Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ Debuts With $3.5 Million But ‘Stars Wars’ Does $28 Million

TWC’s frontier thriller will be in $20 million range for weekend but won’t threaten “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which passes domestic haul of “The Avengers” in 13 days

Quentin Tarantino on the set of The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight” began its national expansion with $3.5 million at the box office on Wednesday, after distributor the Weinstein Company made an 11th-hour decision to push the opening ahead two days. But it was no match for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which rolled up $28 million.

In the process, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” became the highest-grossing film domestically ever for Disney, passing in only 13 days the entire $623 million total gross of Marvel’s “The Avengers” from 2012. It added another $36 million from overseas giving it $65 million worldwide on Wednesday.

The domestic total for “The Force Awakens” is $629 million and international is $664 million, giving it a global haul of $1.29 billion.

TWC’s snowbound frontier thriller “The Hateful Eight” will be expanding from 100 theaters to 2,474 this theaters this weekend and is projected to land in the $20 million range over the five-day period. They see “The Hateful Eight” as having little chance of keeping “The Force Awakens” from setting its third straight weekend triumph at the box office.

A third straight weekend record seems within range, too. “The Force Awakens” will have to top the $68.5 million that “Avatar” put up in 2009. If it keeps half of the $149 million it brought for Disney in last weekend, J.J. Abrams space epic will do it.