In a year the box office has been dominated by comic book adapations -- including massive receipts for Joker and Captain Marvel and a record-shattering performance by Avengers: Endgame -- there is one record that Endgame will not take home at the end of the year -- thanks in part to a couple of stoners from New Jersey. And it may seem like a technicality, but we have a strong feeling that Jay would proclaim "Come, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod!" if he realized that Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is one of two movies already this year that has managed to earn a higher opening-week average per screen than Endgame did.
That that means is exactly what it sounds like: Jay & Silent Bob Reboot earned just over $1 million during its Fathom Events screenings last week, but that made for an average of $95,000 per screen, the highest per-theater average of any film in 2019. Coming in second was the July release of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, which averaged $89,000 per screen, and after that was last weekend's limited release Jojo Rabbit, with $69,911.
This is hardly a new thing: back in 2013, we pointed out that Before Midnight, the third film in a decades-long series by indie auteur Richard Linklater, had basically doubled the per screen average of that weekend's big blockbuster, Furious 6. And while it seems like a pretty useless metric for most people to measure success by, the per-screen average has some pretty obvious applications for movies with a limited release, since it measures how effectively the studio and exhibitors gauged audience interest.
Funny enough, if we are going to be comparing Jay & Silent Bob Reboot to Avengers: Endgame, it's fun to look at what Kevin Smith himself had to say about that comparison (kind of) during a recent interview with ComicBook.com.
"I know I ain't going to catch as many people as we caught with Strike Back by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that the fish we do catch are going to be fucking fat, like ones that are just like, 'Oh, my God, this is for me,'" Smith said of his Easter egg-filled love letter to his own movies and fans. "It's dialed into them. For some cats, it'll be their favorite movie of the year, even though we came out in a year with Avengers: Endgame, so we know that's impossible. But they're more emotionally tied to this, so they're like, 'This is my Endgame.' And I get it. I, personally, am more of an Endgame guy, but still, I get it."
In addition to Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, and a dozen or so other View Askew veterans, the film is jam-packed full of Hollywood stars including David Dastmalchian, Jason Lee, Joe Manganiello, Craig Robinson, Justin Long, Shannon Elizabeth, Fred Armisen, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris Hemsworth, Method Man, Redman, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Brian Quinn, and Tommy Chong.
Jay & Silent Bob Reboot was featured at a pair of Fathom Events special screenings around the country on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, and will now head out on a "Reboot Roadshow," in which Smith screens the movie to audiences personally, followed by a Q&A after the fact. A wider theatrical release will come later.