‘Basterds’ Lifted by Twitter

Finally, a Twitter effect that benefits a movie instead of hurts it.

After lukewarm tweets from Friday screenings caused weekend drops for movies like Bruno and Funny People earlier this summer, Inglourious Basterds came along this weekend and rode a crest of tweeting goodwill.

The movie held fast after its $14 million Friday to finish at $37.6 million for Quentin Tarantino (it was his biggest opening ever, though Pulp Fiction launched in an earlier, slower-rollout time) and, to the delight of media everywhere, provided plenty of fodder.

The initial fear for Basterds was that filmgoers expecting a pure action movie — the movie that the Weinsteins marketed — would be disappointed and give it a thumbs-down once the pic unspooled.

That would ding the film as it played throughout the weekend — especially as the more generous Tarantino fans who rushed out to see the movie Friday gave way to more general audiences over the weekend.

But the movie actually held its ground and even picked up steam as the weekend went on, as even Saturday Twitterers enthusiastically tweeted and re-tweeted their approval.

Most tweets proclaimed the film a winner and Tarantino’s best effort in years.

The questions audiences had coming in were, far from amplified by Twitterers, dispelled by them. LilMissOpinion noted that “Inglourious Basterds was really good! I actually liked it & that somewhat surprises me.”

(Also among the Twitterers were some armchair historians, like one AshleyNJones89, who helpfully pointed out that “Inglourious Basterds is FICTION. Hitler wasn’t killed in a movie theatre. He killed himself along with Eva Braun. DUMMIES!”)

And though some reviewers — notably Manohla Dargis of the New York Times — got on the director for his inability to string snappy scenes into a cohesive movie, audiences noticed the same trend but didn’t seem to mind.

As jessedir tweeted: “Inglorious Basterds is A Night of Short Plays about Nervous _Liars by QT, but they’re wildly enjoyable and well-shot plays.”

Nielsen Business Media