After Cannes there was all this talk about whether or not people would go for Inglourious Basterds. It was too talky, or it played too loose with history. Many of the Cannes critics hated the film, and there were many whispers that this film, which was meant to be a saving throw for the struggling Weinstein Company, would actually sink the distributor.
Well, if the Weinsteins collapse they can’t blame Quentin Tarantino. As of this weekend Basterds has become the highest grossing QT movie ever, beating Pulp Fiction. Sure, 108 million dollars isn’t that much money in a world where Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen handily makes quadruple that, but I’m just glad to see a good movie doing well.
A press release from the Weinstein Company syas that the film’s success comes partially from an ‘innovative’ Twitter campaign. I sort of feel like that’s bullshit, but I’m having a hard time nailing down why Basterds did well beyond ‘It’s really fucking good.’ And that can’t simply be the case, since we all know that quality has little to no bearing on box office. So why the ‘big’ numbers?
I think a big part of it is that the movie has a HUGE ending. It’s the sort of film that sends you out of theaters buzzing, and that’s a big deal when it comes to word of mouth. Another thing is that people understand what QT is delivering now, and the long, talky bits of suspense come as a shock to very few people. That means instead of audiences getting antsy as Hans Landa orders a milk, they’re totally in to it.
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