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This past summer, Quentin Tarantino delivered his ninth film (and, if he sticks to his plan, the penultimate too, since the Kill Bill duology counts as one) to the masses, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which mixed fact with fiction in its depiction of 1969 Los Angeles. The director has had a good track record when it comes to critical reaction to his movies, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is no exception, but it’s also been questioned if it could become Tarantino’s biggest commercial success.
It’s been a little over two months since Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hit theaters, and as of this writing, the movie has collected $356.9 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo. $138.4 million of that haul comes from domestic screenings, with the remaining $218.4 million showing that the flick has performed solidly in international territories.
So as things stand now, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ranks as Quentin Tarantino’s second most commercially successful movie, trailing behind 2012’s Django Unchained. It ended its theatrical run with $425.4 million worldwide, with a similar spilt between the domestic and international runs as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s.
Now, with a $68.5 million difference between Django Unchained and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s grosses, you’d logically assume it’s unlikely the latter will outpace the former given that its theatrical run is almost over. However, there is one important factor to consider: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood still hasn’t come out in China, a market that’s grown increasingly important in the movie business, but it will on October 25.
This makes it the first Quentin Tarantino movie to get a proper release, according to THR, which is do doubt due to the Beijing-based Bona Film Group being among Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s backers. It also helps that compared to Tarantino’s past movies, this latest one is lighter on the graphic violence. So the chances of its Chinese theatrical release being cut short, which is what happened with Django Unchained, diminish. Leonardo DiCaprio also apparently has a huge following in China, which could result in a lot of moviegoers there coming in droves to check out Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
All this being said, while Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has received a lot of positive reception (though it’s not without controversy) and is already being lined up as an awards contender, it isn’t a gigantic Hollywood blockbuster, the kind that are most likely to perform gangbusters in China. So while more money will be added to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s coffers and its time in China could push it past $400 million, the chances of this release resulting in the movie overtaking Django Unchained don’t look incredibly strong.
Plus, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s time in Chinese theaters will also overlap with the release of Gemini Man, starring Will Smith, who still carries that worldwide movie star status. So it’s possible that Gemini Man might interfere with how many folks go to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
But hey, there’s still a chance that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which might get the miniseries treatment, could have an unprecedented performance in Hollywood. That, combined with the stragglers checking out Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in its last weeks in theaters stateside could be just enough to make it Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing movie. If that happens, you can be sure we’ll let you know.
Whether you’ve already seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood or still haven’t had the chance to, be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of the movie. For those of you who didn’t/are unable to catch it in theaters, it’s likely it will be released on home media before the year is over, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for those release dates.
For now, you can learn what’s hitting the big screen for the rest of the year in our 2019 release schedule.