Quentin Tarantino is an outspoken person, whether it’s about his views on cinema, police brutality, or how much he dislikes Spike Lee. The one thing he is most outspoken about, though, is his own movies.
Tarantino has put a lot of care into the presentation of his newest film, The Hateful Eight, offering it in a unique (for modern times, anyway) 70mm roadshow format that is only showing in select theaters. It’s understandable, then, that he might be a little bit angry when one of those select theaters backs out of showing the film.
In an interview with Howard Stern, Tarantino said that’s exactly what happened with the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, and the reason is because Disney bullied the theater into giving more screen time to Star Wars: The Force Awakens instead. According to Tarantino:
“As of yesterday, Disney came to the ArcLight people and said, ‘No, you are going to play Star Wars in the Cinerama Dome for the entire holiday season, and if you don’t, if you honor your deal with The Hateful Eight, we will not allow you to have Star Wars, the biggest movie in the world. We won’t allow you to show it at any of your ArcLight movie theaters.'”
This is not the first time Disney has been accused of strong-arming movie theaters. Some theaters in Germany refused to show Avengers: Age of Ultron over a financial dispute with Disney after the company raised its fee for showing the movie from 47.7 percent to 53 percent of ticket sales.
If what Tarantino is saying is true, it certainly does nothing to dispel the notion that Disney uses its leverage to bully movie theaters around. It’s worth noting, though, that at this time neither Disney nor ArcLight have publicly confirmed or commented on Tarantino’s allegations. It could be that the theater decided that Star Wars 7 was more of a guaranteed money-maker. After all, while The Hateful Eight has received positive early reviews and Tarantino is certainly a big name director, Star Wars 7 is… well, Star Wars.
Either way, with as limited as the viewing options are for the 70mm presentation of The Hateful Eight, and as bountiful as the viewing options are for Star Wars 7, this development is a definite loss for Tarantino and his fans. Unless ArcLight reverse their decision, it looks like fans in the L.A. area will have to go elsewhere to see The Hateful Eight in all its 70mm glory.
The Hateful Eight opens in U.S. theaters equipped with 70mm capabilities on December 25th, 2015. It will begin a regular theatrical release on December 31, 2015.
Source: Howard Stern