Three days ago Showbiz 411‘s Roger Friedman wrote that Quentin Tarantino‘s “not Manson” movie “is in jeopardy at Sony and may not get made at all.” Because he’s been “hearing that Sony is having second thoughts because of Tarantino’s double trouble in the press” — the Uma Thurman Kill Bill car crash thing plus saying that Samantha Geimer was down for sex with Roman Polanski in ’77.
Tarantino has apologized for both, but he’s nonetheless been painted as a #MeToo bad guy. Tarantino’s apologies may have saved him, but in most instances the penalty for being so labelled has been instant death.
If I was Sony honcho Tom Rothman I wouldn’t deep-six Tarantino’s movie over offensive statements or stunt-driving missteps, but over the budget. I don’t know where Friedman heard that the Manson flick will cost $200 million, but maybe that’s a production-plus-marketing figure.
Last November The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit reported that the film, which will roll sometime this summer, would cost in the vicinity of $95 million, which, when you add the usual absurd marketing costs, means it would have to gross $375 million worldwide to break even, according to “one source” Kit spoke to.
Even with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie costarring, nobody is going to beat down the doors of theatres to see a late ’60s hippy-dippy movie (never forget how Millenials regard the ’80s as ancient history) about desperate actors and a few delusional cultists stabbing some poor rich people to death. I’m not saying QT’s film won’t be buzzy or that it won’t sell a lot of tickets, but I doubt if it will sell enough to justify the cost. Because the milieu is fundamentally perverse and bizarre and dark and twisted.
Posted on 11.19.17: “If I was in Rothman’s shoes, I would tell Tarantino to take his ‘close to $100 million’ budget demand and shoveituphisass.
“I would say that as much as I like the idea of Tarantino time-tripping back to the late ’60s, the truth is that I stopped really liking his scripts 20 years ago. I would tell him that whatever kind of golden touch he had during the making of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown left him a long time ago, and that he’s been more or less coasting on the fumes of those films all through the aughts. And I’d tell him, no offense, that I hated The Hateful Eight.
“I’d tell Tarantino that I’ll go $50 or $60 million tops, and that a profit participation deal needs to be agreed to. No humungous upfront checks for anyone — just decent-sized ones. If anybody wants a super payday, they’re going to have to risk it along with me. If the ’60s film is a big hit, we’ll all profit handsomely. If it’s not a big success, which is what I suspect will happen, then I won’t take such a big bath.”
Even if it costs $60 million to shoot the marketing would be another $50 to $75 million minimum (it’s not a superhero tentpole movie), and I honestly wonder if the Manson movie revenues would justify a combined cost of $135 million. I just don’t think people are going to stop everything they’re doing to see this thing. Typical under-35s don’t give a shit about the ’60s, and late ’60s attitudes and hair styles seem ridiculous now. Blood and stabbings in Benedict Canyon…meh. Screams, aorta, death.
On 12.1.17 Kit reported that Tarantino’s Manson flick would open on 8.9.19 — the 50th anniversary of the murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger at 10050 Cielo Drive.