At a press conference for “Django Unchained” last month, Quentin Tarantino said, “I always wanted to do a movie that deals with America’s horrific past with slavery, but the way I wanted to deal with it, is as opposed to doing a straight historical movie with a capital H, I actually thought I could do better if it was wrapped up in genre.”
Tarantino knew even for him, the king of risky movies, that “Django Unchained” might be a hard sell. Later on in the press conference he said, “When you talk about this (slavery), you always seem to have to go down the dirt road of talking about the horrible time of that past, and that’s fair enough because it is,” he said. “But the hope was if you leave your house and go to a movie theater to sit and pay a ticket, you’re going to ultimately have a great time at the movie, and and so far so good.”
So far it’s paid off for Tarantino and the Weinstein Company big time at the box office. Since its release on Christmas Day, “Django Unchained” has grossed nearly $128 million at the box office domestically, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. With a box office take of $11 million this weekend, it came in fourth.
According to a release sent out by The Weinstein Company this morning, “Django Unchained” is Tarantino’s most successful film to date. His previous record was set by “Inglourious Basterds,” which grossed $120.5 million in the U.S.
The five Oscar nominations for the film, including for best film and original script, along with Golden Globe wins last weekend for Tarantino’s screenplay and for Christoph Walz (also nominated for an Oscar) will boost box office even more in the weeks to come.
It’s interesting that the horrific scenes of whipping and the ubiquitous use of the “N” word in “Django Unchained” have not generated nearly as much controversy as the torture scenes in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.”
“Django” has not even been released abroad yet (it opens in many countries this weekend).
There’s more ka-ching for the director in the release of a comic book series based on the film’s original screenplay. Tarantino wrote the screenplay as though it were a book, and it has been adapted by DC Comics.
During the press conference last month, the first issue of the “Django Unchained” comic book was passed around. “We keep the entire script in the comic book,” Tarantino said, ” so some of the sequences and the big chapters that we dropped — we didn’t even bother shooting them because we didn’t want a four-hour movie — are in the comic book. And I gotta say, I’m as excited about the comic book as I am about the movie.”
The first comic book is already available online. Future comic books in the series can be pre-ordered. This could be a cottage industry for the bad-boy film maker.
Tarantino discusses the “Django Unchained” comic book: