Fight Club might be a cult classic these days, but the Venice Film Festival premiere did not go well, as Brad Pitt remembers. Nor did the box-office go particularly awesome, given that the $100 million worldwide take may have barely cleared the $63 million budget plus all publicity expenses. However, DVD sales soared in the aftermath of an underwhelming release that was likely soured by initial word of mouth from critics. In particular, the festival crowd apparently recoiled at all the macabre humor within the film, and Brad Pitt (alongside his Once Upon A Time In Hollywood co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio) relived the misery while appearing on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast this week.
As Pitt told Maron, he and Edward Norton (c’mon, just look at these guys in the above 2015 photo) got stoned immediately before the midnight premiere, which went over like a lead balloon, and that led to their uncontrollable laughter next to the festival head. Via IndieWire, the Seven star pulled back on the curtain on what sounds like a terrible (but still outrageously funny) premiere experience:
“It was the Venice Film Festival and it was a midnight screening. For some reason we thought it would be a good idea to smoke a joint before. They put you up in a balcony next to the festival head, it’s very formal. The movie starts. First joke comes up, and it’s crickets. It’s dead silence. Another joke, and it’s just dead silent. You know it’s in subtitles, and this thing is just not translating at all. The more it happened, the funnier it got to Edward and I. So we just start laughing. We’re the a**holes in the back laughing at our own jokes. The only ones laughing.”
Well, everything turned out well, and everyone now knows somebody with a Fight Club poster on their wall, not to mention that a lot of people have the film in their personal library. Besides, there’s a damn good chance that Pitt will receive an Oscar nomination on Monday, so take that, Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection. (“And … away we go.”)