Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are one of the oldest chums in the Hollywood industry who continued to keep their bonding strong surpassing the constant waves of criticism and whatnot scenarios. They have worked together on several projects and wrote the screenplay for the 1997 hit film, Good Will Hunting when the duo was roommates.
They not only worked on the screenplay but also starred in the film which became a classic of the decade. However, this film could have achieved much more success in commercial terms had Harvey Weinstein not pulled it out of theatres.
Robert Williams Had a Back-End Deal for Ben Affleck’s Good Will Hunting Film
Convicted s*x offender, Harvey Weinstein was once a major tycoon in the Hollywood world who had a major hand over the entertainment industry. His dominance was well evident when he pulled off the Good Will Hunting film which was still earning good in the theatres.
The film co-executive producer, Kevin Smith in his book, Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash claimed that the Miramax founder had pulled the film from screening in theatres to mess with an actor.
Robin Williams played one of the main roles in the 1997 film alongside Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Williams was a successful actor at the time who had a back-end deal with Weinstein that would have racked him huge profits.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Smith shared,
“I remember they pulled that movie out of theaters while it was still earning at the time. It was doing incredibly well, and the deal that they’d made with Robin was a high-percentage first-dollar gross—a movie-star deal.”
The deal as per him was if the film grossed over $100 million, he would get a major portion of the profits earned by the films and split that money with Miramax.
“It was great, because instantly by putting Robin in the movie their pre-sales paid for the whole f**king film. So, the movie was paid for and then the movie was making money hand over fist and made over $100 million. From what I remember, Robin’s split would be even greater and he’d get a bigger percentage if it crossed $100 million, so every dollar the movie made at the theatrical box office would have to be split.”
Though he was unsure about the exact percentage, he hinted that it would have been a 50-50 split. However, it ultimately didn’t get to him.
Harvey Weinstein Pulled Out the Film to cut off Robin Williams’ paycheck!
The author further told how it felt “weird” to him as the film was gaining much attention at the time with many considering it Oscar-worthy. Given that it could have racked more grossing than it received, it eventually got pulled out of the theatres.
“I was on the movie as a co-executive producer, so we were privy to some details, and I remember the day when Good Will Hunting was leaving theaters and it felt weird because it was like, “Wait? There’s all this Oscar buzz, so why would you pull it if it was just making money?”
And it was quite clear to everyone. Had the film kept on running in theatres, it would have given more profits to the late actor however it later on went to “video” which meant that the split would no longer give major profits to the Jumanji actor.
He concluded by sharing, “It was hamstrung because [of] greed.”
The film still was a major success as it grossed over $225 million during its theatrical run against a production budget of $10 million. Not only that, it got nine Academy Awards nominations and eventually won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay.
Good Will Hunting is available on Netflix.
Source: The Daily Beast