Every week, “Charts & Graphs” looks past the weekend box-office numbers to examine other lists of movies that are popular right now, as assessed by the likes of iTunes, Amazon, Box Office Mojo, and other services.
Kevin Smith’s 11th film, Tusk, comes out this weekend, and given the buzz around the movie—and its relatively small budget—it stands a good chance of being one of Smith’s bigger hits. But what are Smith’s biggest hits? I went to Box Office Mojo and looked up Smith’s record at the domestic box office. The first number is the total adjusted for inflation, the second number is the unadjusted number, and the number in the parentheses is the reported production cost of the film.
- Dogma (1999) $49,000,100/$30,652,890 (reported budget: $10 million)
- Cop Out (2010) $46,004,400/$44,875,481 ($30 mil.)
- Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) $43,320,500/$30,085,147 ($22 mil.)
- Zack And Miri Make A Porno (2008) $35,707,800/$31,457,946 ($24 mil.)
- Jersey Girl (2004) $33,161,900/$25,268,157 ($35 mil.)
- Clerks II (2006) $30,046,800/$24,148,068 ($5 mil.)
- Chasing Amy (1997) $21,345,000/$12,021,272 ($250k)
- Clerks (1994) $6,144,000/$3,151,130 ($27k)
- Mallrats (1995) $3,976,800/$2,122,561 ($6 mil.)
- Red State (2011) $1,138,900/$1,104,682 ($4 mil.)
Box Office Mojo also has Smith’s totals from the foreign box office. (The numbers in parentheses are the overseas total’s percentage of the movie’s overall take.)
- Cop Out - $10.7 (19.3%)
- Zack And Miri Make A Porno - $10.6 (25.3%)
- Jersey Girl - $10.8 (30%)
- Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back - $3.7 (11%)
- Clerks II - $2.8 (10.5%)
A few notes:
- The relative success of the universally derided Cop Out says a lot about why crappy movies get made. Here’s a film that nobody liked, and yet because it stars Bruce Willis in a crowd-pleasing genre, it made over $40 million.
- The Red State numbers are a little misleading, given that Smith self-released the film in a short roadshow run, and made it available on VOD and home video rather than distributing it widely.
- The Clerks numbers don’t tell the whole story either, given that the movie really became a phenomenon on home video.
- Ultimately though, Dogma may be the real phenomenon in the Smith filmography, given the controversy that surrounded it at the time (which led to some dithering over who was going to release it). Smith was at the peak of his popularity and relevance in 1999 after the surprise success of Chasing Amy, and he made the most of his moment, pouring all of his preoccupations into one weird movie, teeming with ideas.
- That said, my favorite Smith film—and the only one besides Clerks that I even like, if I’m being honest—remains Zack And Miri Make A Porno, which exhibits some actual craft in the storytelling, acting, and directing, and is unexpectedly sweet for a movie about a sex tape.