Kevin Smith says Harvey Weinstein stiffed him on royalties from his breakout hit Clerks for seven years after the 1994 movie's breakout success with $3.2 million.
The 49-year-old director told Variety how the producer (who's currently serving 23 years in his rape conviction) was heavy-handed in the business relationship with him.
Smith said he 'did encounter' problems getting paid his fair share from Weinstein, who 'was notorious for' stiffing people out of money he owed them.
The latest: Kevin Smith, 49, says Harvey Weinstein, 68, stiffed him on royalties from his breakout hit Clerks for seven years after the 1994 movie's breakout success with $3.2 million
Smith said he's 'still out money' from what he's owed for his work with the disgraced producer.
He went into detail about the finances involving Clerks, the indie darling that told the tale of a clerk named Dante (Brian O'Halloran) as he navigated his day through a maze of mundane situations; and introduced the characters Jay and Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Smith).
He said Weinstein 'bought 'Clerks' for $227,000 ... and the movie went out and made $3 million at the box office,' but the rewards were not swiftly reaped.
'It took seven years for us to see any profit from that movie,' he said. 'For seven years, they were like: "Nope, the movie is still not in profit." And we were like "How?" And then there were things.'
Trademark: Clerks introduced the characters Jay and Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Smith)
Comeback: Mewes and Smith revived the characters for last year's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Smith noted that the company Weinstein ran with his brother Bob, Miramax, billed Clerks on the same level as Pulp Fiction - which made $213 million worldwide - for questionable expenses at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
'We all went to Cannes,' Smith said. 'There were four movies that Miramax took to the Cannes Film Festival in 1994 - Fresh, The Picture Bride, Clerks and Pulp Fiction. Miramax didn't get Clerks in. We were in the International Critics Week section, which we actually won.'
He recalled: 'I get flown over by the festival. I was given a free hotel room from the festival. This is a long way of saying Miramax didn't have to pay for anything. There was a yacht, the Miramax yacht, it was called. That's where all the stars were. We hung out on it, hung out with Quentin [Tarantino] after he won his Palme d'Or and stuff. But that yacht wasn't for us.'
Flashback: Weinstein posed with Smith and Jason Mewes in 1997 in LA
Past due: Smith said he's 'still out money' from what he's owed for his work with the disgraced producer
Smith said that 'when the festival was over,' Miramax 'had taken the entire Cannes bill, everything they spent in Cannes, and just chopped it up into four and Clerks was charged as much as Pulp Fiction. So we all paid an equal share.'
He said that his attorney had advised him to audit the company but he replied, 'No, I can't audit people I'm in business with. That's gross.'
Smith said that his camp 'never audited [Miramax] for years until after Clerks 2,' which earned $24 million in the U.S. and another $2.8 million abroad in 2006.
'Then we audited them years later and got a bunch of money,' he said. 'If I was a better business person, I would have gone for more money. But it felt like - "Oh, there it is. That's their process. Movie math."
The New Jersey native added that 'the nature of this business is everybody wants to keep as much money as they possibly can.'
Smith said he continued to work with Weinstein 'because [he] got paid upfront for each movie' and 'got ridiculous escalating salaries' as his films performed well with home video audiences.
He said, 'Believe me, I ain’t crying poor ... upfront money was so good. I was never like, "Hey man, where’s those nickels and dimes on the back end?" And perhaps that’s why they kept making movies with me, even though my movies weren’t box-office profitable.
'Home video, they were goldmines. That’s really why they kept me around.'