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GhcherryLimited posting today because, well…because.

In the meantime, Hollywood analyses GRINDHOUSE’s box office failure — a mere $11 mil at the box office. It’s this year’s SNAKES ON A PLANE, and no one wants that. Sometimes-accurate Nikki Finke grills a contrite Harvey Weinstein:

Weinstein pointed to several reasons why Grindhouse did so poorly in theaters over Easter weekend. “Our research showed the length kept people away. It was the single biggest deterrent. It was 3 hours and 12 minutes long. We originally intended to get it all in in 2 hours, 30 minutes. That would have been a better time. But the movies ran longer, the [fake] trailers ran longer, everything ran longer,” Harvey told me. Weinstein also criticized his own marketing plan. “We didn’t educate the South or Midwest. In the West and the East, the movie played well. It played well in strong urban settings. But we missed the boat on the Midwest and the South.” But he denies others’ thinking that the Grindhouse subject matter was too foreign for mainstream audiences in mainstream theaters. He’s wrong, of course.

Anne Thompson backs this up with observation:

The whole point of this exercise was TO DO IT CHEAP! The movie probably cost far more than the Weinsteins’ claim of $53 million. With total P & A costs the movie probably sneaks close to $100 million. What happened is what happens to all movie companies when name talent have the clout to hold their financeers for ransom. That is, the two directors spent beyond their budget because they wanted their movies to be as good as they could be. Performance anxiety trumps prudence. Rodriguez spent to make his trashy send-off of grade-B horror flix as gruesome as possible (he also melted down over the breakup of his marriage and the production had to shut down for a month; the Weinsteins ate that cost). And Tarantino shot and shot and shot to score the best possible car chase finale. Marrying those two movies into a digital internegative and final film print at the last possible minute wasn’t cheap either.

Look, we love Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarrantino — they’re part of OUR team. Thompson explains why Weinstein couldn’t turn down their 3 hour+ cut, but it’s obvious these two spirited auteurs can murder plenty of people onscreen, but when it comes to murdering their darlings, they just can’t pull the trigger. The movie will break even via foreign release and DVD, eventually, but that 3 hour running time was the killer coming from inside the Grindhouse.

In the meantime, enjoy Cameron Stewart’s renditions of some of the characters. (above and here.)

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  1. What also didn’t help was that some moviegoers didn’t understand this was a double feature. When “Planet Terror” concluded, a sizeable number of patrons at the theater I was in got up and left, thinking that was it. Tarantino’s role in Rodriguez’s film probably helped that confusion.

    Or maybe they could sense what was coming and were just lucky enough to avoid sitting through the self-indulgent gab-fest/foot-fetish extravaganza that was “Death Proof.” (Sweet Jesus, and Tarantino’s taking an even LONGER cut of the film to Cannes?)

    Actually, I might not have minded all the talking if any of the conversations had anything to do with advancing the PLOT, and not just have a bunch of people talking about things that are important to Quentin Tarantino. Yes, I understand Zoe is a real-life stuntwoman; yes, we know Tarantino’s trying to compare “Death Proof” to Vanishing Point. We just don’t need 10 minutes of sitting in a diner constantly driving home the point–just get to the chase already! This is “Grindhouse,” not “Arthouse,” y’know?


    Anyone pick up on the fact that DP is a “prequel” to Planet Terror? A few characters in PT show up in Death Proof, and Jungle Julia’s death is mentioned in PT. So, no matter how many women kick Kurt Russell’s ass, the world’s still doomed to a zombie apocalypse.

  2. Ha! That was a surprise, seeing my own drawing on The Beat (without asking you to do it)! Thanks! I’ve got a few more I haven’t posted yet but they’re coming…

    (For the record I’m with you on Death Proof.)

  3. I didn’t realize that the different cuts were so different.

    I wasn’t aware that it had done poorly.
    I went and saw it last night.
    Planet Terror was lousy, but I never like Rodriguez’s movies(except his kids movies). It was so over the top all the time that it seemed like an annoying parody rather than a tribute.

    Death Proof however totally charmed me.
    I loved all the talking(it one of the things Tarantino does best).
    I like it when a movie takes time to build some characters, before it puts them in peril.
    And the elongated chase scene was one of the best action payoffs I’ve seen in a long time (in a new movie).

    It was really long, but I sneaked a bottle of whiskey into the theater(it seemed like the right thing to do), and it helped my comfort level considerably.

  4. Well, my wife and I loved “Planet Terror” and the coming attractions spoofs, but “Death Proof” was so excruciatingly self-indulgent and boring, we walked out before it was over. And if Tarantino gave me a dollar for every time one of the women in his film “Death Proof” said f**king, I could have bought a filet dinner for two at a Palm Restaurant. Suffice to say, I thought the second half of “Grindhouse” was a f**king waste of time.

  5. “Planet terror” was too on the nose. It didn’t work as a parody or an homage. It was a pain stakingly made bad movie. Now if someone said “Want to go see a bad movie with over the top acting with scenes missing and the print is all scratchy?” you’d probably say “No. Thanks but no.”

    But they may be part of why this film failed. If you make it look too much like a bad double bill from the 70s some people won’t get it. They’ll think it actually is a bad double bill from the 70’s.

    I loved Death Proof because it set up a whole cast and then “WHAM” turns the film on it’s head.

    Since it did poorly there is some talk of putting in the missing scenes and splitting the movie in two. By that time the summer blockbusters will be out and it will be too late.

  6. The only problem I had with the running time is that I couldn’t make a midnight screening of Enter The Dragon downtown.
    I think word of mouth will help this week, making the drop not as bad. Of course, with a longer movie, the theatres can’t show it as often. How much was the perscreen take?

  7. The length had very little to do with GRINDHOUSE doing so poorly.

    1. RR and QT, while very talented, are not blockbuster directors. Just their names alone are not going to open a movie huge.

    2. The advertising for the movie was surprisingly accurate. It looked like a mish-mash of bad, 70s exploitation stuff…but there wasn’t really that big an audience for that back in the 70s and there’s certainly less of one now.

    3. Word of mouth hurt the movie over the weekend and will likely hurt it going forward, because the folks who really enjoy PLANET TERROR will likely dislike DEATH PROOF and vice versa.


  8. $4,419 per, on 2624 screens. RottenTomatos gave it an 82%.
    Ooh… a longer version? Will that include the lap dance?
    And some analysts think that the movie failed in part because it didn’t appeal to women. (But when my smalltown-nebraska, Denver-residing sister-in-law saw the trailer during 300, she enjoyed it.)
    heh… would be cool if they released this in 8mm and Betamax!

  9. Oh, I get it: It failed at the box office because us hicks out here in the fly-over states aren’t sophisticated enough, and hadn’t been properly edumacated for this high-brow big-city intellectual entertainment.

    Featuring zombies and car chases.

    I’m tempted to be insulted, but instead I’m resisting the urge to laugh at this poor man with his head inserted into a rather awkward body cavity.

    The rumors that the DVD release will feature deleted scenes that were “too hot” for an R rating, does little to differentiate this clone of a stoopid exploitation ’70s movie, from the stoopid exploitation movies of the ’00s.

  10. The best thing about the whole thing was the stunt casting at the very end of the Nazi trailer. That made it all worthwhile for me.