Strictly in dollars, the No. 1 movie for the Labor Day holiday weekend is The Final Destination which scored $15.4 million, making it a chart topper for the second week. We all know why — it’s the 3-D gimmick with audiences thinking maybe a horror flick won’t suck so much if it pops off the screen? Wrong, it sucks plenty. The real success story today is Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which grabbed $15.1 million and second place. In just three weeks, the Nazi-scaping war epic in four languages (with subtitles) has managed to gross $95.2 million, inching close to breaking Tarantino’s box-record of $108 million for Pulp Fiction. Clearly, Basterds has touched a nerve with audiences, especially Christoph Waltz as S.S. Jew hunter Hans Landa.
When I asked those who follow me on this blog and on Twitter to pick their favorite Tarantino character, Landa came in second only to Jules Winnfield, played to perfection by Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Remember Jules saying, “Look at the big brain on Brad! Well, those who thought Brad Pitt made a dumb decision signing on to play Tennessee soldier Aldo “the Apache” Raine may now take a moment to eat their words. Ditto those who thought Tarantino was ripe to jump the shark. When I interviewed QT recently on my Popcorn show on ABC News NOW, I asked him to sing in celebration. He picked a ditty called “The Man in the Big Sombrero,’ from 1943’s Hi Diddle Diddle, an Andrew L. Stone movie he thought I wouldn’t know. Ha! I won that challenge. The song is featured, in French, on the Basterds soundtrack. But here, in English, is the man himself singing his heart out.