1993’s Dazed and Confused has gone on to become a huge cult classic in the years since its release but, as it turns out, the director of the film released hasn’t reaped any of the benefits of that subsequent success.
Richard Linklater helmed Dazed and Confused and it was his second film following his Sundance hit, Slacker. While the movie wasn’t enormously successful upon its release, it has achieved sizable cult status over the years but that doesn’t mean that Linklater has experienced a financial windfall. During a chat with The Daily Beast, the director revealed that he does not make any money from Dazed and Confused. The director said that the combination of Universal Pictures and Hollywood accounting is the reason he hasn’t seen a dime from the cult-classic comedy. Also interesting, even though he picked all of the songs for the film’s now-iconic soundtrack, he didn’t collect any earnings from that either. Dazed and Confused would go on to become a hit on home video and even though he has some frustration about not earning what he feels may be owed to him, he’s grateful for making movies today:
“Yeah, and it’s like… where’s my money? How come a movie that cost less than $7 million has $12 million in interest against it?… Ask Universal! [Sigh] Hollywood accounting. I remember really asking for a piece of the soundtrack, because I picked all the songs, and they were like, oh no… First film, you know? N.W.A is still pissed off about that first contract. Everybody has that first story of getting screwed with their first project. That film was an indie success. It made more than it cost theatrically, and over the years it’s been everywhere…[In home video] At least about 30 or so! I don’t know. That’s such a cliché to bitch about. But I did go through the Hollywood experience. Here I complain but they did green-light the film, and they wouldn’t green-light the film today. Cast of unknowns? Period film when not much happens, riding around? One film out of Sundance? I don’t think there’s a pitch for that movie today, so I sit here very, very blessed that I came along at a time when studios were going, hey, we’ll make this and this and then throw some chump change over to these guys. I’m still grateful I got the film made, and got it made the way I wanted it to.”
Dazed and Confused is a coming-of-age comedy that features a pretty stacked ensemble cast that was on their way to becoming big stars. Appearing in the film are Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, Milla Jovovich, Jason London, Cole Hauser, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Nicky Katt, Joey Lauren Adams, and Rory Cochrane. The movie centers on different groups of Texas teenagers during the last day of school in 1976. The film was a critical success, holding a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes but it was a commercial failure at the time of its release, grossing a mere $7.9 million. Despite the lackluster box office, Dazed and Confused went on to enjoy an immense cult status that still endures today.
What are YOUR thoughts on Richard Linklater not making any money from Dazed and Confused?