The Weinstein Company has slotted Quentin Tarantino’s latest genre-romp The Hateful Eight for a Christmas Day opening, exclusively in the high-resolution 70mm format, before opening the movie in more standard “digital” resolutions nationwide on January 8.
Tarantino shot The Hateful Eight on 65mm film with plans from the get-go to deliver the largest-scale 70mm projection release in decades. Though 70mm projectors are rare nowadays, seeing as theaters skew more digital, the director will be traveling to 50 theaters to personally retrofit them to correctly project the pic.
The Christmas Day opening is in line with his strategy of personally delivering the projectors so as to reward the theaters willing to take a stab at the high-resolution format.
Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Zoe Bell and Bruce Dern all star in The Hateful Eight, which kicks off as a motley crew of bounty hunters take refuge in one location during a blizzard. Set in post-Civil War Wyoming, the movie combines the limited locations of Reservoir Dogs with the crazy, historical characters of Django Unchained. Footage from the movie is said to be jaw-droppingly beautiful, so it makes sense that TWC is interested in bringing it to theaters in as premium a format as possible.
Its bid at audiences in the ultra-crowded Christmas weekend should be interesting to watch, however – a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens one week before, and other titles opening around the Christmas weekend include Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Will Smith’s NFL drama Concussion, Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell comedy Daddy’s Home, David O. Russell’s Jennifer Lawrence-starring biopic Joy, the Point Break remake, reigning Best Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Western thriller The Revenant and Oliver Stone’s biopic Snowden.
That’s an uncommonly (read: absurdly) crowded lineup of releases, even for Christmas, and though a lot of the buzzier titles like The Hateful Eight, The Revenant and Joy need to get at least limited releases before year’s end so they can compete for Oscars, it would not be at all surprising to see some of the pics set for that date move forward into 2016. My money’s on Daddy’s Home and Point Break being the ones to blink, but news about Concussion has been minimal, so that could also be one movie that ends up sliding away from what’s sure to be an intensely fierce fight for second place (because who are we kidding – Star Wars has that #1 spot until the middle of January).