Cineworld, Picturehouse and Curzon will not show Quentin Tarantino’s latest film.

The Hateful Eight

Three UK exhibitors have decided not to screen Quentin Tarantino’s latest film The Hateful Eight following a dispute with Entertainment Film Distributors.

Cineworld, its subsidary Picturehouse, and Curzon will not show the film in their combined 135 venues following Entertainment’s decision to grant rival chain Odeon the exclusive screening rights to London’s West End.

The film, which is Tarantino’s eighth feature, is an ensemble western starring Kurt Russell, Samuel L Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The film was shot on classic Panavision lenses and will be screened in select venues on large format 70mm Ultra Panavision, making it the first theatrical release of its kind for 50 years.

Odeon Leicester Square will be screening the film in the 70mm Ultra Panavision format, and Entertainment has released a statement claiming that the costs of doing this have made the exclusivity necessary.

“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,” said an Entertainment spokesperson.

“The technical elements and costs involved with this special presentation meant that this would need to be the exclusive West End venue.”

Primary grievance

The statement added that Cineworld’s primary grievance was not being able to screen the film at its flagship Picturehouse Central venue, which is housed in London’s West End and seats 344 in its largest screen to Odeon Leicester Square’s 1,679, which is the largest capacity cinema screen in the UK.

“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,” said Entertainment Film.

“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.

“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.”

In response, a Cineworld statement 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.”

Picturehouse added: “The distributor made the decision to show The Hateful Eight exclusively in one West End cinema regardless of format. We do not agree with this principle of exclusivity in a film’s release. 

“We strongly believe in healthy competition that gives cinemagoers the right and freedom to choose where they want to watch a film. Imposing exclusivity in the West End, goes against this, to the cost of cinema-goers.”

Speaking on Twitter, Curzon said: “We love a Quentin Tarantino movie but it is with great regret that we will not be showing The Hateful Eight from Friday 8 January. On this occasion, the distributor has chosen to screen the film only in 70mm in the West End and in selected venues nationwide.”

Along with Odeon, multiplex chain Vue will screen the film and will offer customers an unlimited popcorn refill over its opening weekend, which begins on Friday, Jan 8.