Comedy Impact Report 2011: Standup Guys
Within the typically anemic format of standup-comedy docs, Kevin Hart’s “Laugh at My Pain” was a veritable smash at the B.O. this year, raking in nearly $8 million (more than double Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 “Comedian”). After Hart’s sold-out arena tour grossed $15 million nationwide, he partnered with Codeblack Entertainment to finance the bigscreen docu. “We invested $750,000, opening in 90 theaters,” says Hart, who credits his 6 million fans on Twitter and Facebook for the success. “Social media made me realize I can own, produce and promote my own product and cut out the middleman,” he says.
With six more films in the works, Hart is also growing his digital footprint, updating his “Little Jumpman” app and mulling a book: “I want to be Kevin Hart the brand, the businessman, the CEO of Hartbeat Prods.” The funnyman, who describes himself as a 5-foot-5-inch sex symbol, has one phobia: “The Oscars. That might be the scariest job,” he says. “I’d say something crazy … it would be bad.”