UPDATE: The UK distributors of ‘The Hateful Eight’ have revealed that a dispute over the exclusive rights to show the extended 70mm “Roadshow” presentation of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western is the reason the film won’t be coming to Cineworld, Curzon, and Picturehouse cinemas when it’s released this Friday.
The statement on the Guardian reads: “Cineworld had made us aware that they were very unhappy that The Hateful Eight had been booked into the Odeon Leicester Square for an exclusive 70mm Ultra Panavision presentation, and specifically that they would therefore not be able to play the film at their Picturehouse Central venue. Due to the special facilities required for the unique 70mm Ultra Panavision presentation we needed the largest theatre and screen possible in the West End and the Odeon Leicester Square was the natural choice. The technical elements and costs involved with this special presentation meant that this would need to be the exclusive West End venue. The Odeon Leicester Square seats 1680 and Picturehouse Central only seats 344 so clearly this was not a viable alternative.
“Cineworld had every opportunity to book the film in their other cinemas across the country on the same basis as other exhibitors and declined to do so. This is despite the fact that there is no dispute over the financial terms for this release.
“We feel very sorry for Cineworld’s customers and in particular their Unlimited cardholders who will be denied the chance to see the film at a Cineworld cinema using their Unlimited card - a result of this Picturehouse issue relating to a single London West End cinema. As far as the general release is concerned we will be booking more sites with other exhibitors to compensate for Cineworld’s lack of support for a film that has already been given 5 stars and declared as Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece by The Guardian.
“If Cineworld change their mind by tomorrow morning and decide to book the film in the proper way along the lines of the other exhibitors we would be happy for them to do so.”
The 70mm “Roadshow” print is an extended version of Tarantino’s latest film that can only be shown at specific venues with the correct type of projector. It comes complete with an overture, intermission, and some extended scenes clocking in at an epic 187 minutes.
This new information will not be welcome news to Cineworld Unlimited card holders who pay a monthly subscription to see as many films as they like per month. This means they’ll have to fork out an extra cost if they want to see one of January’s biggest releases at an alternative cinema chain.
ORIGINAL STORY: Quentin Tarantino’s new western ‘The Hateful Eight’ will not be shown by Cineworld in the UK, after the chain admitted that it could not come to a commercial agreement with the movie’s distributor.
Cineworld goers spotted that the movie was notable by its absence from the chain’s schedule, and began querying the missing movie, which is due for release in the UK this Friday.
Responding to tweets, it said: “Sadly we haven’t been able to come to an agreement with the distributor which means it won’t be shown at Cineworld.”
Another reply read: “Talks with distributors continue all the way up until a movie is released, unfortunately this was a last minute decision.”
Many holders of the Cineworld Unlimited card, which allows you to see as many films as you like for a fee of £16.90 a month, were angry at the exclusion of the film, which is distributed by The Weinstein Company.
Addressing one Unlimited customer, Cineworld added: “Our hands are tied unfortunately Kieran. It’s a joint decision between ourselves and the distributor.”
In a statement given to Digital Spy, Cineworld said: “We can confirm that The Hateful Eight will not be shown at our cinemas.
“Unfortunately we were not able to reach an agreement with the movie’s distributor.
“We make every effort to show a wide variety of movies and we’re very excited about other releases in January including 'Joy’ and 'The Danish Girl’.”
Cineworld is one of the leading cinema groups in Europe, and the second biggest in the UK, with 800 screens over 106 sites.
Last year it saw 82.9 million admissions.
Odeon is currently the biggest chain in the UK, however, with 124 locations in the UK and Ireland alone.
Image credits: The Weinstein Company