By Alyssa Caverley
The sequel to the stoner cult classic "Super Troopers" has earned $18 million at the box office since it was released last Friday ー on 4/20.
Not bad for an entirely crowd-funded production 16 years removed from the original.
"I think that there was some skepticism that the fan base was still out there because it had been a little while since we shot the first one," said the actor and writer Steve Lemme in an interview with Cheddar. "So this was not only a good way of raising the money for 'Super Troopers 2,' but it also showed everybody that fans were still out there."
The movie is the second-largest crowd-funded production after "Veronica Mars." It raised more than $4.6 million on Indiegogo.
Lemme said he and his collaborators tried to keep fans engaged during the online fundraising drive by creating elaborate jokes and incentives. They threatened to leave the co-writer and star Kevin Heffernan locked in the trunk of a car until they raised a certain amount of money. Donate a dollar and they'd send you a Xerox copy of one of the stars' signature mustaches. Drop $25 million, and the creators said they'd sire a child for you.
"Nobody went for that one," Lemme said.
Lemme and Heffernan were both in the original "Super Troopers," which was released in 2002 and slowly gained a cult following that continues to this day.
"We made the film on a shoestring budget and our goal was to get it into one theater and have a movie our parents could go watch," said Heffernan. "None of that really worked out the way we planned. It was kind of a slow burn, it caught on and people passed the movie around to their friends and their brothers and their dorm-mates and it just kind of blew up from there."
Since the original, the culture around and acceptance of marijuana have changed. It's legal in some form in 29 states.
"The first one was a much more underground kind of thing and the plot of the first one was a marijuana smuggling plot and now you just can't do that anymore because, you know, certainly here in California, it's all legal," Heffernan said.
"Super Troopers 2" tells the story of disgraced Vermont Highway Patrol officers who are given another chance when they reunite with their former captain and the governor of their home state. Their assignment: take over law enforcement in a French-Canadian town transitioning to U.S. sovereignty after a recently discovered screw-up in border markings.
"We feel like we are bringing America together," said Heffernan. "We can get everyone in the same room. Red state, blue state, everyone and come and have a laugh at this movie together."
For full interview, click here.