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by Jay A. Fernandez
December 28, 2012 5:07 PM
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Bigger Than 'Pulp Fiction'? Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' Earns $34 Million in its First 3 Days

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Django Unchained." TWC
Despite -- or, more likely, because of -- the debate raging around Quentin Tarantino's latest genre pastiche "Django Unchained," the film has opened to especially large numbers at the box office, even in its position as perverse holiday counterprogramming. The Weinstein Co., Tarantino's loyal backers, must be pleased with the critical and audience response to the super-violent Western so far -- not to mention the roiling public discussion.

READ MORE: Review: Quentin Tarantino's Wild Western Pastiche 'Django Unchained' Is Messy As Hell, But We Love Him For It

The company announced Friday that "Django," which opened Christmas Day to a record-breaking $15 million for an R-rated movie, has grossed $34 million in its first three days of release. This, despite a nearly three-hour running time. This successful start means the film has substantial momentum to carry into its first weekend in theaters.

READ MORE: The 'Django Unchained' Cheat Sheet: 10 Things That Will Help You Understand Tarantino's Referential Bloodfest

Tarantino's movies have never been blockbusters, but several have benefited from excited word of mouth and long legs in theaters. "Inglourious Basterds," the filmmaker's previous film and highest grosser, opened at number one in late August 2009 to more than $38 million. It ultimately topped out domestically with $120.5 million, plus another $201 million from foreign moviegoers. "Kill Bill Vol. 1" landed with a similar split in 2003, with $70 million domestic and $111 million overseas after a $22 million opening.

READ MORE: Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED and the Many Spike Lees

So "Django" has a shot to surpass Tarantino's breakthrough "Pulp Fiction," which grossed $214 million worldwide in 1994, though the more recent film's focus on the pre-Civil War years of American slavery isn't likely to appeal to foreign audiences the way his World War II-set revisionist history "Basterds" did. Whether it does or not, Tarantino's hold on pop culture and draw among fevered filmgoers remain as vicious as a freed slave with a talent and taste for vengeance.

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7 Comments

  • paul | February 1, 2013 11:41 PMReply

    Django is better film than Pulp Fiction , More Action and better characters , Plus i've noticed Tarantino's films are getting much better and funnier as time goes on , Leonardo DiCaprio should have had an award for his performance in this film , Don johnson was good as "Big Daddy" same with Samuel L. Jackson as old Stephen. Great Film surpasses Pulp Fiction anyday of the week.

  • Mark | February 25, 2013 12:02 PM

    fucking BLASPHEMY! Let your existence be stricken from the record of humanity.

  • Dario | January 2, 2013 2:30 AMReply

    Sorry. Pulp Fiction remains the Platinum standard.

    The most revolutionary (and inspirational) movie of the generation. A shift point in Hollywood Filmaking. Django is good, but doesn't reach the perfection that is Pulp Fiction.

  • Bill | December 30, 2012 12:10 PMReply

    Django Unchained will do gangbusters once it hits foreign markets. They are dying to see it because Americans like it, and Leonardo DiCaprio is a big international draw. If it gets a BP Oscar nomination in I can see it beating IB at the box office.

  • fred | December 29, 2012 5:36 PMReply

    @Eric - Wrong, i seen "Django" last night and it's spectacular, it's definantly better than "Reservoir Dogs" eventhough that's a fine film and it's own right. I still believe "Pulp Fiction" is Tarrantino's best structured film, but "Django" is my favorite Tarrantino film. That is one entertaining, masterfully made brilliant film, it's that good.

  • Sim | December 29, 2012 12:59 AMReply

    In all honesty, I think Django Unchained is way better than anything Tarantino has ever made and I LOVE all of his films. This just might be his masterpiece. If he ever makes a movie better than this, I would be totally surprised.

  • Eric | December 29, 2012 3:39 PM

    I saw it. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are better. Not even close. Good film though. Entertaining.