So what lucky buyer snagged the rights to Kevin Smith's Red State? Kevin Smith.
Kevin Smith's RED STATE had its world premiere last night at Sundance (our review will be up this afternoon) and, as promised, Smith held an auction at the end of the screening for distribution rights to his film. But unlike as promised, Smith awarded billing rights to himself for $20 and has created SModcast Pictures to distribute the film himself.
Just last week, RED STATE producer Jon Gordon answered a flat, "No," when asked if self-distribution was an option but that seems to have been a ruse in a larger, William Castle-esque stunt that now has Smith embarking on a spring roadshow across the US with his film. No other bids for the film were entertained at the supposed "live auction" and instead Smith addressed the crowd and announced his month-long tour. Whether or not there would have been actual bids from interested distributors remains unclear as it never approached that point (at least publicly). But to have a 13-stop tour ready to announce would certainly indicate some amount of premeditation on the part of Smith and Gordon and that the live-auction was just an attempt to garner some pre-release publciity.
Early word on RED STATE was mixed, at best, with Todd McCarthy of calling it a "clever" and "subversive little comic horror film" but others, like HitFix's Drew McWeeny calling it "a failure on almost every level." You can find out for yourself on Smith's tour at these stops:March 5th – Radio City Music Hall
March 6th – Wilbur Theater in Boston
March 8th – Harris Theater in Chicago
March 9th – State Theater in Minneapolis
March 10th – Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
March 11th – Indianapolis, IN
March 12th - Midland Theater, Kansas City
March 14th – Springfield, OH
March 22nd – Paramount Theater, Denver
March 26th - McCalister theater, New Orleans
March 28th – Paramount Theater, Austin
March 29th – Cobb Energy Center, Atlanta
April 4th – McCaw Hall in Seattle
Would you pay $50-$60 to see RED STATE and hear a Kevin Smith Q&A? Was his Sundance schtick a clever piece of marketing or an old-fashioned sham?
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