Harvey Weinstein pulled Good Will Hunting out of cinemas early so that Robin Williams would receive less money, Kevin Smith has claimed.
Smith, who served as co-executive producer, approached the subject in his new book Kevin’s Smith’s Secret Stash, saying that Weinstein, who produced the film, had it removed from cinemas in order to cap its profit.
Allegedly Williams’ deal stipulated that if the film grossed over $100million at the box office, he would receive a greater percentage of the film’s gross, which would be split with Weinstein’s production company Miramax.
“They pulled that movie out of theatres while it was still earning at the time,” he explained to The Daily Beast.
“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—and it was great, because instantly by putting Robin in the movie their pre-sales paid for the whole fucking film.”
He continued: “I remember the day when Good Will Hunting was leaving theatres 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 they did it because keeping it in theatres meant that more of the money would go to Robin, whereas the moment it went to video the split wasn’t Robin-heavy. It was hamstrung because greed.”
Good Will Hunting made $225million worldwide after being made on a budget of just $10million. It would go on to earn nine Academy Award nominations, with Williams taking home the prize for Best Supporting Actor.