Escape from Planet Earth
Escape from Planet Earth is a 2013 Canadian-American 3D computer animated comedy-science fiction film produced by Rainmaker Entertainment and distributed by The Weinstein Company in the United States and Alliance Films in Canada, directed by Cal Brunker, with a screenplay which he co-wrote with Bob Barlen, and features an ensemble voice cast that includes Rob Corddry, Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, George Lopez, Sofía Vergara, Steve Zahn, Chris Parnell, Jonathan Morgan Heit, and Ricky Gervais. The film was released on February 15, 2013. This was the first Rainmaker Entertainment film released in theaters. It was also Jessica Alba's voice debut in an animated feature. The film earned $74.6 million on a $40 million budget.
|Escape from Planet Earth|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cal Brunker|
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Cinematography||Matthew A. Ward|
|Box office||$74.6 million|
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Scorch Supernova (voiced by Brendan Fraser) is a heroic alien on a mission to rescue captured babies from the Gnarlachs. He rescues them just in time before the Gnarlachs wake up. Scorch returns to Planet Baab where he is known as a famous hero and works at BASA with his older brother Gary (voiced by Rob Corddry). Gary's son Kip (voiced by Jonathan Morgan Heit) is a big fan of his uncle Scorch. Soon, Gary receives a message from Lena Thackleman (voiced by Jessica Alba), the head of BASA, that Scorch will be sent to the "Dark Planet" (the Baabians' name for Earth) due to a SOS call. Scorch decides to go to the Dark Planet, as he already made a press conference and contacted his sponsors. However, Gary opposes as Scorch is not serious and no alien has ever returned from the Dark Planet. After further arguing, Gary finally says that he won't be helping Scorch and quits BASA before Scorch himself fires him. Gary then goes home to his wife Kira (voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker) and Kip only to find out that Scorch has already gone to the Dark Planet, while Kip is watching it on live TV in excitement.
Scorch arrives on Earth and lands in the desert and finds a 7-Eleven convenience store but mistakes an airdancer for a dying being. Scorch is then tranquilized and captured by Shanker Saunderson (voiced by William Shatner), the malevolent general of the US Army, and is taken to "Area 51" where aliens from other planets are held. Knowing that this has happened, Kip wants to go rescue Scorch but Gary discourages him. Kip is angry and is told to go to his room. Gary goes to Kip's room to apologize only to find his window open knowing that Kip is going to try and save Scorch. He rushes to BASA with Kira wearing his rocket boots despite some issues with them. They arrive to find Kip is about to take off in a ship.
Gary manages to cancel the launch sequence at the last minute, but re-activates the sequence so he himself can rescue Scorch. As soon as he arrives, his ship immediately activates a self-destruct sequence, but Gary manages to escape. He arrives at the same store that Scorch arrived at earlier. Gary enters the store, but is spotted by its owner, Hawk (voiced by Steve Zahn), and his assistant, Hammer (voiced by Chris Parnell). Although both feared Gary, the two men realize that Gary isn't hostile and offer him a Slurpee giving Gary a brain freeze. Afterwards, Shanker's men break into the store, tranquilzes Hawk and Hammer, and capture Gary, taking him to Area 51.
Gary is taken to Shanker's office where he is quickly removed after Shanker receives an incoming call from Lena who's revealed to be an ally of Shanker's as she has sent him a powerful source known as "blubonium". Gary is placed in a cell hall with other alien geniuses including Doc (voiced by Craig Robinson), Io (voiced by Jane Lynch), and Thurman (voiced by George Lopez) who tell Gary that various human technology has been invented by them for Shanker to rip off and sell to all of Earth so he will release them from Area 51. With these technologies, Shanker had made deals with companies like Apple Inc., Facebook, Google, and Pixar. Gary reunites with Scorch, but is again annoyed by his conceited behavior. After a food fight in the cafeteria, the aliens make their way to "the peace shield." Meanwhile, Lena captures Kira, who stayed at BASA and tried contacting Gary on his rescue mission. Lena then reveals her plan to give a lifetime supply of blubonium to Shanker.
After Shanker reveals the blubonium, Gary unintentionally provokes Scorch into stealing it after stating its dangerous power. While being chased, Scorch destroys the blubonium, causing Shanker to freeze him and orders Gary to fix the blubonium and reveals that he's going to destroy all alien planets in the universe with a laser ray using the blubonium. Shanker thinks that all aliens are hostile just because a trio of grey aliens' spaceship (accidentally) killed his father (voiced by Michael Dobson) in 1947. Gary fixes the ray with help from his new friends, but Shanker goes back on his promise and freezes him instead. The other aliens discover Shanker's true intentions when he tries to destroy Baab with the laser ray and mutiny, knocking out Shanker's henchmen. It is revealed that Gary built the machine to be a trap and it malfunctions, destroying itself before it can destroy Baab. With Gary and Scorch released from their icy prisons by the machine alongside the other frozen aliens, the brothers, Doc, Thurman, and Io escape Area 51. With help from Hawk and Hammer, Gary and company locate Scorch's spaceship in a trailer park.
Meanwhile, back on Baab, Kip frees Kira, who stops and subdues Lena after the latter took off with the blubonium shipment. US Air Force jets chase Gary's saucer, but Kip guides him through and manages to evade and destroy the jets. However, Shanker, wearing Scorch's robotic suit, uses a tractor beam to stop the ship in midair. Gary and Scorch jump out and manage to get the suit off Shanker which causes them all to fall to their doom. While freefalling, Scorch and Gary reconcile before they and an unconscious Shanker are rescued by the grey aliens. After Gary knocks out Shanker, the grey aliens take the latter away to deal with him.
Scorch, Gary, Doc, Thurman and Io return to Planet Baab where Gary is reunited with his family. Scorch is greeted as a hero, but gives the credit to his brother which the citizens of Baab celebrate. Meanwhile, Hawk and Hammer, having befriended Scorch, Gary, Doc, Thurman and Io, decide to shut down their store and move into Planet Baab and Doc, Thurman and Io decide into leave their planets and move in with Gary and his family and become part of mission control. Scorch then embarks on his toughest mission yet: marrying his girlfriend, anchorwoman Gabby Babblebrook (voiced by Sofía Vergara). At the start of the film's end credits, a curtain call is used by brief clips of each main character along with the names of their respective voice actors.
- Rob Corddry as Gary Supernova, Scorch’s older brother, who is also the head of mission control at BASA.
- Brendan Fraser as Scorch Supernova, an arrogant but benevolent space pilot, Gary’s young brother.
- Sarah Jessica Parker as Kira Supernova, Gary’s wife, who worked 15 years at the BASA Academy as a test pilot.
- William Shatner as General Shanker Saunderson, the villainous head of Area 51.
- Joshua Rush as Young Shanker
- Jessica Alba as Lena Thackleman, BASA's no-nonsense chief and Shanker’s love interest.
- Jane Lynch as Io, a giant cyclops-like alien with anger management issues.
- Craig Robinson as Doc, a mouse-like alien.
- George Lopez as Thurman, a three-eyed slug-like alien with four arms.
- Sofía Vergara as Gabby Babblebrook, an anchorwoman on Baab and Scorch’s girlfriend.
- Steve Zahn as Hawk
- Chris Parnell as Hammer
- Jonathan Morgan Heit as Kip Supernova, Gary and Kira's son.
- Ricky Gervais as James Bing, a sarcastic talking computer who is programmed at BASA.
The film was in development at The Weinstein Company at least since 2007. The film was first announced in a press release from The Weinstein Company, which announced that the film was in full production and also announced most of the cast.
The film was directed by Cal Brunker, who previously worked as a storyboard designer on the films Despicable Me, Horton Hears a Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift. The film was originally set for release on February 14, 2013, but was pushed back to February 15, 2013, due to conflicting schedules.
Writer-director Tony Leech and film producer Brian Inerfeld sued The Weinstein Company, claiming they signed a deal whereby they were to receive at least 20 percent of Escape's adjusted gross profit, which they estimated would be worth close to $50 million in back end participation alone. But the film languished in development, and the plaintiffs claimed that the Weinsteins repeatedly unlocked the script, forcing rewrites at least 17 times, which they say "eviscerated" the movie's budget by keeping 200-plus animators on payroll. With the film pushing its budget, the Weinsteins went outside for fresh capital.
The Weinstein Company entered into a Funding and Security Agreement with JTM whereby the financiers agreed to provide new money and, in return, get 25 percent of the film's gross receipts and 100 percent of all foreign gross receipts. Leech and Inerfeld were upset, alleging that the agreement had mortgaged their own financial upside and said the Weinsteins advised them that if they wanted their past due money, they would have to agree to this arrangement. Instead, Leech and Inerfeld went on the legal attack against TWC even claiming that they were paid $500,000 in hush money to keep the dispute quiet on the verge of the Weinsteins' The King's Speech Oscar victory in 2011. As for JTM, the plaintiffs demanded a declaratory judgment that their contractual rights to share in the profits were superior to JTM's security interest in profits from the film.
On February 15, 2013, the same day the film was released, in a document filed in the New York Supreme Court, lawyers for both sides filed a motion of discontinuance in the case, effectively ending it. No details of the settlement were made available but because the motion was filed "with prejudice" both sides would be paying their own legal costs.
|Escape from Planet Earth: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||February 19, 2013|
|1.||"Shooting Star"||Owl City||4:06|
|2.||"Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)"||The Ready Set||3:47|
|3.||"Bom Bom"||Sam and the Womp||2:54|
|4.||"Watch Your Back"||Zeazy Z||2:21|
|5.||"Dollaz (Gotta Get It) (Bad Ass Remix)"||The Fresh Force Four||3:06|
|6.||"Shine Supernova"||Cody Simpson||3:12|
|7.||"What Matters Most"||Delta Rae||2:51|
|8.||"George Valentin"||Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra||5:36|
|9.||"Escape from Planet Earth Overture"||Aaron Zigman||4:57|
|10.||"Tornado / Shanker Battles the Aliens"||Aaron Zigman||6:37|
|11.||"Escape from Planet Earth Variation"||Aaron Zigman||3:53|
|12.||"Shanker Targets Planet Baab / Gary and Aliens Escape"||Aaron Zigman||5:09|
|13.||"Let's Go Home"||Aaron Zigman||2:37|
|Escape from Planet Earth: Original Score By Aaron Zigman|
|Film score by|
|Released||February 8, 2013|
|Aaron Zigman film scores chronology|
- All songs written and composed by Aaron Zigman.
|1.||"Escape from Planet Earth Overture"||4:58|
|2.||"Family Theme / Gary & Kira Save Kip"||4:06|
|3.||"The Peace Shield"||2:52|
|4.||"Tornado / Shanker Battles the Aliens"||6:37|
|5.||"Evil Lena's Theme / Dark Planet Press Conference"||1:18|
|6.||"Kira & Evil Lena / Gary Goes to Save Scorch"||3:58|
|7.||"Kira & Kip Caught / Evil Lena"||1:30|
|8.||"Scorch – Family Theme"||2:33|
|9.||"Step Away from the Bluebonium"||3:07|
|10.||"The Gnalarch Mission"||2:26|
|11.||"Scorch Returns to Planet Baab"||1:57|
|12.||"Scorch Me Baby"||2:49|
|13.||"Shanker Targets Planet Baab / Gary and Aliens Escape"||5:09|
|14.||"Fire Up the Ship"||1:17|
|15.||"Dark Planet Info"||1:48|
|16.||"Gary Captured / Area 51"||4:06|
|17.||"General & Evil Lena / Kip Saves Kira"||4:16|
|18.||"Scorch Goes to the Dark Planet"||4:49|
|19.||"Freezing Gun Fight"||3:05|
|20.||"Aliens Save the Day"||1:59|
|22.||"Lets Go Home"||2:36|
|24.||"Escape from Planet Earth Variation"|
Based on 43 reviews, the film holds a rotten rating of 33% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 4.6/10. Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 35 based on 11 reviews, with the tagline "generally unfavorable reviews".
Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, saying, "The picture has enough entertainment value to tickle its target audience and even offers a few chuckles for accompanying adults. A strong cast and bright – if uninspired – animation help to offset a thin story. Decent box office returns seem likely." Tasha Robinson of The A.V. Club gave the film a C, calling it a "Mild-mannered CGI animated film that consists largely of broad conflicts, broadly resolved. It’s unchallenging fun for a younger crowd, but adults might feel like they’re staring down a colorful 24-piece board puzzle, trying to figure out how such a simple activity could be drawn out over 90 minutes." Mack Rawden of Cinema Blend gave the film one star out of five, saying, "Every single facet of the film is at best, slightly below average and at worst, downright terrible." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "It provides a few smiles, and a decent amount of rainy-day, kiddie entertainment." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film two and a half stars out of five, saying, "A children’s movie about space-traveling blue beings that has lots of high-flying escapades but fairly low aspirations." Jordan Riefe of the Boston Phoenix gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "This might please young kids but torment discerning parents." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "Just like its hero and his grounded starship, Escape From Planet Earth is, for much of the film, a decidedly earthbound adventure." Vadim Rizov of Time Out gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "The late Douglas Adams summed up Earth as "mostly harmless," a description that also applies to this eminently tolerable animated time-filler."
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a negative review, saying, "It's a bowl of warm water into which no one has bothered to place a bouillon cube. The kids in the theater with me never mustered a single laugh or gasp of excitement. It's plenty o' nuttin'." Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "No matter whether you call Escape from Planet Earth sincere homage or cynical thievery, it goes down well in its brisk 89 minutes." Gregg Katzman of IGN gave the film a 4.5 out of 10, saying, "Escape From Planet Earth looks fantastic and is sporting some commendable voice acting, but these qualities can't overcome a stale script and significant lack of laughs. Unless you have a young kid that wants to see it, I just can't recommend this one at all." Sheri Linden of the Los Angeles Times gave the film three out of five stars, saying, "It never discovers new worlds, but "Escape From Planet Earth is, in its genial way, escape enough." Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two stars out of four, saying, "If "Escape" figures prominently into your February staycation plans, you won't feel like you've thrown your money away, but the kids won't still be buzzing about it when they get back to school, either." Roger Moore of The Seattle Times gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "The animation is what sells Escape from Planet Earth, with rich, textured surfaces – check out the fishnet webbing on Scorch’s spacesuit, the paint worn off the hardware and the perfectly rendered 7-Eleven, where even the Slurpee (product placement in a cartoon?) shimmers like the real thing. But it’s not worth paying 3D prices". Joe Leydon of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying, "A lightweight, warp-speed, brightly colored trifle that should delight small children and sporadically amuse their parents."
Escape from Planet Earth grossed $57,012,977 in North America, and $17,584,666 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $74,597,643. In North America, the film opened to number four in its first weekend with $15,891,055, behind A Good Day to Die Hard, Identity Thief and Safe Haven. In its second weekend, the film went up to number three grossing an additional $10,682,037. In its third weekend, the film dropped to number six grossing $6,619,827. In its fourth weekend, the film dropped to number nine grossing $3,218,923.
Escape from Planet Earth was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on June 4, 2013.
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