Django Unchained has become Quentin Tarantino‘s top-grossing film at the North American box office with nearly $130 million and counting, eclipsing the $120 million earned domestically by Inglourious Basterds in 2009.
Django — starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson — has yet to make a major push overseas. Basterds took in $200.9 million internationally for a worldwide total of $321.5 million.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein partnered with Sony on Django. The Weinstein Co. is handling the domestic release, while Sony has international duties.
Django scored five Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best original screenplay (Tarantino) and best supporting actor (Waltz).
“Bob and I have had the most extraordinary filmmaker relationship with Quentin Tarantino, and we are proud to be here for this incredible milestone,” Harvey Weinstein said. “We also appreciate working with Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton and the incredible Sony team on this project. They have been great partners internationally.”
Django, about a slave who is freed by a bounty hunter in the pre-Civil War South, has become a cultural lightning rod for its pervasive use of the N-word. And Spike Lee has blasted Tarantino for reducing the horrors of slavery to a spaghetti Western.
Not everyone agrees with Lee’s stance.
In a statement released by the Rainbow Coalition, Jesse Jackson praises Django for capturing “the cultural, physical and psychological pain heaped upon the lives of men and women of African descent, expressing in dramatic terms the existential nightmare endured by so many for so long.
Said Jackson: “By this measure, the scar of violence, exploitation and subrogation made evident — and the focus of this film — is not just a picture of random violence but portrays America at its lowest moment as a nation. The violence that we see portrayed in this drama might well renew our focus on the 256 years of racial violence that continues to be an indelible chapter in the history that is America.”