Re-releasing movies right after their regular theatrical run has ended, this time with some extra footage, is quite the rage this year. Avengers: Endgame got the ball rolling back in late June, and Sony followed that up by putting fellow MCU installment Spider-Man: Far From Home back on the big screen. Now Sony is dipping back into this well again with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The latest Quentin Tarantino flick already had a lot packed into its 161-minute-long runtime, but Sony announced today that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will head back to theaters with four additional scenes that bookend the feature, adding up to 10 minutes worth of additional footage. You can catch the extended version in 1,000 theatrical venues across the United States and Canada starting this Friday, October 25.
Here’s what Adrian Smith, President of Domestic Distribution, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, had to say about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood coming back to theaters:
Audiences have shown tremendous support for this movie, and we look forward to offering them another opportunity to see the film as it’s meant to be seen – in theaters on the big screen – with more sights and sounds of the sixties from Quentin Tarantino as an added treat.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has cemented itself as a commercial hit since it first came out on July 26, ranking at 85% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and earning a B on Cinemascore. Commercially speaking, as of this writing, it’s made over $368 million worldwide, so it’ll be interesting to see how much more money is added to its coffers from this re-release.
The announcement of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s extended cut comes nearly a week after it was revealed that the movie would not be released in China as originally planned. This is reportedly due to an appeal from Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, who was not pleased with how her father was depicted in the movie, although other sources say China’s censors objected to the graphic violence.
Either way, Quentin Tarantino and the Bona Film Group, which co-funded Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, were asked to re-edit the movie for Chinese audiences, but Tarantino refused to do so. This isn’t the first time Tarantino has dealt with controversy in China with one of his movies, as Django Unchained was pulled just minutes into being shown to Chinese audiences, and the re-cut version that did screen in completion was a dud at the box office.
Speaking of Django Unchained, it still ranks as Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing movie with a $425.3 million haul. Since Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn’t playing in China, this domestic re-release could be the last chance it has of knocking Django Unchained to 2nd place. It would need to make around $58 million for that to happen.
I suspect this is one of the main reasons Sony is putting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood back in theaters, with the other being that the studio wants the Quentin Tarantino movie fresher in people’s minds as we approach awards season. With all the critical attention it’s received these last several months, it’s reasonable to assume Once Upon a Time in Hollywood could be a contender at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, especially with regard to Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s performances.
Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s theatrical cut. Keep track of what’s hitting theaters for the remainder of the year in our 2019 release schedule, and stay tuned for any updates on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood getting the miniseries treatment.