Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood arrived on tracking this morning and projections are in the $30M range, maybe even $25M. Some distrib folks had wild projections for this, like $50M-plus, but this movie at 2 hours and 39 minutes doesn’t have the fast pace of the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s Inglourious Basterds ($38M) or Django Unchained ($30.1M 3-day, $63.4M 6-day). That said, it’s faster than The Hateful Eight.
Also, we understand in tracking, the unaided and awareness columns are lower but they have a solid choice number. That said, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood looks better with older audiences. It’s still early, so all of this could build.
Also, the Leonardo DiCaprio-Brad Pitt-Margot Robbie is sitting in the wake of Disney’s The Lion King on July 26 and if that live-action remake posts a record July weekend north of $169M, it’s bound to top the box office in weekend 2. Also, Universal has their Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw on Aug. 2.
The one upside for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is that it’s an original tentpole in the summer marketplace, and when Sony has a great one like Don’t Breathe or Baby Driver, they can certainly leg out. Sony got a jump start on the critical reaction to the Tarantino pic out of its Cannes Film Festival world premiere where 65 reviewers gave it a 92% fresh to date. In addition for Sony, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is their early start to the awards season race. The production cost for Tarantino’s love letter to his 1969 childhood is an estimated $90M before P&A.