'Django Unchained' Stays on Top in Italy Despite Arrival of 'Lincoln,' 'Flight'

Quentin Tarantino's Spaghetti Western tribute has now pulled in $6.9 million in the country that produced the original "Django."

ROME – Thursday night was the battle of the titans at the Italian box office, with two big-budget Oscar contenders and the latest comedy from a popular Italian director all in wide release in Italy for the first time. But the defending weekend’s box office champ, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, shot them all down to remain on top.

Django Unchained had the biggest weekend at the box office so far this year last weekend, when it took in €3.4 million ($4.6 million) over its first four days. The film stayed in first out of the gate this weekend, earning €350,100 ($476,000) Thursday, which, since last October, has been the official opening night in Italy for most films.

Django Unchained, which was inspired by Italy’s Spaghetti Western genre, has now earned $6.9 million (€5.1 million) in Italy in eight days. The film had its international launch on Jan. 4 in Rome.

Among the other big films screening Thursday, Steven Spielberg’s 12-time Oscar-nominated Lincoln came in second to Django Unchained, earning $185,000 (€135,200) on its opening night, followed by Robert ZemeckisFlight, which stars Denzel Washington as a pilot charged with being intoxicated after miraculously steering a failing airplane to a crash landing.

Next on the list were two Italian productions: Giuseppe Tornatore’s La migliore offerta (The Best Offer), which is still performing strongly after opening Jan. 1, was fourth, and comedy Pazze di me (Crazy About Me) from popular director Fausto Brizzi, finished a weak fifth amid the strong competition, taking in just $81.000 (€60,000) despite showing on 600 screens -- more than any film in Italy so far this year.

Tornatore’s film has taken in $9.5 million (€7 million) since opening, making it the highest-grossing film in Italy so far this year. La migliore offerta will have its international premiere next month at the Berlin Film Festival, which will also hold a special event to honor Tornatore, who won an Oscar in 1990 for Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.