After debuting at South by Southwest, the Veronica Mars film hit the box office on March 14th, arriving in 179 theaters across the US. In its first three days, the Kickstarter-funded adaptation of Rob Thomas‘ cult favorite TV series picked up $2 million, good for tenth place in the weekend rankings.
$2 million may seem like a pitiful amount for such a highly-anticipated release, but it does not take into account the thousands of fans who have downloaded the film online. In addition to its release in theaters, Veronica Mars is also available via digital download, and it is currently the third-best selling film on iTunes. DVD and Blu-Ray versions, which are available on Amazon, are currently the 11th and 13th-best sellers in their respective categories.
Not included in those numbers, it would seem, are the 65,000 fans who have received digital downloads or DVDs of the film as part of their Kickstarter rewards. After the film’s release, that group was up in arms because Warner Bros forced them to download their copies through Flixster, a platform that has caused streaming issues for some. In a Kickstarter update, Thomas addressed these complaints:
“As you’ll see in the original FAQ on our Kickstarter page, we’ve always planned to include Flixster as a digital distribution platform. But I also know that many of you use iTunes, Amazon or other platforms, and would prefer to claim your digital copies on your favorite service, so we hoped we’d also be able to arrange for more options. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t possible. In the end, Flixster was the best option for getting the digital movie reward out to all of you, worldwide, at the same time.”
Though those words sound unhelpful, Thomas also encouraged fans to email Warner Bros, from whom they can receive $10 rebates or refunds for purchases made on other platforms.
The final wrinkle is the quality of the film itself; it has received good-but-not-great reviews from critics. The film’s Rotten Tomatoes page tells you everything you need to know: Veronica Mars is 75% fresh according to critics and 96% fresh according to general users who have seen it. From this consensus, the film is a fun diversion for the general public and a godsend to the devoted ‘marshmallows‘ who have waited so long for their favorite detective to return.