Quentin Tarantino’s journey back to the height of hippie Hollywood is gearing up for its big-screen debut.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a drama that pays tribute to the golden age of Tinseltown, is eyeing an opening weekend between $28 million to $30 million when it hits theaters July 26, according to early tracking. A $30 million start would be on the softer side given the star-studded cast including Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, but some estimates show the movie could earn up to $50 million in its inaugural weekend.
Sony, the studio distributing “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” shelled out a hefty $90 million in production fees, a figure that doesn’t include global marketing costs. Tarantino’s films don’t always produce huge opening weekend numbers (his biggest launch to date is “Django Unchained” with $38 million), but they tend to have a long life in theaters as word of mouth picks up. The Oscar-winning “Django Unchained” currently stands as the director’s biggest box office success to date, earning $162 million in North America and $262 million overseas. His most recent movie, 2015’s “The Hateful Eight,” bowed with $15 million when it opened nationwide and tapped out with $54 million at the domestic box office. The western thriller was a bigger hit internationally, where it generated $101 million.
The movie premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it scored a six-minute standing ovation. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is Tarantino’s inaugural studio movie, as well as the first that’s not associated with Harvey Weinstein.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is the only movie opening nationwide that weekend, though it will have to compete with the second outing of “The Lion King,” Disney’s live-action remake that’s expected to entice audiences of all ages.