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One of Hollywood’s most controversial directors has spoken out again. His newest target? None other than Disney itself. Quentin Tarantino is apparently rather angry with Disney’s theatrical team, as the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is getting in the way of his new film, The Hateful Eight. Specifically, Tarantino is unable to secure the ability to screen his film in LA’s famous Cinerama Dome. On a recent appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius Radio Show Tarantino bluntly described his frustration.
It was real bad news and it fucking pissed me off. They are going out of their way to fuck me.
Jeez, tell us how you really feel Quentin. This seems like a bit of an extreme reaction to the nature of the movie business, although Tarantino’s anger stems from a history with both the theater, and Disney.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens just had its premiere at the famous Chinese Theater. Traditionally, films could only occupy either the Chinese Theater or The Cinerama Dome exclusively. This apparently is no longer the case, as The Force Awakens is apparently occupying both theaters for its wide release December 18th.
As we know, Quentin Tarantino feels very strongly about how The Hateful Eight should be viewed. He has encouraged theaters to upgrade their equipment to accommodate the 70MM presentation of his film. Later in his Howard Stern interview, he maintains that he essentially filmed this way so it could be seen in The Cinerama Dome, which already HAS the 70MM equipment. Now, Tarantino said that the theater is pushing aside The Hateful Eight so they can have more showings of The Force Awakens; apparently informing him of this change as recently as Monday.
Quentin Tarantino also apparently feels a sort of betrayal by Disney itself, as a few of his movies, including both Kill Bill films, were owned by the company during their release. He states that he made the company money, and goes so far as to label this scheduling change extortion.
There seems to be a few issues happening here. For one, it seems bizarre that there wasn’t any sort of contract or paperwork associated with The Hateful Eight’s residency in the Dome. If Quentin Tarantino had a prior relationship with the Dome, wouldn’t it be wise to have a paper trail to ensure this partnership in ink? Additionally, it seems problematic to begin with to release a movie he cares about so much soon after Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Audiences have been waiting decades for a substantial Star Wars title to be released, so the odds were probably not in The Hateful Eight’s favor as far as viewership. We just saw how The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II stayed on top of the box office for weeks, and Star Wars is certainly a more adored franchise than the Jennifer Lawrence led series. It can only be assumed that The Force Awakens will be dominating the box office just as long, if not longer, than Hunger Games did.
Overall, this seems like a big old mess. Quentin Tarantino has certainly put all of his heart and soul into his eighth film, so you do sympathize with his frustration. But the bottom line is that Star Wars is a, pardon my pun, force to be reckoned with. I definitely wouldn’t want to go against a powerhouse of that nature.