Kevin Smith Reacts to News that ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’ Landed a Box Office Record

Thanks to Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the characters themselves did indeed strike back.

Depending on who you are, you probably love or hate Kevin Smith. The filmmaker rose to prominence in the 1990s with movies such as Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. But over the years, mainstream success has eluded Smith, who has developed a podcasting empire known as Smodcast.

Yet, some of Smith’s fan base has continued to stick by him through the years. Red State, Tusk, and Yoga Hosers are far from his most beloved films, generally speaking. But they have developed cult followings of their own, especially among existing Smith devotees.

It’s for these faithful fans Smith’s most recent film, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, feels made for. And that success has surprisingly yielded a significant box office record.

Kevin Smith on the red carpet
Kevin Smith on the red carpet | Paul Butterfield/Getty Images

Kevin Smith revived his most famous characters

With Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Smith returns to his most famous creations. A pair of stoners known for dealing drugs outside of a convenience store, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) have remained a throughline in most of the director’s films. However, even so, they’ve been absent from the big screen since 2006’s Clerks II.

A lot has changed since then. Mewes has gotten clean and sober and become a father himself. Smith, for his part, developed the aforementioned Smodcast brand and suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2018. In many ways, Jay and Silent Bob have become analogs for their portrayers. So the film feels easily among the most personal of Smith’s career.

During its theatrical release in October 2019, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot earned less than $5 million worldwide. However, as it turns out, that number is deceptively low. As he has done in the past, Smith toured the nation with the movie at live Q&A events. And unbeknownst even to him, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot shattered a box office record.

‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’ broke a box office record in 2019

In its opening weekend, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot earned just $93,520. This three-day showing, by conventional standards, is depressingly low. For comparison’s sake, the duo’s previous star vehicle — 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back — made $11 million in its theatrical debut.

However, according to a report by Forbes, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot actually performed astonishingly well, all things considered. Despite an opening that placed it in 28th place, Smith’s film earned all $93,520 from just one screen. This total — known in the industry as a film’s per-screen average — puts Jay and Silent Bob Reboot above such films as Avengers: Endgame.

Overall during its theatrical run, Smith’s latest wound up earning more than $60,000 per screen four times. That puts Smith’s film in a league of its own, as no other film in the history of cinema has done that. The movie even experienced the kind of late-run surge that rarely happens on the big screen. Granted, much of this can be chalked up to Smith’s unorthodox release strategy. But it still stands.

Kevin Smith reacts to the news about his latest film

Smith made it clear from the jump that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot was a big old love letter to the fans who’ve stood by him. The movie is by far the most jam-packed with Easter eggs, references and inside jokes of any film he’s made. And for Smith, that’s saying a lot. So it stands to reason its release would be tailored to the core audience.

Even with this in mind, Smith himself hadn’t realized just what his film had achieved. The director recently took to Twitter to respond to the Forbes story. Once again, he took the opportunity to thank the fans directly for supporting the film. But if Jay and Silent Bob Reboot can perform this well, we’re curious to see if Clerks III can top it.