Part of that is due to the star-filled cast: Robert DeNiro, Danny Trejo, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson and, yes, Steven Seagal.
But the film is also sparking controversy that’s reaching all the way to Gov. Rick Perry’s office.
Machete tells the story of an assassin from Mexico working as a day laborer in Texas and battling a Mexican drug lord.
Conservative bloggers have called the film inflammatory in light of growing tension over a recent Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration.
More recently, various conservatives, led by radio host Alex Jones, have expressed outrage that the Texas Film Commission may grant Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios tax incentives for shooting in the state. Jones' original blog post has since spread to other conservative blogs.
Under a state law passed in 2009, the Film Commission can deny the incentives if a film includes inappropriate content or content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion. The Texas Film Commission is part of Perry's office.
“No film/production company can receive any state funding until we have reviewed the final product,” said Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Perry’s office, in an email. “At this time, no funds have been released to Troublemaker Studios.”
Texas Film Commission Director Bob Hudgins said he's heard plenty of interest regarding whether Machete gets a tax break. He plans on reserving judgment on the film until he sees the final version.
Some might argue Rodriguez helped bring this on himself when he released a fake trailer for the film that made the movie seem like some kind of revenge fantasy for illegal immigrants. Rodriguez later said the trailer was a joke but not everyone was convinced.
“The movie is very over-the-top satirical, and it’s only because of what’s happened in Arizona that some scenes actually feel at all grounded in reality, which is pretty nuts and says more about Arizona than any fictional movie,” Rodriguez told Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News.
Ironically, Machete might have been shot in a different state if it weren’t for Perry, who signed a bill last year giving his office the ability to grant larger tax incentives to lure filmmakers to shoot in Texas.
The governor signed the bill at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios. Rodriguez told The Associated Press at the time that, without the bill, he would have had to move the production of Machete to another state.
"Thanks to this bill I don’t have to go shoot out of the state," Rodriguez said.
We've got more on this story in this article in Sunday's paper.
Movie poster from Machete's Facebook page.