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Passengers is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Jon Spaihts. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne. The story depicts two people who are awakened some 90 years too soon from an induced hibernation on a spaceship bound for a new planet.

Passengers 2016 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Morten Tyldum
Produced by
Written by Jon Spaihts
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Rodrigo Prieto
Edited by Maryann Brandon
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
Running time
116 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $110 million[2]
Box office $303.1 million[2]

The film was released in the United States on December 21, 2016, in 2D and RealD 3D by Columbia Pictures. It grossed $303 million worldwide but received mixed reviews from critics. The film was nominated for Best Original Score and Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards.[3]



The Avalon, a sleeper ship transporting 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members in hibernation pods, is on course to the planet Homestead II, a journey taking 120 years. Thirty years into its journey, the ship passes through an asteroid field, which causes a malfunction. The malfunction awakens one passenger, mechanical engineer Jim Preston, 90 years too early.

After a year of isolation, with no company except an android bartender named Arthur, Jim grows despondent and contemplates suicide. One day, he notices Aurora Lane in her pod. He watches her video profile and is immediately smitten. After struggling with the morality of manually reviving Aurora for companionship, he awakens her, claiming her pod also must have malfunctioned. Aurora is devastated that she will grow old and die before the ship reaches Homestead II. Her attempts to re-enter hibernation are fruitless. Eventually, she accepts her situation and begins writing a book about her experiences. Jim and Aurora grow closer, and eventually fall in love.

After another year, Jim inadvertently allows Arthur to reveal the truth to Aurora by saying that he and Aurora have "no secrets" between them. Aurora is devastated; she considers his action tantamount to murder. She alternately berates, shuns, and physically attacks Jim. The two refrain from contact for some time. Soon after, another pod failure awakens Gus Mancuso, Chief Deck Officer. The three discover multiple failures throughout the ship's systems. If not repaired, the ship will continue to suffer critical system failures. Gus attempts to repair the ship with Jim and Aurora's help, while Aurora still blames Jim for stealing her life. Gus becomes ill; unlike Jim's, his body was physically damaged by his malfunctioning pod. The Autodoc, an automated medical diagnostics and treatment pod, shows he has only hours to live. Before dying, Gus gives Jim and Aurora his ID badge to access crew-only areas and repair the ship.

Jim and Aurora discover a series of hull breaches from the meteor collision two years earlier. The computer module administering the fusion reactor that powers the ship has been damaged, causing the ship's escalating malfunctions. Jim and Aurora replace the damaged module. The computer attempts to vent the reactor in order to extinguish a massive reactor fire, but fails. Jim realizes that the reactor must be vented by opening the vent hatch from the ship's exterior. Aurora assists, while admitting she is terrified of losing Jim and being left alone. Aurora, from inside the ship, and Jim, outside, vent the reactor. Jim's tether snaps and his damaged spacesuit loses oxygen; Aurora retrieves and resuscitates Jim in the Autodoc. He later learns that the Autodoc can function as a makeshift hibernation pod—for one person. Aurora would never see Jim again.

Eighty-eight years later, the ship's crew awaken as scheduled, shortly before arrival on Homestead II. They discover a small house amid lush flora and fauna in the ship's grand concourse area. Aurora's book reveals that she chose to stay awake with Jim and continue writing her story.




The original script for Passengers was written by Jon Spaihts in 2007, and had been in development hell for years. In this original script, character Aurora's original surname was Dunn.[4] At one point, the film was set to star Keanu Reeves and Emily Blunt.[5] The film's production budget was a relatively low $35 million, and at various points in its development, actors attached to it included Keanu Reeves, Reese Witherspoon, and Rachel McAdams.[6] Brian Kirk was originally scheduled to make his feature directorial debut with the film, with Reeves in the lead.[7][8] On December 5, 2014, it was announced that Sony Pictures Entertainment had won the rights to the film.[9] In early 2015, Morten Tyldum was chosen to direct the film.[10] Tyldum had always wanted to do a massive sci-fi action movie, but also stressed the importance of a 'big guy' character-driven sci-fi film, rather than a cold and distant one.[11]

Metro described its plot as bearing a resemblance to the EC Comics story "50 Girls 50" by Al Williamson, first published in the July–August 1953 issue of Weird Science,[12] in which two passengers of a colony spaceship are awoken from hibernation early and fall in love.

The cast – Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Aurora Perrineau – were announced between February 2015 and January 2016.[13][14][15][16][17] Lawrence was paid $20 million against 30 percent of the profit after the movie breaks even and Pratt was paid $12 million.[6][18]


Principal photography on the film began in September 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.[19][20] Filming occasionally took place for full days with a bulk of the shooting done around the two leads only. Rodrigo Prieto was cinematographer, and Maryann Brandon was film editor.[21][22]


Thomas Newman composed the musical score for Passengers.[23] Spaihts said that he wrote Passengers while listening to Newman's previous scores.[24] Also, Imagine Dragons recorded a song, "Levitate", for the film's soundtrack. It was released on November 29, 2016.[25]


In August 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment set the film's release date for December 21, 2016, in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. The film was concurrently released in 3D and RealD 3D formats,[26] with the international rollout running through Christmas and the New Year, to January 12, 2017.[27]

Box officeEdit

Passengers grossed $100 million in the United States and Canada and $203.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $303.1 million, against a production budget of $110 million.[2] It is the second-highest grossing original live-action Hollywood release of 2016, after La La Land.[28]

Passengers opened alongside Sing and Assassin's Creed, and was initially expected to gross around $50 million from 3,478 theaters over its first six days of release, although the studio was projecting a more conservative $35 million debut.[29][30] After making $1.2 million from Tuesday night previews[31] and $4.1 million on its first day, projections for the six-day opening were lowered to $27 million.[32] It went on to gross $15.1 million in its opening weekend (a six-day total of $30 million), finishing third at the box office behind Rogue One and Sing.[33] It became the third-biggest original live-action domestic release of 2016 behind Central Intelligence ($126 million) and La La Land ($149 million).[28]

Critical responseEdit

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 30% of 235 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Passengers proves Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence work well together – and that even their chemistry isn't enough to overcome a fatally flawed story."[34] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 48 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[35] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale,[36] while comScore reported an overall 77% positive score.[33]

Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle gave the film three out of four stars. He stated "despite the confinement and the limited cast, Passengers has moments of intense drama that take the actors to places of extreme feeling."[37] James Dyer of Empire gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, stating the film is "as surprisingly traditional as it is undeniably effective." He described the film as "Titanic amongst the stars" and "a touching, heartfelt tale of loss and love for the Gravity generation."[38] Peter Keough of The Boston Globe gave the film two and a half out of four stars, stating "perhaps as a well-written play for a cast of three, Passengers might have been first class. Instead, it's just another mediocre thrill ride."[39] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called the film an "appealing sci-fi romance" but criticized the final act as an "anticlimax". He gave the film three out of five stars.[40]

Rebecca Hawkes of The Telegraph described the film as not a romance but "a creepy ode to manipulation", describing the action as a "central act of violence" that is softened and justified.[41] Andrew Pulver of The Guardian called it an "interstellar version of social-media stalking" with "a fantastically creepy start" that, contrary to romantic comedies that manage to "plane down" the nastiness of stalking tactics, presents them in a way where "it's gruesomely inescapable".[42] Alissa Wilkinson of Vox called it "a fantasy of Stockholm syndrome, in which the captured eventually identifies and even loves the captor" and "a really disturbing wish fulfillment fantasy".[43]

Home mediaEdit

Passengers was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 14, 2017, and was made available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on March 7, 2017.[44]

On March 14, 2017, Passengers: Awakening, a virtual reality experience based on the film launched for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.[45]


List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards February 26, 2017 Best Production Design Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena Nominated [46]
Best Original Score Thomas Newman
Art Directors Guild Awards February 11, 2017 Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Film Guy Hendrix Dyas Won [48]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Science Fiction Passengers Nominated [49]
Best Actor Chris Pratt
Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence
Best Music Thomas Newman
Best Production Design Guy Hendrix Dyas


  1. ^ "Passengers (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Passengers (2016)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (17 July 2015). "Michael Sheen Joins Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in 'Passengers'". Variety. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Hawkes, Rebecca (November 24, 2016). "Passengers: watch the new trailer, plus all you need to know about Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt's sci-fi romance ". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ a b Kim Masters (June 16, 2015). "Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi 'Passengers' Nears Green Light After Sony Behind-the-Scenes Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Keanu Reeves Sci-Fi Film 'Passengers' Gets a 'Game of Thrones' Director". Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
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  12. ^ Chilton, Luke (September 20, 2016). "Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt get close and personal in new Passengers trailer". Metro. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 6, 2015). "Jennifer Lawrence in Talks for Sci-Fi Drama 'Passengers'". Variety. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  14. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 6, 2015). "Chris Pratt in Talks to Star Opposite Jennifer Lawrence in Sony's 'Passengers'". Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
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  17. ^ Galuppo, Mia (February 16, 2016). "Aurora Perrineau Joins Jennifer Lawrence in 'Passengers'". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
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  19. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt's Latest Film "Passengers" Has Started Filming In Atlanta; JLaw Spotted In Freshly Bleached Blonde Locks". Venture Capital Post. September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
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  22. ^ Christopher Hooton (March 17, 2016). "Passengers: Following Gravity, Interstellar and The Martian, what you need to know about this year's big space movie". The Independent. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  23. ^ Film Music Reporter (September 9, 2016). "Thomas Newman to Score Morten Tyldum's 'Passengers'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  24. ^ Spaihts, Jon [@jonspaihts] (September 20, 2016). "I wrote #Passengers listening to Thomas Newman. Now he's scoring the film. Dream come true" (Tweet). Retrieved September 21, 2016 – via Twitter. 
  25. ^ Mitchell, Bea (29 November 2016). "Imagine Dragons are back with new track 'Levitate'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 5, 2015). "Sony Dates 16 Films Including Two More 'Bad Boys' Sequels, 'Jumanji' Remake". Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Watch the First Trailer for Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt's 'Passengers'". Variety. September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  28. ^ a b Scott Mendelson (March 15, 2017). "Box Office: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt's 'Passengers' Was One Of 2016's Bigger Original Grossers". Forbes. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Will 'Rogue One' Vanquish The Christmas B.O. Competition?". 
  30. ^ McClintock, Pamela. "Christmas Box-Office Crush: 'Sing,' 'Passengers,' 'Assassin's Creed' to Battle 'Rogue One'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
  31. ^ "'Sing's' Box-Office Debut Tops 'Assassin's Creed,' 'Passengers' in Tuesday Night Previews". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  32. ^ "With 'Rogue One' & 'Sing', It's A Two-Picture Christmas At The B.O." 
  33. ^ a b "With 'Fences,' 'La La Land' Enter Top 10 As 'Rogue One' & 'Sing' Rule Holiday – Monday AM Update". 
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  35. ^ "Passengers Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 23, 2016. 
  36. ^ CinemaScore on Twitter (December 21, 2016). "Passengers". Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
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  38. ^ Dwyer, James. "Passengers Review". Empire. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
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  40. ^ Bradshaw, Peter. "Passengers review – Chris Pratt falls for Jennifer Lawrence in space". The Guardian. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
  41. ^ "Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence's Passengers isn't a romance: it's a creepy ode to manipulation". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  42. ^ Andrew Pulver (December 15, 2016). "Passengers review – spaceship romcom scuppered by cosmic creep". Guardian. 
  43. ^ Wilkinson, Alissa. "Passengers is 3 movies in one, each creepier than the last". Vox. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Passengers Blu-ray Release Date, News & Reviews -". 
  45. ^ "Sony Releases 'Passengers: Awakening' VR Experience". 
  46. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 24, 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  47. ^ "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  48. ^ Hipes, Patrick. "Art Directors Guild Awards Nominations: 'Rogue One', 'Game Of Thrones' & More". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  49. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 

External linksEdit