UPDATE: I added the new trailer at the bottom.
At Sundance, Kevin Smith made headlines for faking everyone out at a screening of Red State, where, after inviting studio people out to bid on distribution rights, he bought the rights himself for $20, which I imagine he promptly spent on a new pair of baggy jean shorts from Ross. (That’s the short version, anyway. For the full story, see Jay & Silent Bob’s Smoddy Red State Podcast parts one through 387).
On Saturday, at Radio City Music Hall, the first of 14 planned locations across the country, a screening of Red State grossed $161,000. That would qualify it for the 10th-highest per-theater average ever, though it’s sort of cheating, considering the average ticket price for the 3,800 paying customers was around $43, and because the screening included an insanely thorough Q & A with the director himself, who told stories about each individual frame, including what he had for breakfast that morning and the contents of his bowels.
And if you’re looking to do more math (YAY, MATH!), Smith said he paid $60,000 to rent out the theater, and the movie cost $4 million to make. Meaning he’d need to do about 40 of these shows to earn his money back, although that doesn’t include what he earned on his books, soundtracks, posters, monogrammed snuggies, and kissing booth.
Post-screening Smith took to the stage with most of his major cast members — including John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Stephen Root — fielding questions from adoring fanboys and even a few girls.
Goodman warded off applause for his earlier oeuvre, and Leo bantered with Smith over her own foul-mouthed slip at the Oscars (“I have a really hard time thinking that’s the first time that happened,” she quipped).
“Let this be a lesson to you that anyone can rent Radio City Music Hall,” Smith told the crowd, “even a fat kid from New Jersey.” [THR]
Yeah, yeah, you’re a regular guy, we get it, you can stop dressing like you’re going to a Candlebox concert now. Asked whether the film itself was actually any good, one journalist covering the event quipped, “The who with the what now?”