April 13, 2013— -- The online campaign to crowd-source funding for a "Veronica Mars" film drew the most backers in Kickstarter's history and raised more than $5.7 million to finance a movie based on the hit TV series.
"With six hours to spare, we shattered the last record we were aiming for, passing 87,143 to become the Kickstarter with the all-time highest number of backers," the series creator Rob Thomas wrote on the campaign page.
"One minute left. i love you all. for real. thank you. now lets do this. #Veronicamarsmoviehistory," the television show's star," Kristen Bell tweeted Friday night before the campaign lapsed.
When the fundraising campaign closed Friday, it had drawn 91,585 backers and reaped $5,702,153. It was the fastest project to reach both $1 million and $2 million on the crowd funding website and was also the all-time highest-funded project in the site's film category, and the third highest-funded project on Kickstarter to date.
The television series "Veronica Mars" debuted in September 2004, featuring Bell as a butt-kicking teen detective, who helped solve mysteries in the fictional California town of Neptune.
"The average pledge on Kickstarter is $71," Thomas wrote when he launched the page on March 13. "Hell, if we could get 30,000 people to give the average donation, we could finance the movie, particularly if the cast and I were willing to work cheap. The most common donation amount on Kickstarter is $25. Surely, 80,000 of our three million viewers would find that price-point viable!"
At 5:55 p.m. (PST) that day, with 31,685 Kickstarter donors contributing, the campaign hit the $2 million mark.
The film is slated for a 2014 release.
Kickstarter creators offer rewards as incentives to donors for pledging to their projects, according to the crowd-funding site. A Kickstarter project will not receive any of the funds it raises by the deadline if the entire project goal is not met.
The "Veronica Mars" movie project offered a number of different rewards for individuals willing to donate at different price points, ranging from $1 to $10,000.
Backers who pledged between $1 and $10 were promised exclusive updates surrounding the project, while those who gave $100 to $150 would receive a digital copy of the movie following its theatrical release, along with a tee shirt, and a PDF of the shooting script.
Those who were willing to drop $1,000 to $5,000 would receive two tickets to the film's premiere in Los Angeles plus two tickets to the after-party with the movie's cast and creators, as well as a signed movie poster, Blu-Ray/DVD combination pack, a digital version of the movie, a T-shirt and a PDF of the shooting script.
The success of the "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter has spurned other actors with fan followings to take to the crowd-funding site to get proposed projects financed.
Melissa Joan Hart, star of ABC Family's "Melissa and Joey" launched a campaign April 11 to raise $2 million for her film, "Darci's Walk of Shame."
"For those of you out there that still love and adore Sabrina, Clarissa and my new show Melissa & Joey, I promise that this comedy will deliver the laughs and silliness that you have come to know and expect from me and my taste in projects," she wrote.
"I know it seems like a leap of faith but I am asking you to do what Hollywood won't, and that is to take a chance on me as the lead of a romantic comedy film," she wrote.
Hart has raised more than $13,000 for the project to date.