Following the abysmal U.S. box office performance of the movie Grindhouse, a double feature comprised of Robert Rodriguez' Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, the decision was made to split the movies up for international theatrical release. Eventually they dropped Planet Terror and decided to only go with Death Proof on the big screen. I suppose that the studio thought that the Quentin Tarantino name was strong enough to put bodies in the seats, so they decided to release only his movie theatrically overseas and save Planet Terror for DVD only.
I won't go into why Death Proof sucked again, but a few months ago I commented on the fact that for foreign audiences they were going to make the film even longer, and thus even more excruciatingly boring than it was as part of the double feature.
No suprise here: It bombed big time.
According to the Guardian U.K. website, in it's first full week of release Death Proof only brought in the equivalent of about $820,000. The site states that the Weinsteins (producers of the film) probably thought that having "The Fifth Film by Quentin Tarantino" as a subtitle to the main title would draw in viewers, but they were sorely mistaken.
To me this is a prime example of a studio just not "getting it." The consensus among people who'd actually turned out to see the double feature here in the U.S. was that Planet Terror was a lot of fun and that Death Proof stank. This was backed up by many instances of people actually walking out of the theater during Tarantino's incredibly boring flick.
So why then, didn't the studio follow through on it's plan to release Planet Terror as a standalone movie as well? I'll bet you a dollar that if they had released that on it's own overseas it would have made at least twice the money that Death Proof brought in.
At least they are releasing Planet Terror as a standalone movie on DVD, so you won't have to endure Death Proof, unless you want it as a sure cure for insomnia.
Planet Terror will be released on DVD on October 16th.
Source: Guardian Unlimited