Friday, on the subject of “Clerks II” the Hollywood Report wrote “Bowing in 2,150 theaters, the R-rated film is likely to open in the $10 million range.”
The other main industry trade, Variety, wrote that we did “$11 million for ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ on its first weekend in 2001. ‘Clerks II’ bow will likely be close to that.”
Today, at the close of our debut weekend, the word is as follows…
Reuters writes “Kevin Smith’s ‘Clerks II’ was No. 6 with $9.6 million, broadly in line with expectations.”
USA Today writes “Among the other newcomers, ‘Clerks II’ did a respectable $9.6 million for sixth…”
Box Office Guru says “Fans showed support for Kevin Smith whose comedy sequel ‘Clerks II’ debuted in sixth place with an estimated $9.6M from 2,150 theaters. Averaging a good $4,477 per site”
Len Klady at Movie City News writes “Additionally, ‘Clerks II’ ranked sixth with a passable $9.8 million”
And Variety writes that we “debuted with a lukewarm $9.6 million”
“In line with expectations.” “Respectable.” “Good.” “Passable.” “Lukewarm.” Not exactly enthusiastic buzzwords – more like the way any woman who’s ever been goodly enough to sleep with me has reviewed my cocksmanship.
I’m not gonna try to spin it for you: we’d have liked to have opened better, naturally.
And yet, I’m happy.
Let’s get the business stuff out of the way first…
Once again, in what’s been termed by some box office analysts as the “Star Trek”-Effect, we saw good Friday numbers dip on Saturday. Essentially, the hardest of hardcore fans show up in full-force on opening day, inflating the returns slightly, leaving Saturday to drop rather than enjoy the standard jump most flicks enjoy on the same day. So while it would’ve been nice to have done our best opening weekend ever with “Clerks II” (that 11 million “Strike Back” bar didn’t seem all that high to reach on Friday night), alas, it’s number six for us.
I can’t find anything to complain about; I mean, we nearly doubled our budget in the opening weekend. And while there were marketing costs (prints and advertising) beyond the negative cost ($5mil production budget) , they were pretty modest (indeed, we spent far less opening “Clerks II” than we did to open “Strike Back”). The flick should manage to get to $20 – $25mil theatrically, and eke out a minor theatrical profit, leaving all the DVD loot as total windfall.
In essence, we took the “Strike Back” paradigm, plugged in different, lower numbers, and are seeing pretty much the same results. But since “Strike Back” was a pretty profitable endeavor when all was said and done, “Clerks II” will be even moreso (a twenty million dollar budget vs. the five million dollar budget). Financially, it’ll be a winner for all involved.
But box office is a fleeting, opening weekend concern (which, yes, is easy to say when your box office isn’t big-tittied). What has been the non-financial upside of “Clerks II”?
- I was able to close down the Askewniverse more fittingly than I felt we did with “Strike Back”. It started with “Clerks” and now it ends with “Clerks II”.
- Not only did the flick get invited to the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, it got an eight minute standing ovation. (I know I keep harping on this, but it was one of the ten best moments of my professional career, so let me enjoy it; it’ll never happen again.)
- I was able to work side-by-side with lots of friends and family, and added a few new keepers to the mix (Rosario and Trevor) in the process.
- I got to make the exact flick I wanted to make, resulting in my fave of the bunch.
Was “Clerks II” worth the effort? Fuck yes. We made a flick that a lot of folks love (myself included) and thanks to our low budget approach, before the year is out, it’ll earn strong profits. So while we can’t boast box office bragging rights this weekend (then again, aside from “Monster House”, what newcomer can?), we’re not sitting here with shotguns in our mouths either. And in this wacky business, that’s about the best one can ever hope for, really.
Thanks, all, who checked the flick out already. Thanks to all who may check it out in the future.