The Clerks director searched for executives to back his horror debut, Red State, for nearly three years, with his regular sponsors Harvey and Bob Weinstein turning down the dark script.
Smith eventually decided to make the movie independently and took a pay cut to produce it with just a $5 million (£3.3 million) budget.
But he is certain he will make the sum back when his loyal devotees flock to theatres to see the film, about a group of high school students who encounter a creepy fundamentalist pastor.
He tells Britain's Empire magazine, "Based on the audience I have, they're gonna come. Even if out of curiosity to see what a horror movie by me would look like. But since it is a horror movie, suddenly there's a bunch of people who never go to my s**t who might come to this because of that."