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Quentin Tarantino’s Western epic Django Unchained opened to impressive box-office numbers despite what many called a controversial abuse of the n-word. The repeated use of the contentious word threatened to derail the slave redemption/love story, as respected African-American director Spike Lee called for a full-scale boycott of Tarantino’s passion project, claiming the film was disrespectful to his ancestors (he expressed his sentiment although he has yet to view the film).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Django Unchained, which stars Oscar award-winning actor Jamie Fox, grossed impressive numbers across demographics, but especially strong with African-American audiences, with over 42 percent of tickets sold in the first week went to African-Americans.

Django is playing well to African-Americans and to audiences across the board. You can’t have these kind of numbers otherwise. It’s getting everybody,” The Weinstein Co. president of distribution Erik Lomis said.

And those numbers have translated into what may turn out to be Quentin Taratino’s biggest movie ever, in terms of sales.

Django has grossed $77.8 million so far in North America and has a strong shot at becoming Tarantino’s most successful film at the domestic box office, eclipsing the $120 million earned by Inglourious Basterds in 2009. Sony is TWC’s partner on Django and will handle the movie internationally.

It looks as if black audiences have embraced Tarantino’s masterful storytelling ability, and looked past the word that too many, black and white, take out context.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    it has passed the $100 million mark

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    Django Unchained is as much a historical movie as Inglorious Bastard. It’s a cartoon with the over the top dialogue, scenes and plot. I enjoyed it because I am a fan of the type of movie genre it pays homage to: Blaxploitation and Spaghetti Westerns. Do I think the use of the word *igger was gratuitous?
    Yes, but so was much of the film. I find it a little disturbing that so many critics focus so much on the over use of a slur in the film but so little on the amount violence portrayed. Because from where I sit, violence in our communities are doing far more damage than the slurs.
    But even in this cartoon, I think QT has brought to back the forefront my mind the sheer inhumanity that was slavery. I believe this is an opportunity for us to re-visit one of the worst periods in the history of America where black people were subject to conditions akin to domestic beast. Use the publicity of this movie to remind people of what Africans forcefully bought to this nation experienced because I don’t believe too many of us know enough about this or we have conveniently forgotten.

    I saw Roots for the first time when I was 12 and I still remember to this day how deeply it hurt my psyche to watch that story unfold, Django Unchained is not Roots and I I have not heard anyone claim it would be. So rather than spend time debating whether *igger is used too much in a film lets talk about the larger issues of violence, inhumanity and the legacy of African slavery. I know its much easier for some of us to be righteously “Black” or Blacker than thou” but while that may make you feel better it does nothing to advance consciousness.

  • LMO85

    THANK YOU FOR THIS COMMENT. Sigh.

  • Natalie

    But what you forget is that most of the people who used the word in the movie were antagonists and were meant to, not only portray disrespect, but also excessive hatred towards Black people. For this reason, It is fitting that they would use the racial slur so much.

    And the only Black person who used the word so much in the movie was Samuel L Jackson character who’s meant to be an indoctrinated “Uncle Tom”. It would also make sense that he’d use it so vehemently.

  • Natalie

    I agree with the “perm” observation lol. But people stay confused about this movie and Taratino’s other movie themes. It’s not supposed to be realistic. It’s a simple, gory story set in a parallel reality. Remember Inglorious Bastards? Yea, Hitler wasn’t really blown up in a movie theater.

    It’s nice that people are pointing out how unreal the use of the “n-word” seemed to be and the perms the women had, but they fail to notice that it’s totally unrealitic for a slave to pose as a bounty hunter, pull white man off of horses, and one-handedly kill dozens of white men in the pre-Civil War Deep South.

    #EveryonesACriticButNoOneTookAFilmClass

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