Who woulda thunk it? Releasing a sequel to Dumb and Dumber, twenty years later, has turned out to be a smart move. Dumb and Dumber To, reteaming original stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, pulled in $38 million in its opening weekend, leading all films at the box office.
The 1994 Dumb and Dumber launched the careers of the Farrelly brothers. It further confirmed that Jim Carrey – also featured that year in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask -- was a genuine comedic star. Carrey and the Farrellys have gone on to be household names, especially in households that appreciate outrageous goofiness. Far less well known are the film’s producers. But one of them is a former colleague of mine, and it’s a pleasure to salute him here.
Brad Krevoy graduated from Beverly Hills High School, then went on to study at Stanford. After passing the bar, he entered the field of entertainment law. Then, in a 1983 episode that could have been concocted by a Hollywood screenwriter, Brad attended a Stanford football game. Also in the stands that day was low-budget filmmaker Roger Corman, himself a Stanford grad. Brad had just read an article about the coming of the VCR, and how this new technology could revolutionize the film industry. He mused to Roger that the big studios would doubtless be slow to take advantage of the home viewing audience, preferring to wait until the market matured. Roger, he felt, was well equipped to ride the coming wave by quickly supplying product to fill up video store shelves. As Brad told me, “I said that to Roger on a Saturday, and Monday I was working for him. ”
Brad’s role initially was to handle Concorde’s business affairs, looking for new opportunities as well as new sources of movie funding. His hunch about video quickly paid off: “As the video business grew, we were at one point the largest supplier. We had deals with every major video distribution company in the world, to the point where we had orders in excess sometimes of 30 to 40 films a year we had to produce, because we had all these orders. It was a really extraordinary period.” (I personally remember those busy days quite well. Yes, it was extraordinary!) Though Roger sent him out on occasion to slap competitors with lawsuits, Brad had no delusions about his prowess as a litigator. But moviemaking quickly got into his blood, and the lessons he learned from the master have stayed with him ever since.
As he moved into his own producing career, as founder and CEO of the Motion Picture Corporation of America, Brad always kept in mind the Corman mantras. Such as: rather than follow a trend, it’s wise to try satisfying the needs of specialty audiences. Says Brad, “Any film that I’ve ever had that’s done big business, it was because I was trying to play the niches.” He cites Dumb and Dumber as such a broad, silly comedy that no established studio would dare to make it. Roger taught him that “you really don’t have to be the biggest or the best on the block. Do the best you can . . . if you’re going to do a smaller film, be the best at the smaller film, and compete at your own level, that you’re comfortable with.”
Brad Krevoy is now the producer of over one hundred films, including the Emmy-nominated Iraq War teledrama, Taking Chance and the upcoming holiday romance, A Royal Christmas. All hail to yet another Cormanite who didn’t take dumb for an answer.