Last month, The Hateful Eight director Quentin Tarantino took part in an anti-police brutality protest in New York City, which caused plenty of controversy since it happened just days after an NYPD officer was killed in the line of duty. The rally had been planned for months, and the director called the protest's timing "unfortunate," but that didn't stop the NYPD from calling for a New York boycott of all the director's films, including his upcoming revenge Western The Hateful Eight. Shortly thereafter, the LAPD joined the NYPD in the boycott, which has some wondering if this bad publicity could hurt the movie's Oscar chances. Today, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the country's largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, is planning a special "surprise" for the director. Here's what Fraternal Order of Police president Jim Pasco had to say in a statement.
"Tarantino has made a good living out of violence and surprise. Our offices make a living trying to stop violence, but surprise is not out of the question. Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element. Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable. The right time and place will come up and we'll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that's economically."
This "surprise" will be an addition to the already-planned boycott of The Hateful Eight, which released a new trailer earlier today. The Weinstein Company has slated the Western to open in limited release on Christmas Day, with a nationwide expansion planned for sometime in early 2016. Jim Pasco would not elaborate on the nature of this surprise, but he did clarify that it is not a physical threat.
"Police officers protect people. They don't go out to hurt people."
Some analysts are already chiming in about how this boycott and/or "surprise" could affect The Hateful Eight's performance at the box office. Phil Contrino of BoxOffice.com and Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations don't believe the controversy will adversely affect The Hateful Eight's performance, largely because the director is already such a controversial figure to begin with. Rentrak's Paul Dergarabedian, on the other had, revealed that there is no way to tell at this point, but the boycott may not bode well for the movie.
"Quite simply, there's no way to know whether it will affect box office. Even after it opens, you can't quantify whether or not a boycott ultimately had an impact. But it has to cause a headache. It's not the kind of thing you want surrounding your movie, especially in the crowded Christmas frame when it will be going up against movies like Joy. And this situation is gaining traction. The idea that there's no such thing as bad press isn't necessarily true here."
Throughout his career, Quentin Tarantino's films weren't usually box office blockbusters, but his last two films have performed quite well. 2009's Inglourious Basterds took in $120.5 million domestic and $321.4 million worldwide, from a $70 million budget, while 2012's Django Unchained earned $162.8 million domestic and $425.3 million worldwide from a $100 million budget. Do you have any theories about what the police union may have in store for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight? You can see the latest trailer here if you missed it earlier today.