|January 25, 2016 5:45 pm|
By MARK TOOR
|The Chief-Leader/Ellen Moynihan|
|PATRICK J. LYNCH: May the force be against him.|
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch is taking partial credit for the poor box-office receipts garnered by what he called director Quentin Tarantino’s most-recent “stinker,” “The Hateful Eight.”
|QUENTIN TARANTINO: A chilly reception for wintry movie.|
Mr. Lynch called at the end of October for a boycott of the movie after Mr. Tarantino — who has relatives working for the NYPD — participated in a rally protesting the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police.
‘Siding With the Murdered’
“I’m a human being with a conscience,” Mr. Tarantino, who is known for the explicit violence in his movies, told hundreds of fellow protesters in Washington Square Park. “And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.”
Mr. Lynch responded at the time, “The police officers that Quentin Tarantino calls ‘murderers’ aren’t living in one of his depraved big-screen fantasies — they’re risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect communities from real crime and mayhem. New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy that he has no business coming to our city to peddle his slanderous ‘Cop Fiction.’ It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.”
Untypical Christmas Movie
Two national groups, the National Association of Police Organizations and the Fraternal Order of Police, joined Mr. Lynch’s call for a boycott. So did the unions representing, among others, the New Jersey State Police and Los Angeles and Philadelphia police officers.
“The Hateful Eight” opened in 100 theaters Dec. 25 and went into wide release, in nearly 3,000 theaters, on Dec. 30. It grossed a disappointing $48.5 million on U.S. screens and $66 million worldwide by Jan. 18.
The film-industry journal Variety said the gross of the “The Hateful Eight” in its first weekend of wide release was $16.2 million, substantially lower than the earlier Tarantino films “Inglourious Basterds” ($38 million), “Django Unchained” ($30.1 million), “Kill Bill: Vol.1” ($22.1 million) and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” ($25.1 million).
In contrast, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” released one week earlier, grossed $858 million domestically and $1.9 billion worldwide by Jan. 18. And the number-one movie for the weekend that ended Jan. 18, “Ride Along 2,” grossed $41.6 million domestically and $44.2 million worldwide in its first four days in theaters. (Figures for “The Hateful Eight,” “Star Wars” and “Ride Along 2” are from http://www.boxofficemojo.com, the leading online box-office-reporting service.)
Lynch: Shows Our Power
Mr. Lynch said Jan. 15, “With nearly 1 million law-enforcement officers in this country who have families and friends who support them, the impact that police have economically on a product or project is immense. The law-enforcement boycott of cop-hater Quentin Tarantino’s movie is one demonstration of that economic power.
“Can we take full credit for the stinker’s failure? Well, one thing we can attest to is that many, many good citizens have told us that they were offended by Tarantino’s ignorant, anti-police remarks and as a result, have refused to spend their money on this movie.”
Mr. Tarantino responded to the criticism by police unions in November, telling the Los Angeles Times, “Frankly, it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop-hater. I’m not a cop-hater…I’m not taking back what I said. What I said was the truth.
“All cops are not murderers,” he continued. “I never said that…Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down…and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.”
Father Knows Better?
The director’s father, Tony Tarantino, last fall disagreed with his son. “It’s an injustice to call New York cops murderers,” he said. “That is so wrong. They don’t deserve that kind of talk.” He added that Mr. Tarantino has three cousins with the NYPD.
At the protest, Mr. Tarantino mentioned 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore, 18-year-old Michael Brown in Missouri and 38-year-old Antonio Guzman Lopez in San Jose as examples of unarmed men who were fatally shot or otherwise died in law-enforcement custody.
Mr. Lynch was particularly offended that the protest took place just days after Police Officer Randolph Holder was gunned down by a drug addict with a lengthy criminal record fleeing a shootout in a housing project. Mr. Tarantino said at the time that it was too late to change the arrangements for the demonstration.