Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back
August 24, 2001
If you are a fan of Kevin Smith's previous movies you have been anxiously anticipating this movie for quite some time. And if the trend continues for Mr. Smith, this should be his biggest movie to date. Starring Smith and his buddy Jason Mewes, the movie features a cornucopia of stars, most notably Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The list is made up of mostly Kevin Smith veterans and friends.
Following the release of the semi-high profile Dogma, Smith presents a film solidly based on satire and which has a very tongue-in-cheek attitude. Right off the bat it stands apart from his more recent releases as it lacks the edge that his previous movies had. Another aspect that separates it from the rest of the Smith pack is the amount of advertising and buzz it carries with it going into the final days of the summer. It has generated enough buzz that the current expectations is that it will open on 2,500 screens nation-wide.
The film certainly has the fanbase to do well, and it certainly looks smart and entertaining enough to draw a crowd outside the Smith fan base. The escalating popularity of Kevin Smith can be paralleled to the rise of Adam Sandler. While the totals might differ, the fact remains that both started off small and by gaining a strong fan base through video rentals and WOM. Now what remains to be seen if this film will be Kevin Smith's Waterboy. (Walid Habboub/BOP)
Box Office Autopsy
What do you think the measure of success was for Dimension Films' Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? The movie centered around two huge stars of pop culture, Jay and Silent Bob, and also had big names like Matt Damon, Bennifer Affleck, Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, and yes, Mark Hamill. With all of this, is an $11 million start and a $30 million final gross a success? For the average film the quick answer would be no, but this is a Kevin Smith movie, so the simple answer becomes Yes.
Considering that four other films also opened on the same weekend, and the fact that they all flopped badly, indicates that the $11 million+ open for J&SBSB is not a bad start. But, if one looks at Dogma, Smith's previous film before J&SBSB, you see that the opening only increased on its predecessor by a couple of million. On top of that, Dogma opened on 1,49 fewer screens, less than half of what J&SBSB had and it still found an excellent $8.6 million. Dogma grossed $600K more than J&SBSB in the long run; this is a definite indication that something's went wrong with Smith's latest film. Another indicator of missing potential box office for Jay and Silent Bob was the internal opening weekend multiplier. When dividing the opening Friday gross by the opening weekend take, we come up with a 2.5 multiplier. This indicates that movie was extremely front-loaded (3.0 is average); after the fanbase showed up on Friday, not a lot of people were interested in seeing the film. Finally, the overall multiplier (opening weekend gross divided by final gross) was a brutal 2.73 (3.0 would be considered low), meaning the film's fortunes didn't improve whatsoever after opening weekend. What all of this means in the end is that J&SBSB failed to find what it was looking for: an audience outside of its fanbase.
The ace in the hole for Smith though is his group of famous friends. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back cost Dimension Films only $15 million bucks, and considering the talent involved, should have cost north of $50 million. So, with a budget of $15 million and a gross of $30.01 million everyone should be happy. Actually, Dimension was really happy in 2001. J&SBSB capped off a string of four hits in a row for the studio. They included Spy Kids, Scary Movie 2, The Others and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, making Dimension very quietly one of the most successful studios in 2001.
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