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The movie — affirming the filmmaker’s enduring popularity, as well as the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt — will likely end up being the second-biggest movie of Tarantino’s career behind Django Unchained at the worldwide box office, not adjusted for inflation. There’s also a chance it could overtake Django.
However, most box office analysts predict that Once Upon a Time will ultimately earn between $375 million and $400 million globally, surpassing Pulp Fiction ($212 million) and Inglourious Basterds ($316.9 million). Through Sunday, its worldwide cume stood at $180.2 million — and it’s only just begun its overseas rollout.
“The movie is arguably the most accessible and entertaining of all of Tarantino’s films and given its collective star power, great marketing campaign and generally great reviews, it should be no surprise that the film has become a global breakout hit,” says Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore. “And Once Upon a Time in Hollywood certainly has the potential to become the highest-grossing Tarantino movie ever.”
Tarantino’s Django Unchained, also starring DiCaprio and released over the Christmas holidays in 2012, grossed $162.8 million domestically and $262.6 million overseas for a career-best global haul of $425.4 million.
Once Upon a Time transformed into an instant success story in North America late last month upon launching to $41.1 million on its way to earning a stellar $114.3 million to date (it is the only original summer tentpole to cross the century mark domestically).
How Once Upon a Time would fare overseas wasn’t clear until this weekend, when it finally rolled out in earnest. The pic topped the international chart with $53.7 million from 46 markets for an early foreign total of $66.2 million (it launched in Russia and two small markets a week ago).
According to Sony, Once Upon a Time opened notably ahead of Django — by 30 percent — in those foreign markets where it has landed, a promising sign. It also debuted ahead of The Wolf of Wall Street and on par with The Revenant, both starring DiCaprio.
Once Upon a Time placed No. 1 in 28 markets. The U.K. turned in a five-day total of $8.9 million, while France launched with $6.9 million, followed by Germany ($5.6 million) and Australia ($4.4 million).
Tarantino’s film continues to hold well in Russia, where it opened to a career-best $7.7 million last weekend. Total ticket sales there have grown to $13.3 million, while Hong Kong and Taiwan have turned in $1.2 million and $1.1 million, respectively.
Major markets yet to open include Mexico (Friday), Japan (Aug. 30), Italy (Sept. 18) and South Korea (Sept. 26). There’s no word yet on a China release date. China’s Bona Film Group co-financed Once Upon a Time and is handling distribution duties in such Asian markets as Hong Kong.
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