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Kevin Smith: Weinstein Cut ‘Good Will Hunting’ Release Short to Screw with Robin Williams’ Deal

Smith said "Good Will Hunting's" box office run was "hamstrung because of greed."

GOOD WILL HUNTING, from left, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, 1997, ©Miramax/courtesy Everett Collection

Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting”

©Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

Kevin Smith’s new book “Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash” includes the beloved indie director claiming that Harvey Weinstein pulled “Good Will Hunting” from theaters early in order to screw with Robin Williams’ back-end deal. Smith was attached to “Good Will Hunting” as an executive producer. Williams was the movie’s big star at the time and ended up winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Speaking to The Daily Beast, Smith said the Oscar-winning drama was “still earning” money at the time when Weinstein decided to pull it.

“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,” Smith said. “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 — I’m not sure if it was a 50/50 split — with Robin Williams.”

Smith continued, “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 they did it because keeping it in theaters 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 [of] greed.”

On a $10 million production budget, “Good Will Hunting” ended up earning just over $225 million worldwide. The drama was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay thanks to the script by then-newcomers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.”

Head over to The Daily Beast’s website to read Smith’s latest interview in its entirety. The director’s book, “Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash,” is now available for purchase.

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