Not only is Inglourious Basterds the biggest opener of Quentin Tarantino’s career, the savior of the Weinstein Company, and a guaranteed lock for Best Picture — it also might be the movie that helps push summer 2009 past the $4.16 billion mark, edging out 2007 and making this the highest-grossing summer of all time. How did this season’s mostly dull, Dark Knight–less crop of releases manage to do what even 2008’s could not? Bilking customers was crucial — “premium” 3-D ticket prices helped overcome a 4 percent drop in summer attendance — but just as important was Hollywood’s unprecedented move to schedule non-awful movies like Basterds and District 9 for late August, instead of just punting those weeks like they usually do. This summer’s box office currently sits at $3.99 billion and studios expect to beat the record by Sunday; then we hope they’ll consider releasing some negligible, crappy movies so we can all finally go on vacation.
August releases heat up box office [Variety]