It seems that Kevin Smith had a good idea to self-distribute his new horror film, Red State.
According to an article on GigaOM, Smith has already made back the $4 million his production company, SMODcast Pictures, invested.
At Sundance earlier this year, Smith announced that he would self-distribute Red State, launching the theatrical release on October 19, 2011, the seventeenth anniversary of the release of his first breakout hit, Clerks. But prior to that, Smith decided to take the movie on the road, going on a 15-city tour and granting question and answer sessions after screenings of the film.
That plan has apparently already paid off, as Smith told an audience at the National Association of Broadcasters show Wednesday that while SMODcast has yet to make a formal announcement, he was happy to say that Red State was officially “in the black.” But that’s not the only milestone the film was able to achieve. As first noted in Indiewire, Red State was technically the 10th-highest weekend theater average, taking in more than $161,000 at the movie’s launch at Radio City Music Hall in March.
Smith’s plan to self-distribute Red State came after apparently being turned down by long-term backers Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The Weinsteins had for years helped to produce and distribute Smith’s distinctive brand of off-beat comedies from Clerks to Zack and Miri Make a Porno. But the two apparently didn’t have the stomach for Red State, a satirical horror film loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church. According to Smith at NAB, the Weinsteins said they didn’t see an audience for the film.
The self-distribution plan also came in response to what Smith saw as inefficiency in the way films were marketed. Based on previous films, he estimated that it would cost a major studio some $20 million to market the film, or five times what it cost to make.
Personally, I’ve always liked Smith’s films. They are good films with a heart to them, even films such as Zack and Miri Make a Porno or Dogma. If you haven’t seen any of his films, I would definitely suggest you do.
This also shows just how loyal a fan-base can be, as Red State has not gotten the best reviews. But then again, none of Smith’s films have received an abundance of praise, and it doesn’t seem to be a flop.
So, the choice is up to you. Will you see Red State?