If it's crap ... We'll tell you
People laughed at Kevin Smith when he said he was going to tour his small budget horror thriller 'Red State' around without a major distributor or marketing department. Shot for only 4 million dollars, the film has gone on to screen in only 15 theaters nationwide and has already made back nearly ¼th of it's money during Smith's "promotional tour" consisting of a screening of the film followed by a live Q&A. Backed by Smith's legion of fans and bolstered by self-promotion on his incredibly popular podcasts like Smodcast and Hollywood Babble-On, it appears that Smith's oddball little experiment may actually end up working out in his favor: Lionsgate Films has just teamed with Smith to distribute the film on DVD, Blu-ray, as well as all manner on online delivery and on-demand services.
Smith still retains theatrical rights to the film, which centers around a group of horny young teens who respond to an online ad for sex, only to be drawn into a much darker agenda by a a sinister religious fundamentalist played by Michael Parks. The film has gathered favorable reviews from it's audience, but that's to be expected when your entire audience consists of die-hard fans who would have paid any price to see your new film. Only time will tell if it will retain those complimentary reviews once it arrives in limited national release around Sept. 2nd and a possible wide release on Oct 19th.
With a major company like Lionsgate backing his post-theatrical run, it essentially means that all Smith really needs to do to consider his experiment a success is to surpass his budget and make a solid profit on his film. Although the majority of his film's earnings has come from devoted fans, it's still possible that a second life on-demand or Blu-ray could put it over the top.