It’s official! Django Unchained has become the highest-grossing Quentin Tarantino film in the US, overtaking the previous haul of $120.54m set by Inglorious Basterds.
Described by many as a ‘Blaxploitation Western’, the director’s latest release has already attracted more than its fair share of controversy for its perceived lack of sensitivity over the way it handles its subject matter. Most notably Spike Lee, who directed Malcolm X, tweeted/ranted that “American slavery was not a Sergio Leone spaghetti western.”
Even a trip across the pond was far from being incident-free, as Tarantino clashed in an interview with Channel 4 anchorman Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Unsurprisingly, his appearance on The Graham Norton Show was rather more light-hearted. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity though, so whether the headlines are good or bad it’s a sure-fire way to stir some interest.
The cast of Django Unchained is surely worth the entry fee alone. Christoph Waltz, who impressed in Inglorious, is back on board and has already bagged the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Django. Then how about this for a roll-call of Hollywood big guns? Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kurt Russell are all in on the act, not forgetting long-time Tarantino collaborator Samuel L Jackson.
By last Friday the movie had taken over $129m. Whilst impressive, statisticians have projected the figures and worked out that it still has some way to go in order to eclipse the popularity of Pulp Fiction. Had the latter been released today, with ticket prices having obviously increased somewhat since 1994, it would be well over the $197m mark.
Since its initial release on Christmas Day 2012, not only has Django Unchained creamed the box-office, but it has won two Golden Globes (Waltz as already mentioned, along with Tarantino himself for Best Screenplay) and claimed five Oscar nominations. It may not quite reach the lofty heights of Pulp Fiction, but it’s giving it one hell of a go.