Will ‘Kick-Ass’ be a ‘Fight Club’-style knockout on home video?

Aug. 03, 2010 | 11:19 p.m.
Matthew Vaughn Aaron Johnson Chloe Moertz on set KickAss

Even over the phone — and across the Atlantic — you could hear the slump in Matthew Vaughn’s shoulders when he talked about the theatrical run of “Kick-Ass.

“It was disappointing to see that ‘Kick-Ass’ didn’t do the kind of box office we hoped for,” said Vaughn, who was director, producer and co-writer of the April release that pulled in $96 million worldwide, a number that felt like a letdown after so many industry observers had circled the film as a sensation-in-waiting. “Challenge and opportunity always go hand-in-hand, don’t they?”

Kick-Ass John Romita Jr Marvel

As he spoke, Vaughn was fresh from the set of “X-Men: First Class” in London, where he is immersed in his first big-budget studio production. That gives the 39-year-old filmmaker plenty of reason to look ahead instead of backward, but “Kick-Ass” has just arrived in stores on DVD and Blu-ray and he would love to see the movie become a home-video success story.

“Sure, I hope there’s a groundswell now, but will that happen? It’s hard to predict.” Vaughn, who was producer of Guy Ritchie’s British crime film Snatch,” said he takes encouragement from the words of Brad Pitt.

“Brad said to me about ‘Fight Club,’ ‘We only made like $30 million [domestically] in box office but the movie became a whole other thing on DVD and it’s been popular for years and reached a far larger audience.’ ”

The legacy of “Kick-Ass” will be interesting to track. It might follow in the bloodied footsteps of “Fight Club” or it might fade to a different level of cult popularity like, say, “Darkman,” the audacious 1990 Sam Raimi superhero film that has a certain following in the fanboy constituency but no traction at all in the wider popular memory.

I’d predict the film will echo and grow louder as it does so. The main reason is Chloe Moretz, who stole the film with her salty flair and a truly precocious performance that was by turns heartfelt and startling.

Matthew Vaughn on set of KickAss

Vaughn also took so many chances with the film that it will age far better than the cookie-cutter cinema that gets churned out these days. It sounds like the director already knows that: “No one was cold on the film. There was a lot of strong reaction. Some people thought it was just fantastic. Other people thought it was a diabolical travesty of a film. I can be proud of both reactions, in a way.”

Now the real question is how the “Kick-Ass” experience — both good and bad — will inform Vaughn’s decisions with “X-Men: First Class.” Will it prod the film toward edginess or tug the bold filmmaker back toward the middle?

— Geoff Boucher


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Adam West, back in the Batmobile

The view from Edward Norton’s brain in “Fight Club”

VIDEO: “Kick-Ass” cast at Hero Complex screening

Bryan Singer discusses his return to ‘X-Men’

PHOTOS: Top, Matthew Vaughn with Aaron Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz on set of “Kick-Ass.” (Dan Smith / Lionsgate). Second, John Romita Jr.’s art from pages of “Kick-Ass” (Marvel). Third, Matthew Vaughn on the set of “Kick-Ass” (Dan Smith / Lionsgate)

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9 Responses to Will ‘Kick-Ass’ be a ‘Fight Club’-style knockout on home video?

  1. John Zee says:

    Crap is crap. The movie was poorly adapted from a poorly written comic book that catered to a very particular part of a very particular group. The majority of the actors in the movie were either young untalented wannabe actors that had either had the luck to have a "John Thomas" that a female director happened to have a hankering for, or the good luck to have a relatively small role in a super bad movie, or actors that used to be somebody, but now are far better remembered for stuff they did five years ago. Or poor Mark Strong struggling on camera with lines of dialogue that would have given you a C- in screenplay writing class, but only if you were screwing the teacher…
    Matthew Vaughn should be thanking the gods that Kick Ass made $96 million in its theatrical release.
    Heck, he's should be thanking the gods that Kick Ass wasn't the movie historically known as the movie that made Hollywood in its entirety wash its hands completely of the whole comic book geekboy catering dance they've been doing for the last decade…
    But you know I can't wait for the article that will be published somewhere a couple of months from now with the title "Ten Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories Why the Movie Kick Ass did not kick ass in DVD Sales."
    Because crap is crap, and no amount of hype will turn crap into diamonds…

  2. Mr Celery says:

    I think it will get a certain amount of attention now that its been released on bluray. I for one am planning on buying it, not for the story, as like John Zee said Mark Strong and the whole mafia acting was all wrong and made me cringe. However, I will buy it for the way it conveys that feeling of intense fear. The director and Aaron Johnson did a pretty good job with it, the idea and portrayal of somebody with no experience going into a situation that could get them killed is enthralling to watch.
    Your heart starts to pound, your throat becomes tight and your hands tremble slightly and your vision shakes, as your mind races to work out the best move to make and what could happen if you don't make it… I went to the cinema twice just for that, and im definately going to see it many more times.
    But the problem is you need to be alone, its harder to focus on that when you have friends around and feel comfortable.
    But in no way would I buy this for the storyline. The action bits kicked ass, but the storyline sucked it.

  3. Mike says:

    I never heard of the comic book or the movie, but I happened to see it today in the new releases section so I picked it up and was totally surprised. Fun movie that extends beyond the normal comic-book genre. Totally worth a rental.

  4. Scorsese fan says:


  5. jake says:

    Yes, what could be more entertaining than watching an 11-year-old girl call people the c-word and get brutally beat up during the climactic battle?
    Everyone involved in this film should be brought up on child abuse charges.

  6. Anthony says:

    Wow sounds like John Zee's opinion is deep and personal. I actually thought the movie was great, no the story is not top of the line like The Dark Knight, but who cares? this movie was full of action, the actors were great, and the storyline was very entertaining. The film had a little bit of everything, it was violent, lots of cool action scenes, funny at times (loved big daddy's voice, kinda making fun of dark knight), Hit Girl was just amazing! If you're a fan of comic book movies, you will enjoy this one very much.

  7. elamphere says:

    Hit Girl is my hero! I am a 48 year old woman who loved Kick Ass. It was the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. In fact, it's my favorite movie of the year, thus far. Sure, The Secret in Their Eyes was very good, but was it fun?
    Chloe Moretz was great (as she was in 500 Days of Summer). After seeing her in this, I'm looking forward to seeing her in the remake of Let the Right One In.

  8. webslinger48 says:

    Goddamn ironic comic movie. It's a parody! It's a homage! It's…mediocre! What's that sound? Oh yeah…the death knell for superhero flicks.

  9. BarnabasCrowe says:

    This movie sucked and sucked hard. Hit Girl and Big Daddy were the only redeeming features in the whole movie and unfortunately? They only have a small part. Aaron Johnson is boring. At the end? I was actually rooting for the gangsters to kill off Kick Ass – would have made a much better ending to an over the top and obnoxious film.

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