Over the past few days we’ve been hearing all the things that people feel “went wrong” with Grindhouse (that is, what kept it from being a massive commercial hit), but according to Harvey Weinstein, the main reason was the movie’s length. “Our research showed the length kept people away. It was the single biggest deterrent. It was 3 hours and 12 minutes long. We originally intended to get it all in in 2 hours, 30 minutes. That would have been a better time.” He denied the idea that the movie’s concept was too obscure for mainstream audiences (this despite the fact that some U.S. theatres reportedly handed out flyers explaining that the film grain and scratches along with the “missing reels” were done on purpose).
So now it looks like there’s a good chance that the Weinsteins may do what they were already planning to do overseas — split the movies up into two separate releases. “We could split the movies in a couple of weeks. Make Tarantino’s a full-length film, and Rodriguez’s too. We’ll be adding those ‘two missing reels’ that’s talked about in the movie.” I’m not sure if he’s joking about adding in the missing reels (which, for those who haven’t seen it, were supposed to contain sex scenes and might be added back in for the DVD release anyway). Personally I think the idea of splitting up the movies is a bit silly. Without the two movies together as a package, it sort of kills the whole concept. And what would they do with the fake trailers? For European markets, the excuse was that foreign audiences aren’t familiar with the concept of a double feature, but to split it up in North America just because people can’t afford to devote three full hours to a movie? Oh yes, our lives are just so busy! (This coming from a guy who missed the last half of Tarantino’s Death Proof. On second thought, re-release them! Then I won’t have to sit through the first 2 and a half hours again!) I really don’t think a split release will cause the box office to pick up — if anything moviegoers will just be more confused about the whole thing. If you haven’t seen Grindhouse yet, was it because of the running time? And would a separate release get you out to see one or both films?