Passengers (2016 film)
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.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Morten Tyldum|
|Written by||Jon Spaihts|
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Edited by||Maryann Brandon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$303.1 million|
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. The film was nominated for Best Original Score and Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards.
The starship Avalon is transporting 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members, in hibernation pods, 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 Arthur, an android bartender, 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 research for a way to re-enter hibernation is 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, Arthur inadvertently reveals the truth to Aurora after misinterpreting Jim's affirmation that he and Aurora have "no secrets" between them. Aurora, angry and distraught, alternately berates, shuns, and physically attacks Jim. Jim attempts to apologize, but is fiercely rejected. 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 repairs with Jim and Aurora's help, while Aurora still blames Jim for stealing her life. Gus's body, physically damaged by his malfunctioning pod, begins to fail; 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 secure areas and repair the ship.
Jim and Aurora discover a series of holes through the ship's hull 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 as it has 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 a medical pod called the Autodoc. He later learns that the Autodoc can function as a makeshift hibernation pod for Aurora. With only one Autodoc, she realizes she would never see Jim again.
Eighty-eight years later, the ship's crew awaken shortly before arrival on Homestead II. They discover a small house amid lush vegetation on 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. 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. Brian Kirk was originally scheduled to make his feature directorial debut with the film, with Reeves in the lead. On December 5, 2014, it was announced that Sony Pictures Entertainment had won the rights to the film. In early 2015, Morten Tyldum was chosen to direct the film. 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.
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, 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. Lawrence was paid $20 million against 30 percent of the profit after the movie breaks even and Pratt was paid $12 million.
Principal photography on the film began in September 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. 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.
Thomas Newman composed the musical score for Passengers. Spaihts said that he wrote Passengers while listening to Newman's previous scores. Also, Imagine Dragons recorded a song, "Levitate", for the film's soundtrack. It was released on November 29, 2016.
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, with the international rollout running through Christmas and the New Year, to January 12, 2017.
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. It is the second-highest grossing original live-action Hollywood release of 2016, after La La Land.
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. After making $1.2 million from Tuesday night previews and $4.1 million on its first day, projections for the six-day opening were lowered to $27 million. 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. It became the third-biggest original live-action domestic release of 2016 behind Central Intelligence ($126 million) and La La Land ($149 million).
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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 48 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
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." 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." Peter Keough of The Boston Globe gave the film three and a half out of five 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." 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.
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. 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". 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".
|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||
|Best Original Score||Thomas Newman|
|Art Directors Guild Awards||February 11, 2017||Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Film||Guy Hendrix Dyas||Won|||
|Saturn Awards||June 28, 2017||Best Science Fiction||Passengers||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Chris Pratt|
|Best Actress||Jennifer Lawrence|
|Best Music||Thomas Newman|
|Best Production Design||Guy Hendrix Dyas|
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