For those just waking up from cryosleep: This is the latest installment in the saga of a movie that made 30 dollars at the box office. It begins here, continues here, and the last installment is here.
It’s been a busy day here on Zyzzyx Road. I thought the whole thing had reached critical mass yesterday when Variety stole our story – and essentially plagiarized what I wrote. What’s funny is that it’s since been brought to my attention that the guy who wrote that piece also wrote a book called Open Wide: How Hollywood Box Office Became a National Obsession, a very excellent look at the modern film business… which happens to mention CHUD a couple of times. Once in a footnote where it calls sites like CHUD and Aint It Cool unreliable. But reliable enough to steal stories from, huh Dade?
Anyway, plenty more happened today. For one thing I got a voicemail from none other than Leo Grillo himself. He sounded bemused and a little confused – he mentioned that he had been out of town all week and came home to find a bunch of faxes and emails asking him for interviews and comments on Zyzzyx Road. I’m flying in to LA in the morning and hope to talk to Leo sometime in the afternoon. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t psyched – CHUD will have the exclusive: Leo Grillo Speaks!
I also got in touch with Regent Releasing, the folks who put Zyzzyx Road out for six days in Dallas. They only have the international distribution rights to the picture – they were specifically contracted by Leo Grillo Productions to put the movie in that theater for those six days. The film has been sold to markets all over the world, where it appears on DVD (I have gotten a zillion emails from Australian readers who have seen the DVD on the shelves… thanks guys, I wish I could respond to every email) and has been sold for TV.
Here’s where Zyzzyx Road stops being hilarious and becomes an interesting object lesson: the movie cost 2 million dollars to make. It earned 30 bucks in Dallas. It has no domestic distributor (yet – I bet you that this brouhaha has earned Leo Grillo Productions some interest). But because the movie was sold to a number of overseas markets, I will almost guarantee to you that it has turned a profit, or is very close to doing so. This is something that the beginning filmmakers out there should think about – if you’re paying for your own first feature, get enough money to make it look professional and make something that will be saleable to foreign markets. That’s where the dough lies the first time out. Unless you’re really into art, in which case you’re fucked.
I have also been in touch with a number of media types. I’ve done some phone interviews today, and I heard from NPR, who plan on running something during their Day to Day show today. I’ll be in mid-air when it’s on, but tell me if it’s good.
It’s been an exciting week as America has caught Zyzzyx Fever. Maybe this thing has reached critical mass, or maybe it has a few days left in it. I’ll beat it into the ground until it’s an unrecognizable pulpy mess, that’s for sure.
By the way, the Zyzzyx Road 2 poster was made by message board regular Litmus Configuration. As of yet the sequel is but a pipe dream…