A lot of Hollywood names have given their thoughts on the new ways films have been coming out since the pandemic, and for the most part, they’re not loving it. Big time director Quentin Tarantino seems to be thinking along the same lines, having some honest thoughts about current movies being released to streaming. Tarantino seems to be hit pretty hard by film lovers’ new reality.
On an episode of CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast, Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino sat down with its host at the launch of his novelization of his most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino spoke about the way films are released to streaming nowadays, calling it “depressing.” He explained how lucky he was to have released his most recent film right before this became out new norm. Here are the words straight from Tarantino's mouth:
I think it's depressing. I'm glad that I'm working with Sony, which doesn't deal with that. They haven't gone down that route. But it just really makes me think about 2019, when we came out with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it really makes me think that, wow, myself and Joker and 1917, it was like we were birds that just flew through a window just as the window was slamming shut. And we practically got our tail feathers caught by the slam. But we got out in time.
During this exclusive interview, Tarantino talked about working so diligently on a film for years, the anticipation of open weekend at the box office and how the new reality of films going straight to streaming kind of eliminates the importance of opening weekend, as well as takes away the value of people making the effort to leave their house and “sit their ass in a seat” to watch a particular film. You can listen to the full interview below:
To explain just how much things have changed in such a short amount of time (although this pandemic may feel like it’s gone on for years now), Quentin Tarantino took us back to right before the pandemic, when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood made around $346 million dollars from ticket sales alone. Tarantino has a massive following and his films pretty much always kill, but he goes on to say that even he would not be able to sell that many tickets with the way things are right now. Here’s what he said exactly:
To put it bluntly, a movie like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood made something like $346 million. The idea that a movie like that could come out around the world and make that much money only by asses in seats. No streaming revenue was attached to that. No DVDs. No other ancillary markets were attached to that number. That is literally people leaving their house, going to a theater, buying a ticket and putting their ass in a seat and watching the movie. I don't know when that's going to happen again. I know a movie now couldn't do that. I couldn't do that this year.
As depressing as it may be for Quentin Tarantino to see how the film industry is doing things right now, he hasn’t had to sacrifice the theatrical experience with one of his films. He does, however, have one more film to put out until his directorial portfolio is complete. With things at the box office steadily improving, only time will tell if his next and last film will be under the same stresses as current films are.