Despite a strong opening for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” 70mm Roadshow engagement, projection problems plagued several screenings over Christmas weekend.
Some projections were out of focus, while others had no sound or experienced soundtrack synching issues, according to reactions on Twitter.
Erik Lomis, distribution chief for The Weinstein Company, asserted that the problems occurred at fewer than 1% of the weekend showings.
However, Indiewire’s Samuel Adams posted a poll on Twitter than found 19% of respondents reported projection problems as of Monday afternoon:
If you've seen The Hateful Eight in 70mm during its commercial run, was it properly projected?
— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) December 28, 2015
“Those tweets don’t give an accurate picture of how well the Roadshow 70mm showings have gone,” Lomis said. “They represent issues that were rare and far between. And when those select occurrences happened, the projectionists immediately fixed the issue or switched to the DCP print, so moviegoers all still got to see Quentin’s incredible film. Part of the risk and thrill of 70mm and celluloid film is honoring its imperfections and the history it brings with it. The box office numbers speak for themselves to how well audiences are responding to this film.”
Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:
Hearing lots of stories of HATEFUL EIGHT projection problems. I wonder if this movie will sound the death knell for film over DCP.
— Mike McGranaghan (@AisleSeat) December 26, 2015
Either projection is screwed up, or Hateful Eight is now a silent movie in Act II.
— Michael Schwartz (@mschwartz95) December 26, 2015
Saw THE HATEFUL EIGHT at @AMCTheatres Forum 30 in Sterling Heights. Constant focus issues. DO NOT SEE IT THERE.
— Justin Muschong (@JustinMuschong) December 27, 2015
Best part of the broken 70MM projector/Hateful 8 print at King of Prussia? The snide theater manager "This is why we don't do film."
— Dissecting The 80s (@DissectThe80s) December 26, 2015
@SamuelAAdams not so bad that it ruined the movie, but bad enough to be an annoyance the entire runtime.
— Joe Filipas (@joefilipas) December 28, 2015
A press screening in early December at the Majestic Crest Theatre in Westwood also had presentation problems.
“The Hateful Eight” wound up 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.
The Weinstein Co. moved up “The Hateful Eight’s” wide release in the U.S. to New Year’s Day — a week earlier than previously planned — with the aim of taking advantage of strong buzz.
“The Hateful Eight” stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern. Tarantino’s eighth movie follows a bounty hunter (played by Russell) traveling with a prisoner (Leigh) to post-Civil War Wyoming, where they and six other strangers seek refuge in a stopover on a mountain pass during a blizzard.