This past weekend, Kick-Ass barely won the box office crown in a photo finish with How to Train Your Dragon. Since then, people have been throwing a lot of numbers around about how profitable the film will actually end up being. In the past, Millar has been quoted as saying that Vaughn raised around $70 million to make Kick-Ass. In my recent interview with him, the number he used was $40 million. On the flip side, when Lionsgate acquired Kick-Ass last summer, Variety cited speculation that the deal was worth around $45 million. A recent LATimes article stated that Lionsgate “paid $15 million for distribution rights to the independently financed film,” and “spent a little less than $30 million on advertising and prints.” Lionsgate will end up keeping half the gross, while the rest stays with movie exhibitors.
So how well exactly is Kick-Ass doing? Millar weighed in on the film’s box office performance in a statement to MTV. Hit the jump for his perspective.
According to MTV, Millar thinks the film is doing just fine. The film costs “$28 million after the U.K. tax breaks, and our U.K. and U.S. gross alone is already at $38 million as of last night.” Millar noted, “We were top Friday, Saturday and Sunday — which is amazing, considering we’re in the middle of a holiday season and up against 3-D competition with an R-rated superhero movie.”
We’re looking at a very nice profit here and word of mouth is spectacular — the reviews being among the best I’ve ever seen — and so we’re all very proud to find ourselves in this position. Positive advance reviews had some people hoping for a $25 million domestic opening. I wanted ‘Avatar’ numbers myself, but as Matthew sensibly pointed out, we were made on a Tarantino budget and should be more than happy with Tarantino numbers.
There’s a lot of insight in the Tarantino comparison. The budgets of Kick-Ass and Tarantino films are similar, and they both cater to pretty specific geek niches. While Inglorious Basterds had the benefit of Brad Pitt’s face to plaster all over its marketing materials, Kill Bill Vol. 1 only grossed $22 million on its opening weekend, a number very comparable to Kick-Ass.
I’m still not sure how this shakes out for Lionsgate, but it seems like Matthew Vaughn and Millar will do just fine. The film will be profitable, just not a monster hit as some in the online community had hoped. Unfortunately, with the box office juggernaut of Iron Man 2 rapidly approaching, it’s not looking good for a Kick-Ass sequel.
Head over to MTV to check out Millar’s full statement.