Quentin Tarantino says box office flop was a “shock to my confidence”

Quentin Tarantino has said the poor box office performance of Death Proof impacted his confidence as a director.

The 2007 action-thriller stars Kurt Russell as a stuntman who murders young women with modified cars. The film grossed only $31million (£24.9m) at the box office on a budget of $30million, which is considered a failure compared to Tarantino’s other works.

Speaking to Spanish outlet Diari ARA to promote his latest book Cinema Speculation, the director explained how the film’s poor reception led to him receiving more project proposals from Hollywood.


“I have been lucky enough to write stories that have connected with many people, and this has allowed me to practise my art without restrictions that most filmmakers have,” Tarantino said.

Death Proof
Kurt Russell in ‘Death Proof’. CREDIT: AJ Pics/Alamy

“Now, a funny thing happened: for a while I was getting a lot of project proposals, until the studios ended up assuming that I do my stories and it wasn’t worth the effort. But after Death Proof, which didn’t do well at the box office and was a bit of a shock to my confidence, I started getting proposals again.”

He added: “They must have thought, ‘Perhaps now he’s touched and his temper has gone down, now is the time.’ And there’s nothing wrong with making commissioned movies for Hollywood. They always offered me interesting projects. But I preferred to reinvest in myself and made Inglourious Basterds.”

Death Proof was one half of double feature Grindhouse, alongside Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror which was produced by Tarantino.

The director’s follow-up, Inglourious Basterds, went onto gross over $321.5million worldwide on a production budget of $70million.


Elsewhere, Tarantino recently explained why he rarely includes sex scenes in his movies.