Just three weeks into its release, Quentin Tarantino’s violent blaxploitation western Django Unchained has already grossed more at the US box office than his next most lucrative film, Second World War drama Inglourious Basterds.
Django has so far pulled in $129.1m, overtaking the $120.5m notched up by Inglourious Basterds in the US since its 2009 release. Whether Tarantino’s latest picture can become his biggest success worldwide remains to be seen. It opens in Britain today, and across the globe this week, and has Inglourious Basterds’ non-US total of $200.9m to aim for.
The film, which stars Jamie Foxx in the title role, is controversial due to its treatment of a sensitive subject, black slavery, and has elicited negative reactions from a number of high-profile African Americans.
Tarantino's fellow director Spike Lee said on Twitter "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them", while civil rights campaigner Najee Ali called the production of Django Unchained action figures "a slap in the face of our ancestors".
It seems many African Americans are at least keen to make up their own minds. Box office analysis suggests they have so far accounted for around 30% of the US audience.