Quentin Tarantino Calls Disney "Extortionists" Over Star Wars Move

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is angry at Walt Disney Pictures for kicking his new movie The Hateful Eight out of Hollywood's famous Cinerama Dome. Why did it happen? According to the filmmaker, Disney wanted Star Wars: The Force Awakens to play for the entire holiday season, kicking Tarantino's latest out of one of Hollywood's classic 70mm premiere venues.

Photo via Daws Brothers

Photo via Daws Brothers

While appearing on the Howard Stern radio show, writer/director Quentin Tarantino spoke out about how he believes Disney strong-armed Arclight Cinemas to push his eighth film out of the Cinerama Dome for the highly anticipated blockbuster sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens. According to Tarantino, his Western was originally scheduled to play the Cinerama Dome starting on December 25th 2015, but was pushed out because of the decision to extend The Force Awakens' run in the Hollywood theater.

Built in 1963, the theater is now one of only a four venues to survive from the Cinerama movement. Pacific Theaters now operates the theater as part of the Arclight Cinemas multiplex that was built on the block in 2002. The Cinerama Dome features a huge 110 foot screen, and the auditorium fits over 800 people. Arclight Cinemas have upgraded the Dome with dual-head Christie 6P laser projectors and Dolby 3D in preparation of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens run at the theater.

It was real bad news and it f***ing pissed me off. They are going out of their way to f*** me.

The Cinerama logo even plays before all screenings of The Hateful Eight, which makes this even more hurtful to Tarantino. According to Tarantino, when ArcLight Cinemas responded to Disney telling the studio they would instead be honoring their contract with The Weinstein Co. for Hateful Eight, Disney threatened to pull The Force Awakens completely from all ArcLight locations. Tarantino called the movie studio "vindictive" and "mean," and claims it's "extortion."

I've never been a fan of the Cinerama Dome theater, as the curved screen adds distortion to the image unless you are sitting in the perfect seats neat the middle of the back of the auditorium. There are much better theaters in Los Angeles. But this one is equipped with a 70mm projector already, which means they wouldn't have to install one for the Hateful Eight presentation. And as you know, theaters with 70mm projectors are hard to come by at this point.

Tarantino later clarified that he is angry with the Disney Corporation and not filmmaker J.J. Abrams or any of "the Star Wars people." Stern informed Tarantino that Walt Disney Company head Bob Iger was an avid listener of the show and called out to the CEO:

Listen Bob ... I don't give a shit about this theater. Quentin's a weirdo — sorry Quentin ... They've got the stupid 70mm – they got all that shit that he cares about. He just wants to show his goddamn movie there. You're sitting on top of the world. You've got Star Wars. What, do you need this?

Stern believes that Disney will fix this after Tarantino went public with the issue. Disney has yet to comment about Tarantino's claims of supposed "extortionist practices."  The industry trade website has posted the clip from the show online for all to hear.

Deadline notes that there has been a "a clearance boundary whereby if a film was playing at the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd, then it couldn't be playing at the Cinerama Dome." But a film as big as Star Wars: The Force Awakens is able to transcend those made up boundaries, and is set to play at all three theaters in the area: the TCL Chinese Theater, Disney's El Capitan and The Cinerama Dome.