Police

Police Unions Take Credit for Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight Doing 'Poorly' at Box Office

The film, starring Samuel Jackson and Kurt Russell, wasn't expected to do as well as previous Tarantino films

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"Hateful Eight"/The Weinstein Company

The president of the New York Police Benevolent Association (PBA), Patrick Lynch, took credit for the Hateful Eight making "only" $43 million at the box office so far since its release on Christmas. The New York PBA was the first of several police unions around the country to call for a boycott of the Quentin Tarantino movie after the director appeared in an October police reform rally.

I'm a human being with a conscience," Tarantino said at that rally. "And if you believe there's murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I'm here to say I'm on the side of the murdered."

Tarantino did not call any specific police officer a murderer but Lynch called him a "cop-hater" at the time, urging a boycott. "With nearly 1 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 said while taking credit for Hateful Eight being Tarantino's lowest grossing film so far. "The law enforcement boycott of cop-hater Quentin Tarantino's movie is one demonstration of that economic power."

But, as Scott Mendelson explained in Forbes earlier this month, Hateful Eight was not expected to be a blockbuster:

Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight slowly expanded into wide release over the holiday break and this was its first true wide release weekend. The (slightly shorter) DLP version of the violent mystery/comedy/etc. played in 2,474 theaters this weekend and earned a solid $16.24 million weekend. For film nerds who have already overdosed on The Force Awakens and don't live near The Revenant, it was clearly the drug of choice this weekend. Said weekend total puts the ten-day cume for the film at $29.58m, which is about 75% of its $44m production budget.

That's not a blockbuster figure, but this was always going to play smaller than Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. The Weinstein Company hopes that the Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Friends thriller will be something of a slow earner, with potential Oscar glory in the cards as well. While well-reviewed (more or less), the Tarantino western lacks the zeitgeist y and media-friendly revenge narratives, as well as the top-lining mega movie stars that helped make his last two films into outright smash hits.

Mendelson noted Inglorious Basterds had Brad Pitt and Django Unchained had Leonardo DiCaprio. Hateful Eight had Quentin Tarantino:

Tarantino is absolutely a marquee name, but this time it was all up to him to sell the picture. Sam Jackson and Kurt Russell are media-friendly movie stars, but they aren't openers (or haven't been in a while). So the fact that this one is doing as well as it's doing is a credit to Mr. Tarantino (as well as the various police unions that turned the film's release into a national news story).

The Weinstein Company, and Tarantino, however, were hoping for Oscar nominations. It received only three, for best supporting actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), score (Ennio Morricone), and cinematography.

Police officers of course have every right to boycott anything they please off-duty, as do all Americans. It's the role of police unions in securing contracts that protect bad actors and protecting such cops that leads them to being offended by stronger calls for reforms, which would actually improve police-community relations and make policing an even safer job than its already become. 2015 was one of the safest years on record, with fatal police shootings down 14 percent from 2014.

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  1. While Quentin is obnoxious, I think the credit is more due to the movie being incredibly boring.

    1. ” credit is more due to the movie being incredibly boring'”

      Agreed.

      There were only 2 movies that i actually was excited to go see in 2015. “Black Mass” (the johnny depp-as-whitey bulger oscar-nom vehicle), and the new Tarantino. Both just draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaged on and on and on before you felt like the “story” was even getting started. I still liked H8, but it was far more like “Dead Man” than i was prepared for. I expected it to be snappier, instead it was like Cowboys Waiting for Godot

      1. Everybody gets older. Go rewatch Reservoir Dogs if you want to see Tarantino at his best.

        There’s a reason I would never go see Hateful 8 in the theater, just like I won’t go see another Peter Jackson or Stephen Spielberg or Scorcese or Fincher movie in the theater. It’s not worth it any more, they’re past their prime. I doesn’t mean they can’t still do good work, but it’s insane to expect them to be as good as they once were.

        1. Tarantino bobs his head and talks like Jay Leno.

          Anywho, he indicated on Conan O’Brien that he is going to stop directing movies soon, so his slow, painful decline will mercifully be over. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s so much decline and hit and miss. I loved Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Django Unchained. Kill Bill dragged on and on for me because it seemed to be interminable fight scenes with not enough plot. I will probably like H8, simply because it’s more dialogue. The idea of Cowboys waiting for Godot appeals to me.

          Also, I really wanted to see the super widescreen cinemascope, or whatever it’s called. I don’t know where that’s playing in Mexico, though.

      2. I only got slightly bored when the “story” did get started. I was hoping for more of a chaotic conclusion as all of these personalities clash. But I still thought the first two hours were fun, though a few scenes could have lost some repetitive dialogue.

    2. This. No one gives a damn about QT’s political views, much less his protest of cops killing kids.

      Being sadistic, preachy, and boring is no way to conclude your career when you started out with Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.

      1. The Hateful Eight is neither sadistic, preachy, nor boring. Inglorious Bastards was sadistic, but there’s no skull crushing this time around. I suppose the racism undertones in Hateful Eight might be consider preachy, but on the other hand, the black innkeeper is supposed to be racist against Mexicans, and everyone uses the word “nigger” without hesitation, so it kind of balances out.

    3. I wanted to watch it in a movie theater, but then I noticed that it was longer than 3 hours…

    4. I thought it was pretty good.

    5. I actually enjoyed the Hateful Eight immensely and believe it is Tarantino’s best work since Pulp Fiction.
      I didn’t find it slow at all. Every moment unfolds in hilarious style, from the folk-lore-esque beginnings where the stage coach picks up a new companion in the snow every few miles to the excellent monologue delivered by Samuel L. Jackson to a confederate general. Great dialogue and excellent performances, with pitch-perfect delivery, all revolving around a snapping good yarn. Can’t really ask for more. Most of Tarantino’s recent offerings seems to be overdoing the stylistic aspects, but in this case, he hits the right notes the whole time.

    6. I actually enjoyed the Hateful Eight immensely and believe it is Tarantino’s best work since Pulp Fiction.
      I didn’t find it slow at all. Every moment unfolds in hilarious style, from the folk-lore-esque beginnings where the stage coach picks up a new companion in the snow every few miles to the excellent monologue delivered by Samuel L. Jackson to a confederate general. Great dialogue and excellent performances, with pitch-perfect delivery, all revolving around a snapping good yarn. Can’t really ask for more. Most of Tarantino’s recent offerings seems to be overdoing the stylistic aspects, but in this case, he hits the right notes the whole time.

  2. Since they are boycotting a Samuel L. Jackson movie they are clearly racists.

  3. I don’t want to live in a world where Samuelelle isn’t considered a top-line mega movie star.

    1. +1 Oh, Hell No!

    2. Go watch Snakes on a Plane again and try and say that with a straight face.

      1. Get a load of Gene Shalit over here.

      1. DeNiro only wishes that he had the career of Anthony Daniels.

      2. When you appear in every movie being made, how can you not be.

  4. Recently gave Pulp Fiction another viewing since I didn’t think it was up to much and just too long and boring the first time, second viewing confirmed first impressions, have no idea why this movie gets such critical acclaim.

    Jackie Brown is excellent though, vastly superior to PF.

    1. Did you see Pulp Fiction when it first came out, or a couple years after release?

      I’ve found that most people who were “Meh” on the movie saw it several years after release and after dozens of other movies and tv shows had aped its look and feel. At that point many of the “cool” moments in the film seemed tired and cliche to people who had seen the many derivative works.

      1. At that point many of the “cool” moments in the film seemed tired and cliche to people who had seen the many derivative works.

        Which is quite funny as the one word that encapsulates his work is “homage”.

      2. I saw it when it was first released and frankly was bored, watched it over again over Christmas cause it was on the Amazon prime roster and I’m a prime member, thought maybe it was just me the first time but no, the second viewing confirmed my initial reaction had trouble making it through to the end.

        Tarantino is clearly a talented director but beneath the technical virtuosity lies the the sensibilities of an adolescent male and clearly the term “less is more” is utterly alien to him, just hasn’t a clue when to rein it in.

        1. That’s it. I’ma call a couple of hard, pipe-hittin’ niggas to go to work on you here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. You hear me talkin’ hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you by damn sight. I’ma get medieval on your ass.

        2. Tarantino’s a hack. His sole “innovation” to filmmaking was not adhering to the three-act linear narrative structure most movies are created under. His aesthetic is autistically centered on the Blaxploitation and spaghetti westerns of his youth, but he displays no substance or understanding of what made those movies so influential (the latest example is using 70mm on Hateful 8, where most of the action happens inside a cabin and thus the format ends being completely wasted).

          Even the thing that most of his fanboys say is his greatest strength, dialogue, is typically nothing more than a running series of pop-culture references (in this he’s aped by another overrated nerd, Joss Whedon, whose characters all talk like teenage girls) and juvenile ghetto-speak that doesn’t really do anything to develop his characters or advance the story.

          He has a few great moments that I will give him credit for:
          –The plot of Reservoir Dogs
          –Non-linear storytelling in RD and PF
          –The first 15 minutes of Inglorious Basterds
          –Casting Pam Grier in Jackie Brown

          But that’s it. He has intriguing ideas for stories but, like George Lucas, should be kept far away from actually seeing them to fruition because he’s so immature.

          1. I should also give him credit for casting Leonardo diCaprio in Django. Leo clearly learned a lot from Daniel Day-Lewis during the filming of Gangs of New York about how to make a villain effectively dominate the story and even evoke a touch of sympathy.

          2. ^ All true, though haven’t seen Inglorious Basterds.

            1. inglorious basterds was a whole lot better than i was expecting. pulp fiction came out when i was in high school, so of course i loved it then, but by my early 20s i was pretty damn sick of his whole obnoxious film nerd shtick. i was expecting i.b. to be somewhere between mediocre and infuriating, but it was nothing of the sort. christopher waltz is maybe the best character in any tarantino movie.

          3. I have to disagree on the dialogue. Tarantino’s dialogue isn’t about pop culture references at all. Don’t have any idea where you get that from.

            Tarantino’s dialogue style involves a lot of wit and realism. Real conversations instead of exposition.
            Think about the PF diner scene where Jackson’s character explains why he just decided to retire.

    2. Yea Jackie Brown is pretty great probally because it was an adaptation which kept Tarantino penned in and focused and because Tarantino satisfied his penchant for homage by casting Pam Grier and thus focused on making a good movie rather than shoe horning a homage into every shot.

      1. Exactly, consider the source Elmore Leonard (Rum Punch) and setting aside Jackson’s overacting it’s Pam Grier’s and Robert Forster’s terrific performances that totally carry and make that movie.

    3. I went to see Pulp Fiction between classes in university with a girl I dated on and off. Back when Montreal, like most cities I guess, still had awesome movie houses.

      I spent half the time wondering what we were gonna do afterward.

      Good movie though.

      Loved the Gimp!

    4. Alcibiades, I have exactly the opposite reaction to Pulp Fiction v Jackie Brown.

      Pulp Fiction – good fun, with the three story lines and some really nice dialogue.

      Jackie Brown – I can’t stop checking my watch.

      1. Only if long boring pointless exchanges equal great dialogue.

  5. While it’s true that policing was much safer in recent years, there was that kid at a Starbucks that refused to serve cops. Of course, the copsuckers on my facebook page call that a war on cops. Never mind that the employee was not enforcing a company policy, never mind that Starbucks fired the kid and publicly apologized, it was just more evidence that it’s pretty much the ‘Nam out there for the boys in blue.

    Serious question – when cops (or copsuckers) watch movies like A Few Good Men or Universal Soldier – do they understand that Jack Nicholson and Dolf Lundgren were playing the bad guys?

    1. SHUT UP DOLF WAS AN EXPLOITED VIETNAM VET

    2. Are you talking about the Starbucks employee who wouldn’t let the cop use the restroom without buying something first? In that case he *was* following company policy and didn’t get fired (although Starbucks still apologized, because they know there’s no profit in not kowtowing to cops).

  6. “An elephant was having a horrible time in the jungle because a horsefly kept biting near her tail and there was nothing she could do about it. It was far out of reach.

    “A sparrow saw this and killed the horsefly with its beak. “Oh, thank you!” said the elephant. “My, pleasure ma’am.” said the sparrow. “Listen, Mr. Sparrow, if there’s anything I can ever do for you, don’t hesitate to ask.”

    “The sparrow said, “Well, all my life I wondered how it would feel to [boycott] an elephant.” “Be my guest!”, said the elephant.

    “So the sparrow flew behind the elephant and started [boycotting]. In the trees above, a monkey in the tree saw this and became very excited. He started to masturbate, shaking a coconut loose and it fell from the tree, hitting the elephant on the head. “OUCH!”, said the elephant.

    “Then sparrow looked over from behind and said, “Am I hurting you, dear?””

      1. I KNEW one of you would jump on that before I could correct…

        There really are some things you can universally depend upon!

  7. The notion that even calling into question police procedures and practices is “hate” is just too ridiculous to take seriously.

    1. I will take it very seriously when some Bozo in Blue is pointing a gun at my head so close that even an Imperial Stormtrooper couldn’t miss.

  8. Damn, now I almost feel obligated to go watch it out of spite. Hell, that would be great advertising in more BLM-friendly areas.

  9. Tarantino disappeared up his own ass years ago, something he has in common with the police unions.

  10. Or maybe people don’t want to watch another overly violent movie where nothing happens.

  11. Tarantino made a couple good movies like 25 years ago. Everything’s done since Pulp Fiction has been a boring, over-extended, self-indulgent wankfest. That’s why this shitty movie bombed.

    1. That is completely wrong. Inglorious Basterds was awesome.

      1. Over-extended self-indulgent wankfest.

        1. Doesn’t matter it was still awesome. You have shameful taste.

          1. The first 15 minutes are great. The rest of it is just another redundant Tarantino revenge flick.

            1. Guess who else is redundant?

              You made this point already up thread.

              1. Need some butthurt cream?

  12. Tarantino should try directing porn. I’d like to see where he goes with that.

  13. Cops shot less than 40 unarmed black men in 2015. And they shot more whites than blacks. Around 70% of all police shootings involved someone with a weapon.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..arly-1000/

    Shockingly enough, the racist cops shoot even less Asians and other immigrants. Maybe that has to do with the fact they commit less crime and will often comply with police during stops. It’s a wild, WILD guess.

    I don’t LOVE cops. I just don’t give into fear. I don’t own guns and never will, but I don’t buy into the anti gun hysteria because mass shooters and gun accidents might unexpectedly take my life. I was stopped by cops a few times and one of them even asked me if I could speak English. But nothing came out of it. If you’re stopped by cops, the odds of you getting shot by him or her is close to zero.

    I’m against massive influx of refugees because they don’t have a constitutional right to live here. And I don’t trust our government to keep track of them. I trust most American gun owners and police.

    1. I’m against massive influx of refugees because they don’t have a constitutional right to live here.

      I’m not sure anyone does, since I don’t recall the Constitution speaking to any “right to live [in the country]” at all, or having

      I mean, it’s sort of implied that citizens should have one, more by common law than anything else, but the Constitution itself? No mention I can recall.

      But a reason to be against massive influxes of refugees would be “I think they’ll have some bad effect”, not “I don’t think the Constitution says we have to let them in”, you know?

      (Much as a reason for it is not “the Constitution doesn’t say we have to keep them out”.)

      (Ironically, the only mention of immigration I can find in the Constitution is Article 1, Section 9 – “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

      Which is about “not being able to ban slavery”, more than anything else – and it suggests that the States control immigration, not the Feds. (See Reason on this very topic, last year.)

      Current law as practiced obviously disagrees, but the Constitutional basis is … less clear.)

    2. I don’t own guns and never will

      Why?

      1. If you’re not into hunting and live in a safe neighborhood, why would you own a gun? As a political statement?

        1. A+

          Had me fooled for a full 3 seconds.

    3. Cops shot less than 40 unarmed black men in 2015. And they shot more whites than blacks. Around 70% of all police shootings involved someone with a weapon.

      Since there is no good source of data about cops killing and shooting people, I see little reason to give much credence to studies like this.

  14. I never even heard of their call for a boycott.

    I just haven’t seen it because I’m lazy and don’t go to movies a lot.

    (I also think Tarantino’s overrated, but still do want to see Hateful, eventually.)

  15. Couldn’t have had anything to do when hitting the theaters about that same time as that Disney shit Star Wars movie.

  16. Patrick Lynch is a BIG ASSHOLE !!!

  17. Also, the running time is actually 2h40m (which is about the same as most action flicks these days). The time listed over 3 hours is only for the 70mm road show version which includes an overture and intermission (which more films should have – great feature).

    As for the movie itself, I’m DYING to know what movies the people slagging in Tatantino love. Yes, he’s far from perfect and self indulgent, but I’d rather watch people have actual conversations and scenes with real tension as opposed to watching another bunch of super heroes spend 2.5 hours blowing up cities with interminable CGI action sequences.

    1. Yeah, really, I think H8 is second only to ‘The Martian’ for me as far as 2015 films go. ‘Room’ was really good as well.
      Mad Max was a disappointment.

      If you want to see Cowboys Waiting for Godot, try ‘The Renevent’. Holy God was that a trudge to get through. (technically they are fur-traders, not cowboys, but close enough.)

  18. The fact that police don’t like this movie just made me want to see it *more*.

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