The Hateful Eight
Courtesy of The Weinstein Co.

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” has grossed a solid $5.66 million in four days at 100 screens in 70mm showings — a sizzling $56,600 per-screen average. The Weinstein Co. is expanding to 1,958 digital locations on Wednesday.

Pre-shows for the Western drama are starting Tuesday evening and TWC will expand “The Hateful Eight” further on Thursday.  The current 100 select theaters will continue showing the film in the Roadshow 70mm format.

“To see this film open at over $56,000 per screen in an amazingly crowded holiday box office has us all incredibly excited,” said TWC President of Distribution Erik Lomis. “While we are beyond thrilled with the limited release numbers, the demand from moviegoers to see this film has exceeded our capabilities in 70mm, so we’re greatly looking forward to bringing it to more theaters and cities and give Tarantino fans across the country the chance to experience this brilliant, intensely fun piece of filmmaking.”

The opening number for “The Hateful Eight” is the best by far for a debut in the 90 to 110-screen range during the past five years, according to Rentrak. The previous high in the category was 2011’s “Kevin Hart: Laugh at Me,” which opened with $1.9 million at 98 locations.

“The Hateful Eight” ended the weekend in 10th place at the U.S. box office with an impressive $4.6 million at 100 venues in 44 U.S. markets — the largest 70mm release in the last 20 years. Some theaters experienced projection problems, but TWC insists that the technical issues “were rare and far between,” occurring at less than than 1% of the weekend showings.

The movie is coming into a marketplace that’s been dominated by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which hauled $571.4 million in its first 11 days. Paramount’s comedy “Daddy’s Home” has led the rest of the pack and outperformed expectations with $45.1 million in its first four days.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak, said box office prospects are bright for “The Hateful Eight.”

“It’s been a killer (pun intended) in its 70 mm debut, the question is whether that will translate to continued support in its expanded digital showings,” he added. “I think it will and its the only wide release newcomer nationally in the marketplace and that will play in its favor.”

Paramount is launching Charlie Kaufman’s animated “Anomalisa” on Wednesday in four locations in New York and Los Angeles. It’s been nominated for a Golden Globe for best animated film and won the audience award at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

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