Quentin Tarantino’s latest film The Hateful Eight is in the midst of a box office meltdown, and one police union head claims the film’s financial failure is all due to a promised boycott from the boys in blue.
Police unions nationwide called for a boycott of The Hateful Eight late last year, after Tarantino marched in and addressed an anti-police rally in New York City, telling demonstrators there: “When I see murders, I do not stand by. I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
With the release date nearing last month, it appeared police unions had called off the boycott as the film’s premiere screenings went off without incident.
But that didn’t happen, says Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, New York City’s largest law enforcement union.
“With nearly one million law enforcement officers in this country who have families and friends who support them, the impact that police have economically on a product or project is immense,” Lynch told the New York Post. “The law enforcement boycott of cop-hater Quentin Tarantino’s movie is one demonstration of that economic power.”
The Hateful Eight did well in its limited “roadshow” release beginning Christmas Day, but quickly cratered as it expanded into theaters nationwide. The film took in just $6.3 million in its second weekend of release, down a staggering 59.6 percent from its first weekend, and now sits at just $43.5 million.
Box Office Mojo predicts the film will top out around $50 million for its domestic theatrical run. Taking into account a $50 million production budget and an additional $25 to $30 million in marketing costs, the Weinstein Co. is looking at a steep write-down on the talky, epic Western.
Even worse, the film was all but shut out of the Academy Awards on Thursday, when it garnered just three nominations—an acting nod for Jennifer Jason Leigh, a cinematography nod for Robert Richardson, and an Original Score nod for Ennio Morricone. A Best Picture nomination may have at least provided a slight bump in box office.
“Can we take full credit for this stinker’s failure?” Lynch asked the Post. “Well, one thing we can attest to is that many, many good citizens have told us that they were offended by Tarantino’s ignorant, anti-police remarks and, as a result, have refused to spend their money on this movie.”