Clerks: Sellout

Release Date: No Release Date at this Time

Hi, I'm Jay and this is my hetero-life-partner, Silent Bob.

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Functioning as the live-action swan song for writer-director Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse, 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back brought fans to the end of the first chapter of Kevin Smith's career. With the Clerks: The Cartoon movie, Smith extends that chapter just a bit. Rising from the ashes of the abortive ABC prime-time television series, the film will be an animated extension of Smith's first film.

Yanked from the air after only two appearances, the Clerks animated series reappeared on DVD last year to the rapture of Smith's rabid and loyal fan base. While the original six episodes can occasionally be uneven, they surely got a bum rap from reviewers, and an even, uh, bummer one from ABC. The network expected a Simpsons-type hit out of the box from the show, giving it ad time during the Superbowl, then promptly burying it and yanking it from air when it failed to become a two-showing breakout smash. The DVD does the series justice, showing where the series might have gone given some chance at life.

Assume that the film version, in addition to pointedly showing ABC what they missed out on, will be geared for a hard R rating. This presents a slight quandary in discussing the box-office possibilities of the film. Clearly, there isn't a massive fan base established for the show itself; that having been said, Smith has enough of a fan base to virtually guarantee the profitability of the film version of the TV series based on his film. Confused?

The only possible drawing card for the general public is the high likelihood of various celebrity voices being used in the film. Other than the original Clerks cast, Brian O'Halloran (Dante), Jeff Anderson (Randal), Jay (Jason Mewes), Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), and series villain Leonardo Leonardo (Alec Baldwin), there were cameos in the original six episodes from - among others - Gwyneth Paltrow, James Woods and Charles Barkley. Expect View Askew regulars Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Matt Damon, Chris Rock, Joey Lauren Adams, and other VA cast members to show up in speaking roles in the animated film.

Smith's last two films, 1999's Dogma and 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, earned $30.65 million and $29.23 million, respectively, to date, thanks in large part to Smith's loyal fans. However, there is a legitimate question whether a cartoon that has a hard R rating will have broad appeal. Typically, the audience for animated films is children, who clearly will not be in the audience for this film. While the film may find an audience, it will likely consist mostly of the hardcore Smith fans that helped his previous films to $30 million grosses. The odds of the Clerks animated film reaching, much less surpassing, those grosses are slim. (Les Winan/BOP)

Comparison films for Clerks: Sellout
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 8/24/0111.02 11.76 2765 3985.00 4090.8 30.06 32.08 2.73
Dogma 11/12/998.67 10.33 1260 6881.00 7856.3 30.65 36.52 3.54



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