In a summer season that continues to be dominated by all things Disney, the weekend box-office banter over the course of the past 24-hours has been about the Quentin Tarantino’s 9th film – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. The film debuted at the #2 spot, trailing behind Disney’s The Lion King, but with a hugely impressive $40.3 mil. This also marks Tarantino’s largest debut weekend.
From the onset of his theatrical film career with Reservoir Dogs in 1992, Tarantino instantly became a brand in and of himself, which was defined by a nuanced understanding of films, visual language, editing, dialogue and use of music. With the release of his masterpiece Pulp Fiction in 1994, Tarantino became the defining brand of 90s indie cinema. Whether it be writer/directors C.M. Talkington with Love and a .45 (1994) or Guy Ritchie with Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), the films and persona of Tarantino generated a monumental impact in and outside of the America film scene, with Tarantino becoming a mainstream cinema staple.
As the acclaimed filmmaker returned to theatres this weekend with Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood starring international movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the “surprise” of the film’s box-office hit is a bit puzzling. Since premiering in Cannes in May to rave reviews and with an all-star cast, the notion that this film was counter-programming to Disney’s The Lion King is bombastic. This is Quentin Tarantino — the filmmaker with a defined audience base that is now multi-generational. As such, the film’s weekend box-office success was not because casual viewers were just curious, or that The Lion King was sold out. It was in fact, Tarantino’s defined brand, legendary cast and ability to create original films that allowed this film to reach new box-office heights for the filmmaker.
So, as the film will surely climb its way to close to or beyond $100 million at the North American box-office, Tarantino once again reminds Hollywood that vision, risk, and imagination are never out of fashion.
The Top 5 Films at the North American Box-Office, courtesy of Box-Office Mojo are:
- The Lion King – $75, 524,000
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $40,350,000
- Spiderman: Far From Home – $12,200,000
- Toy Story 4 – $9,872,000
- Crawl – $4,000,000
Not sure whether Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood is for you? Check out our very own Jonathan Dehaan’s spoiler-free review of the film here! And if you caught the film this weekend, share your thoughts with the Nightmare on Film Street Community over on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!