Dazed And Confused has been an enduring hit for Universal Pictures – but it seems that the $7m movie has continued to, er, make a loss.

Following his breakthrough movie Slacker, one of the most defining films in filmmaker Richard Linklater’s back catalogue is the cult hit Dazed And Confused, that was backed by Universal Pictures back in the early 1990s. The film was released in 1993, and Linklater has spoken before about the battles it had with the studio when making the film. It was happy to sign Linklater up for a movie, but also wary of really giving him his wings. It’s telling that Linklater has barely been near a major movie studio since, with an exception or two.

As he’s revealed in a new interview with The Daily Beast, the film – which cost less than $7m to make and made over four times that on video in the US alone – has not been classed as making a profit. That it has some $12m in interest payments to the studio against it, and Linklater has made no money off the film.

He’s sanguine about it, in hindsight, commenting that it’s “such a cliché to bitch about. But I did go through the Hollywood experience. Here I complain but they did greenlight the film, and they wouldn’t green-light the film today. Cast of unknowns? Period film when not much happens, riding around? One film out of Sundance? I don’t think there’s a pitch for that movie today, so I sit here very, very blessed that I came along at a time when studios were going, hey, we’ll make this and this and then throw some chump change over to these guys”.

Even though he’s been – let’s phrase this carefully in case Universal’s lawyers are reading – ‘edged out’ of getting a share of the many millions the film clearly, er, hasn’t made, he adds “I’m still grateful I got the film made, and got it made the way I wanted it to”.

The movie is 30 years old next year. Meanwhile, Linklater is now promoting his latest movie, Apollo 10 ½: The Space Age Of Childhood.

The Daily Beast.

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