Kevin Smith's 'Red State' gets distributor -- for digital rights


Image Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

Looks like Kevin Smith’s Red State will have a distributor after all — at least for on demand and and television. Lionsgate announced today that the studio had picked up video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, electronic sell-through, and television rights for the horror film, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year and became the subject of headlines after director Smith announced he would distribute the film himself after buying Red State for $20. Said Smith after the premiere of the film at the festival: “What we want to do is, like, ‘Yes, anybody can make a movie.’ We know that now. We know that because I’ve made ten, you know what I’m saying? That means anybody can make a f—ing movie. What we aim to prove is that anybody can release a movie now as well. It’s not enough to make it and sell it now, I’m sorry.”

Red State, which stars Melissa Leo and John Goodman, follows a group of teens who find themselves facing off against sinister fundamentalists. In a press release, Lionsgate said the film has nabbed $1 million from just 15 single show engagements. Smith said in the release: “Before we decided to release Red State ourselves, Lionsgate was the ONLY distributor we hoped would buy the flick at Sundance … They understood The Harvey Boys commitment to a non-traditional theatrical release, and now embrace Red State like it is their own … This company crushed it with Dogma back in ’99 and ever since, they’ve been able to punch through always-crowded cineplexes with the most responsible marketing budgets in the industry. My flick is my art and my art is like my child; and I feel safe letting Lionsgate babysit my kid.”

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:
Kevin Smith’s full ‘Red State’ speech to studios at Sundance online
Kevin Smith debuts blood Red State and severs relations with Hollywood

Comments (20 total) Add your comment
  • LOL

    GOP fears Red State.

  • Al

    Sounds like his experiment failed.

    • Gavin

      Explain how you figure it failed. Red State has already made it’s production costs back (I believe before this Lionsgate deal), and it hasn’t had any foreign release, wide American release, or American DVD distribution deal. Red State has already earned right around the amount it would have been sold for at Sundance, and there’s plenty of money that it still stands to earn. I think that qualifies as a success.

      • Huffy

        “Red State has already made it’s production costs back (I believe before this Lionsgate deal)”

        No, it didn’t. Do the math: the movie cost $4 million and the press release just said it grossed $1 million. It’s got a long way to go. And considering renting places like Radio City Music hall is ridiculously expensive I doubt they even reached 1/4th of the production budget. And this is Kevin Smith, a director with a very large and loyal following. Using this model with films from new directors (as Smith claimed he will in the future) just isn’t going to work.

      • Jonathan

        Actually, Huffy, the film HAS made it’s $4 million back. It’s grossed nearly $1 million so far in the states, $160,000 of which from the “ridiculously expensive” Radio City Music Hall screening. And about $5 million from foreign sales, (UK, Europe, Canada, etc.), and the new Lionsgate deal. Which means the film is currently in the black. Every dime it makes from here on out is a PROFIT. Without spending any money on advertising.

        So yeah, huge failure there.

        And Smith admits that his method isn’t ideal. He doesn’t want people bringing their films straight to him to distribute. He wants them to be picked up by a studio. But when no studio buys it, when NOBODY wants a damn good flick, THAT’S when he’ll consider distributing it. He WANTS his way to be a last resort for new filmmakers.

    • Schwien

      The experiment was to see if it was possible release a movie and make your production costs without sinking money into promotions. with the red state tour and these deals the movie is in the black without spending a dime on adds. that means its accomplished.

  • Gregoire

    Kevin Smith gives me the willies, but I am intrigued about this film.

  • Devin Faraci

    He is an idiot and a coward.

    • Gavin

      Explain. How, in your opinion, does Kevin Smith qualify as an idiot and a coward?

      • Ben

        Explain. Why do you care?

      • James S.

        Wow, Gavin. Somebody has a mancrush.

      • Gavin

        I care because I’m trying to figure out if Devin Faraci has any legitimate basis for calling Kevin Smith an idiot and a coward. If he doesn’t, he’s a troll. All trolls do is destroy, knock people down a peg or two to get their jollies. They not only don’t but can’t create anything. People like that don’t deserve to have a voice. That’s why I care.

        And James, a “mancrush.” Come on, at least get creative when you try to insult somebody. Somehow, you seem to think that because I don’t dislike Kevin Smith I must have a “mancrush” on him. If that’s the case, I have a mancrushes on Christopher Nolan, P.T. Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Fincher, Tarantino, Darren Aronofsky, the Coppola’s (Francis Ford and Sofia), and any number of other directors and actors. Grow up and learn to differentiate respect from a “mancrush.”

    • LOL

      Devin fears Kevin Smith.

    • Sandro

      Call him stupid and a coward all you want: he’s clearly laughing all the way to the bank, while you run your sad, pathetic little movie trash site that no one reads. But hey, if you’re nice, maybe he’ll pay for an ad on your site out of pity, so then you can finally make enough money to get a clue, junior.

  • Mike

    I think this is a good move. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see Red State, as it probably wouldn’t open at a theater near me, but with VOD, I’m set!

  • Ben

    I used to enjoy Smith’s earlier comedies, but this looks like him grasping at some sort of Michael Moore like status. Like Seth MacFarland, he took success at his early work as carte Blanche to push his political and religious agenda. I guarantee that if he’d made a Clerks 3, he wouldn’t be having trouble finding a distributor. Take it as a sign: nobody wants to watch Red State outside of Smith’s liberal fans and cronies.

    • Trevor

      Red State is a horror film and a damn good one too. This has nothing to do with politics. Movies cost at least 20 million to promote these days and that is too much to spend on a movie that will at best make 30

      • klocket

        This film is far from a Horror Film, i thought it was great, very well executed, good acting and typical Smith humor sprinkled in.
        I think Smith has gotten better at his craft, and i wish he would stop bashing himself about not being a “filmmaker.” I would call this movie a thriller, but to call it horror is very misleading.

    • LOL

      Ben fears Truth.

  • samiam

    personally i am a big fan of kevin smith.. and all i really wanna know is when does it come out, i’ve heard about it back in January and still waiting to see it…it looks like an awesome movie, and generally all of kevin smith’s movies are pretty awesome

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