The Weinstein Company continues to change up its release plans for Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight,” which will now expand to 1,958 digital screens on Wednesday, Dec. 30 — with Tuesday night preshows — before expanding into even more theaters on Dec. 31.
“The Hateful Eight” was originally slated to open on Christmas Day in an extended 70mm Roadshow format on 100 screens before going wide on Jan. 8. On Dec. 11, the Weinstein Company announced the film would go wide on Friday, Jan. 1, but now the film will open two days early, effectively creating a five-day opening weekend.
Industry observers have noted that TWC seems to be changing its release plans on the fly and making up its distribution strategy as it goes along in response to the marketplace. Of course, the movie is also widely available on piracy websites, so time is particularly of the essence.
The limited release of the extended version of “Hateful Eight” has grossed 5.6 million at the domestic box office, and the 100 theaters that are currently showing the film in its special Roadshow 70mm format will continue to do so.
While most of those screenings have gone smoothly, some have been plagued by projection problems, and dozens of audience members have taken to social media to voice their complaints.
“To see this film open at over $56,000 per screen in an amazingly crowded holiday box office has us all incredibly excited,” said TWC’s president of distribution Erik Lomis. “While we are beyond thrilled with the limited release numbers, the demand from moviegoers to see this film has exceeded our capabilities in 70mm, so we’re greatly looking forward to bringing it to more theaters and cities and give Tarantino fans across the country the chance to experience this brilliant, intensely fun piece of filmmaking.”
Set in the years following the Civil War, “The Hateful Eight” follows a stagecoach through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff.
Losing their lead on the blizzard, the quartet seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all.