The “D” may be silent in Django Unchained, but it clearly stands for “dollar signs.” Quentin Tarantino’s revenge Western has topped Inglourious Basterds as the writer-director’s top grossing film — in the United States. With $129.1 million as of Wednesday, the controversial riff on American slavery looks headed to top out somewhere close to $150 million, placing it well ahead of Basterds’ $120.5 million total domestic gross.
Whether Django Unchained can beat Basterds’ global total of $321.5 million, however, remains to be seen.
The film is just arriving in overseas theaters this week (with Sony Pictures handling international distribution), and whereas a World War II story has obvious appeal beyond U.S. borders, Westerns have traditionally not been runaway hits with foreign audiences. Then again, Tarantino’s films have typically played huge internationally, often topping his domestic grosses, and Django Unchained pays direct homage to the spaghetti Western genre that originated in Italy in the 1960s.
Regardless of how it does abroad, Django’s most impressive box office trajectory still has a ways to go if it’s to top Tarantino’s breakout hit Pulp Fiction — when adjusting for inflation. According to Box Office Mojo, in 2012 dollars, the 1994 hit pulled in $197.5 million in the U.S. alone.
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