. Although he had a good relationship with Eric, he wouldn’t go so far as to ask for favors’ on his behalf.
“Hello, Mr. Hunt.” Eric shook hands with the man, and the other politely praised Eric’s performance in 17 Again.
However, once Eric explained his intentions to Carter Hunt, the latter immediately refused: “I’m sorry, Eric, this year’s release schedule is already full, we can’t afford to squeeze in a low-budget comedy, I’m really sorry.”
The reason was definitely bullshit, if the movie had been directed by Spielberg instead, he was sure that Carter Hunt would be so happy he’d start jumping.
Although he had been rejected, Eric didn’t give up: “Mr. Hunt, please take a look at it at least, I brought a copy, you only need to spend a little more than an hour to watch it, I guarantee you that this is a great movie.”
Carter Hunt shook his head once more. A lot of small film companies tried to sell him those kind of stuff on a daily basis, especially now that it was the holidays period, since they lacked a distribution channel, they would constantly seek him out. Carter knew that those films had little to no commercial value, let alone the low-budget comedy of an eighteen-year-old, it was just a waste of time.
“Eric, you know, I’m very busy with work right now, and I have to go back to the headquarters this afternoon to handle the distribution of 17 Again. I’m sorry.”
Eric was really unwilling and cheekily kept insisting a few times, before Carter Hunt lost his patience and found an excuse to send him away.
“Eric, how did it go ?” Penny asked once he returned.
Eric shook his head as he wryly smiled and Penny patted his shoulder before comforting: “Don’t be discouraged, Eric. You know, many movie releases’ cost even higher than the making of the movie itself, and if they don’t get a good box office, the one to shoulder the responsibility would be the head of the Distribution Department, so you see, Carter has his own difficulties. I get that you made that movie with your own money, so after the release of 17 Again, while the hype is still ongoing, I could help you get back some of your money by releasing it direct-to-VHS. But after that I think you should focus more on acting and writing, you shouldn’t let your talent go to waste.”
“Thank you, Penny.” Eric gratefully said, but his heart was slightly bitter. Everyone seemed to regard Home Alone as the experimental film of a rookie, while he just wished he could tie all the people present to their seats, and forcefully make them watch it. Unfortunately, this idea would require the help of his old deity friend.
He dejectedly went home, since the 20th Century Fox had no interest in his project, he could only try other studios.
Aniston was curled up like a cat in the living room sofa, boringly watching a BBC soap opera. When Eric opened the door, she propped her small head up and asked: “Eric, how was it ?”
Eric came to her side and hugged her. Rubbing her back, he said: “The 20th Century Fox rejected it, but it’s okay, I’ll try somewhere else.”
Aniston felt Eric’s tone was slightly disheartened, she clung to his waist and lifted her head as she softly said: “You know what Eric ? Home Alone is so good, this time it’s their loss. After it gets released, they will definitely regret today.”
“Ah, baby, you always know what to say, huh ?” Eric squeezed Annie’s face.
They started kissing, but were quickly interrupted by the ringing of the phone after a while. Eric who had been about to push Aniston down reluctantly let go of her.
“Hey, you’ve reached the Williams’ residence.”
“Oh hey Jeffrey, what’s up ?”
Eric listened to the voice on the phone, when suddenly his eyebrows jumped. Aniston knew that this always happened when her boyfriend was happy, she was really curious but she couldn’t hear anything.
Eric nodded a few times, hung up the phone, then took Annie is his arms as he swirled around with her.
“Ugh, Eric, I’m getting dizzy, put me down and quickly tell me, what’s the good news ?”
Eric put Annie back on the sofa before saying: “Jeffrey ran into a friend from Columbia Pictures this morning, he talked to him about Home Alone, and apparently his friend was very interested, he even said that if I didn’t reach an agreement with the 20th Century Fox, I could go to him.”
“Columbia Pictures? Is that ……” Aniston made a Statue of Liberty pose.
“Yep, that one.” Eric nodded.
“Amy is a good friend of my wife, very capable. She’s only in her early thirties and already in a high position at Columbia, she helped my wife distribute two of her films in the past. I met her yesterday, and when I mentioned you, she seemed to already know who you were, so I told her about Home Alone.” In a cafe, Jeffrey Hanson kept talking on and on.
Sitting opposite him, Eric curiously asked: “You said Amy ? The friend you talked about is a woman ?”
Eric felt that this was too much of a coincidence, and she even worked at Columbia Pictures, so he couldn’t help but ask: “That Amy, what’s her full name ?”
Sure enough, it was her. In the past, the one who shined throughout the 90’ was the CEO of Paramount, Shirley Lansing. Her exposure as the Hollywood “matriarch” was nothing to laugh at, but if we talked about achievements, then Amy Pascal’s were no less than hers and she had even ruled Columbia Pictures for a longer time.
Eric and Jeffrey were still chatting, when Amy Pascal came in a hurry two minutes later. About a meter and seventy centimeters in height, donning a black suit, she had brown hair and delicate features, she gave a good vibe overall.
After a brief greeting, the three of them sat down together.