29 October 2015 08.39 EDT
A New York police union chief has claimed victory over Quentin Tarantino after the Oscar-winning film-maker’s new western, The Hateful Eight, struggled at the box office.
Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, was one of the first officials to call for a boycott of the Pulp Fiction director following his appearance at a rally in support of campaigners against police brutality on 24 October.
Tarantino was widely criticised by officials after telling protestors: “I’m a human being with a conscience. And when I see murder I cannot stand by … I have to call the murderers the murderers.” He has refused to back down from his comments despite the US’s five largest police unions having subsequently joined the boycott.
“With nearly one 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,” Lynch told the New York Post, which has backed unions against the film-maker. “The law-enforcement boycott of cop-hater Quentin Tarantino’s movie is one demonstration of that economic power.”
The Hateful Eight has proven a box-office disappointment for Tarantino in comparison to the director’s two most recent movies, 2013’s Django Unchained and 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. It has so far taken just $61m worldwide against a budget of $44m and a reported extra $25m to $35 on prints and marketing. By contrast, Django Unchained pulled in $425m and Inglourious Basterds managed $321.5m. The Hateful Eight could be the director’s lowest-grossing film since his Grindhouse double-biller with Robert Rodriguez, which took $25.4m worldwide in 2007.
Other factors could be responsible for The Hateful Eight’s struggles. The film was one of many high-profile releases leaked by pirates last month, while producer Harvey Weinstein has blamed underwhelming results on the continuing success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Tarantino’s hopes of a box-office boost following the announcement of nominations for this year’s Oscars on Thursday were dealt a blow when the film-maker failed to pick up nods in the best film, best director or best original screenplay categories. The Hateful Eight is, however, up for best supporting actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), best cinematography (Robert Richardson) and best score (Ennio Morricone).