Is “Grindhouse” an old-fashioned double feature or two separate films?
It depends on where you live.
Since the double-bill concept is alien to many filmgoers around the world, “Grindhouse” will be going out as two pics in some parts of the globe, while the U.S. and a few other English-speaking territories will see it as one singular experience.
The pic — with a finished cost of $53 million, not the much higher figure incorrectly reported last week — consists of two segments directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. It was envisioned as a salute to double- or triple-bills of the 1950s and ’60s.
But most non-English-speaking territories have little tradition of a grindhouse double bill. So the central conceit of the film — two short exploitation films, separated by faux trailers for upcoming cheapies — would be lost.
When split, the two pics will be titled “Grindhouse: Planet Terror” (Rodriguez’s seg) and “Grindhouse: Death Proof” (Tarantino’s).
With the split, some additional footage could be added to each one.
Glen Basner, prez of Weinstein Co. international distribution, was at the Berlin fest discussing release patterns. The general plan is that the two films will be released three-five months apart, but there’s no decision yet on which will be first.
They’re also weighing the logistics of the faux trailers — what will be attached to which pic. (In the united version, the pseudo-trailers will come between the two segs.)
The project was presold in a number of territories, including the U.K. (Momentum Films), Spain (Aurum), France (TFM), Germany (Senator Intl.), Italy (Medusa), Australia/New Zealand (Village Roadshow) and Thailand (Major).
In the non-English-speaking areas, the split pics will allow the Weinstein Co. and the local distrib to harness income for two pics, rather than one.