Inglourious Basterds: Commercial Propsects of Tarantino’s WWII International Production

August 20, 2009–Tarantino’s inventive WWII fable, “Inglourious Basterds,” about a marauding group of U.S. soldiers who take on the Nazis, begins today its release at the international market, opening in France on Wednesday and playing in previews in the U.K. last weekend.

“Inglourious Basterds” opens in the U.S. on Friday while it continues its expansion overseas into numerous major markets.  As expected by its genre, domestically, tracking is strong among males.

Will “Basterds” help shore up the Weinstein Co., as Universal Pictures’ stake in the film has been obscured. Universal co-produced the pic and is distributing internationally. Like the Weinstein Company, Universal could use a hit after a dismal summer.

International Fanbase

Tarantino has an ardent international fanbase. “Pulp Fiction’s” international gross of $106 million matched the domestic cumulative of $107.9 million.

Both “Kill Bill” movies earned more overseas than domestically: “Kill Bill Vol. 1” cumed $110.9 million internationally versus a domestic total of $70.1 million, while “Kill Bill Vol. 2” grossed $86 million overseas , compared with $66.2 million domestically.

“Inglourious Basterds” features an international cast. In the U.S., TWC is relying heavily on Brad Pitt in its marketing campaign, but overseas is another matter. Cast includes French actress Melanie Laurent, Austrian-born Christoph Waltz and German thesps Michael Fassbender and Diane Kruger.

Tarantino’s latest film made plenty of headlines in Europe when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. More recently, Universal held preems in Melbourne, London and Berlin.

“Basterds” is likely to dominate at the worldwide box-office in its debut, since it has the widest release. The movie may even outshine “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” dragging it down from the No. 1 spot at the international market