Director Quentin Tarantino accused Disney of alleged “extortionist practices” Wednesday for refusing to give up the Arclight Hollywood’s famed Cinerama Dome in order to make room for a 70mm run of his The Hateful Eight, beginning Christmas Day.
“They are going out of their way to f— me,” said Tarantino during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show.
Disney booked the space months ago for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which begins rolling out Thursday night. It is scheduled to play at the dome throughout the holidays.
The Weinstein Co., which is distributing Hateful Eight, spent months trying to convince the Arclight to give them the dome for Hateful Eight, considering Force Awakens is also booked at the nearby TCL Chinese Theatre and the Disney-owned El Capitan Theatre, also premium venues.
“It’s vindictive, it’s mean and it’s extortion,” Tarantino said, alleging that when the Arclight theater chain tried to tell Disney higher-ups that they would be honoring a contract to show The Hateful Eight at the Cinerama Dome, the studio threatened to pull Star Wars from all Arclight locations. “It was real bad news and it fucking pissed me off,” added Tarantino.
Insiders say there was never a contract to play Hateful Eight (generally speaking there are never contracts, only verbal deals). TWC has known since advance ticket sales went on sale for Force Awakens in late October that it would not get the dome, but Tarantino wasn’t informed until recently.
Instead, Hateful Eight — which held its worldwide premiere at the Cinerama Dome — will play in another auditorium at the Arclight equipped to project in 70mm film. Tarantino’s revenge Western debuts exclusively in a 70mm roadshow in 100 theaters across the country before being made available in digital formats on Dec. 31.
The Oscar-winning director went on to say that his problem isn’t with Star Wars or with director J.J. Abrams, but is with Disney execs, saying “I love J.J.”
“I made a lot of money for the Disney corporation,” he said. Disney used to own Miramax, which distributed many of Tarantino’s early movies, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.
“As far I’m concerned, let all the entertainment reporters call up Disney and ask for their comments on their extortionist practices,” said Tarantino.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Disney and TWC for comment.