Quentin Tarantino has set a new personal record with his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Grossing $41.1 million over the opening weekend, it just barely tops Tarantino's previous $38M opening weekend record set by Inglorious Basterds (2009).
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, this comedy-drama tells a story of an aging actor and his longtime friend and stunt double as they try to navigate the changing scene in 1969 Hollywood. The plot also plays on some real-life events of the time, including the murder of actress Sharon Tate and three of her friends by members of the Manson Family. Tate is played by Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad), who moves in next door to DiCaprio's Character.
The film is based on a novel, written years ago by Tarantino, when he was still trying to break into Hollywood. The novel takes inspiration from the lives and careers of actor Burt Reynolds (The Dukes of Hazzard) and his former stunt double, Hal Needham. This is Tarantino's first film after severing his career-long collaboration with Harvey Weinstein's production company. Sony Pictures Entertainment reportedly beat out Warner Bros. and Paramount to land the production rights after submitting to some hefty demands from Tarantino, including a $95 million production budget, final cut approval, "extraordinary creative controls" and 25% of first-dollar gross (meaning he gets that cut even if the film doesn't make any profit).