I don’t want to jump to conclusions here. It’s far too easy to do that, especially with Kevin Smith. It’s way too easy to either let personal tastes affect the coverage or be a blowhard just to piss off the fan base of the large and harmless filmmaker. So here’s the facts:
Kevin Smith is auctioning off props to pay for Red State. Per the article, among them “The Bluntman costume he donned in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back; a set of wings Ben Affleck wore in Dogma; a cash register featured in Clerks II and a fake movie script used in Zack And Miri Make A Porno.” Those are facts.
I’m not sure if it’s desperation and the roughly $4,000,000 budget for the film is beginning to look like a longshot to recoup or just another part of the process; another way to remind folks about his first foray into horror (which was given a positive review on our own GUY.com). Marketing, baby. If there’s anything Kevin Smith knows, it’s how to get his fan base to pony up coins. You can count on one hand the number of filmmakers who could take their film on the road and charge $70 a ticket and not be laughed off the stage.
Red State has made a bit over $700,000 in its boutique Kevin Smith Q&A tour, but that’s a long way shy of four big ones. Granted, his adventure isn’t over and there’s an October 19, 2011 wide release which will almost assuredly make more than four million bucks. Even though the reviews seem to be very dependent on the reviewer’s appreciation of Smith’s work. Even though the flick is attacking a religious group who already border on parody. Even though the Sundance distribution fiasco is still a black eye.
It’ll make its money back. It has to.
So, I’m going to err on the side of marketing here. I don’t fully get what Smith’s trying to do here and I sort of wish he’d just make movies and do press and live with however the world (press and regular folks) receive them, but I can’t see how Red State will end up being a cautionary tale. I do think that wording the news about the auction existing “to help pay for Red State” sounds a bit fishy though.