Dexter Studio secured another visual effects (VFX) contract for the “Monkey King” series, one of the best movie franchises in Chinese box office history. Dexter Studio previously worked as the main VFX vendor for “Monkey King 1” and “Monkey King 2.” On September 19, Dexter Studio announced that it signed on as a VFX supplier for “Monkey King 3” with a contract worth a total of KRW 7.6 billion (approximately CNY 45 million). The value of this contract alone is equivalent to 29.08% of Dexter Studio’s total sales in 2015. “Monkey King 3” is the next installment in the “Monkey King” series, which has become one of the most popular movie franchises ever in China. “Monkey King 1” earned CNY 1.0456 billion (approximately KRW 176 billion) in box office intake in China, while “Monkey King 2” earned CNY 1.20079 billion (approximately KRW 202.2 billion). Dexter Studio’s new VFX contract with “Monkey King 3” is twice as large as the contract it signed for “Monkey King 2”.
Dexter Studio said that its work over the years has led to new orders for VFX in films. Recently, Dexter Studio is taking on projects that require higher quality results, and those that yield higher profits to keep the workload manageable for its staff. Like “Monkey King 3,” Chinese producers and directors often continue to work with companies that they have worked with before. Director Tsui Hark, who worked with Dexter Studio on “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon” and “The Taking of Tiger Mountain”, chose Dexter Studio as a VFX vendor for his next film.
In the case of Chinese movies, blockbusters with large production budgets are becoming mainstays in the box office. As a result, VFX cost is becoming an increasingly important variable in terms of the overall production cost for a film. Blockbusters such as “The Weasel Grave” (KRW 10.8 billion), “Monkey King 3” (KRW 7.5 billion), “League of Gods” (KRW 6.1 billion), and “Kung Fu Yoga” (KRW 4.4 billion), all of which featured Dexter Studio as their main VFX vendor, are worth ten times the average value of VFX contracts in Korea.
An official at Dexter said, “When a sequel is made, the producers and directors naturally commission the VFX work to Dexter Studio, a company they have worked with before. This relationship based on trust and credibility is the most important factor that has helped us secure a steady stream of contracts in China.”