Poseidon is a 2006 American disaster film directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is the third film adaptation of Paul Gallico's novel The Poseidon Adventure, and a loose remake of the 1972 film of the same name. It stars Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, Mike Vogel, Jimmy Bennett, and Andre Braugher. It was produced and distributed by Warner Bros. in association with Virtual Studios. The film had a simultaneous release in the IMAX format. It was released on May 12, 2006, and nominated at the 79th Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects. Poseidon grossed $181 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of $160 million, resulting in losses of around $69 million for the studio.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wolfgang Petersen|
|Screenplay by||Mark Protosevich|
|Based on||The Poseidon Adventure|
by Paul Gallico
|Music by||Klaus Badelt|
|Edited by||Peter Honess|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$181.7 million|
The RMS Poseidon, a luxury ocean liner, is making a transatlantic crossing. Former New York City Mayor and FDNY firefighter Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell) is traveling with his daughter Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel) to New York, soon to be engaged. Also on board is former Navy submariner-turned-professional gambler Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas), architect Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss), Maggie James (Jacinda Barrett) and her son Conor (Jimmy Bennett), stowaway Elena (Mía Maestro), and waiter Marco Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez).
As the passengers are enjoying a New Year's Eve party, officers on the bridge see a huge rogue wave bearing down on the ship. To survive the wave, they try to steer the ship to take the wave bow-first, but it does not turn fast enough. The wave swamps and capsizes the ship, killing the bridge officers along with many passengers and crew. In the ballroom, a badly injured Captain Bradford (Andre Braugher) attempts to restore order and assures the surviving passengers that help is on the way, and tries to persuade them to stay put. Unconvinced, Dylan leads Conor, Maggie, Robert, Richard, and Valentin towards the bow, where he believes they will have the best chance of escaping from the capsized liner.
As they head up, they have to cross an elevator shaft, into which Valentin falls before being crushed by the falling elevator. They reunite with Jennifer, Christian, Elena, and gambler Lucky Larry (Kevin Dillon), who had all been in the nightclub section of the ship, and who are the only survivors out of all of the occupants in the nightclub. The group crosses a makeshift bridge across the lobby, where Lucky Larry gets crushed by the engine. The pressure from the water finally cracks the ballroom windows, drowning and killing its occupants, including Captain Bradford. With the water rising rapidly, the group is forced to escape through an air duct and some ballast tanks, although Elena hits her head underwater and drowns.
With the ship slowly sinking, the survivors soon find themselves in a crew lounge where they find the bow section is flooded, until an explosion of the engine room lifts it out of the water. The group enters the bow thruster room and are horrified to find the thrusters still running. With their path blocked by the propellers, and knowing that the control room is submerged in water, Robert swims away to turn off the engine. He finds the 'shut off' switch to be broken, but presses the reverse button instead, before drowning.
With the propellers now spinning in the other direction, Dylan throws a nitrogen tank into it, causing an explosion that destroys the engine, and leaving an opening for them to escape through. The group jumps out the thruster and swim to a nearby inflatable raft, and as they are getting into the raft, the ship starts to sink. As they are paddling away, the waves push the raft further and further away from the sinking liner. Across the water, the survivors look on as the stricken ship sinks stern-first into the Atlantic. After firing a flare, two helicopters and several ships arrive to rescue the six survivors, having tracked the location of the Poseidon's GPS beacon.
- Josh Lucas as Dylan Johns
- Kurt Russell as Robert Ramsey
- Richard Dreyfuss as Richard Nelson
- Emmy Rossum as Jennifer Ramsey
- Jacinda Barrett as Maggie James
- Mike Vogel as Christian Sanders
- Mía Maestro as Elena Morales
- Kevin Dillon as Lucky Larry
- Freddy Rodriguez as Marco Valentin
- Jimmy Bennett as Conor James
- Stacy Ferguson as Gloria
- Andre Braugher as Captain Michael Bradford
- Kirk B. R. Woller as Chief Officer Reynolds
- Gabriel Jarret as First Officer Chapman
Production on the film began in July 2005.
As with the 1972 The Poseidon Adventure film, which based many of its sets on rooms aboard the RMS Queen Mary, the film's set designers drew inspiration for some of the spaces aboard the fictional "Poseidon" from rooms aboard the Queen Mary 2, most notably in Poseidon's ballroom, which is modeled on the main dining room of Queen Mary 2.
On the soundstage at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California, separate sets for each main room were built, one right-side-up and the other upside down. The upside-down ballroom set was built on top of a large water tank in the soundstage so that it could be filled with water and drained in a matter of hours. The interior and exterior shots of the ship rolling were constructed using computer-generated imagery.
The primary visual effects were completed by Industrial Light & Magic and Moving Picture Company. ILM used the most advanced version of mental ray to photo-realistically light and render the shots, and were responsible for all of the ship's exterior shots. The most complicated work featured the opening shot of the ship, where the camera tours the ship's exterior. The shot lasts for two and a half minutes, and features one of the most complex digital models ever created at ILM. For water simulations, proprietary software was used, known as PhysBAM, which was created in collaboration with Stanford University. Harold "Howie" Weed was computer graphics modeler for the film.
Digital interior sets and water effects were handled by MPC, while liquid and gaseous effects were simulated using Scanline VFX proprietary software Flowline. Other shots were handled by CIS Hollywood, with water effects simulated using RealFlow.
|1.||"Won't Let You Fall"||Fergie||4:39|
|4.||"The Poseidon"||Klaus Badelt||3:19|
|5.||"The Wave"||Klaus Badelt||4:37|
|6.||"A Map and a Plan"||Klaus Badelt||2:30|
|7.||"Fire Dive"||Klaus Badelt||2:48|
|10.||"Don't Look Down"||Klaus Badelt||3:44|
Review aggregators Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic found approximately a third of the reviews they surveyed to be positive with an average rating of 5 out of 10. The Rotten Tomatoes critics summary praised the special effects but found the script lacking, while Metacritic judged the critics reception as "mixed or average" overall. The film was also nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Ripoff, losing to Little Man. However, the film was commended for its realistic use of CGI in the capsizing scenes and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, losing to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
The film grossed $22,155,410 during its opening weekend, for an average of $6,232 from 3,555 theaters, finishing in second place behind Mission: Impossible III at the box office. Poseidon went on to generate $60,674,817 in the United States, and $121,000,000 in foreign markets, for a combined total gross of $181,674,817.
The film holds a Guinness World Record for having the most detailed CG model in a film. The exterior shots included 181,579 individual objects, including 382 cabins, 876 portholes, 73 towels, and 681 deck chairs, all of which were created by digital effects company Industrial Light & Magic.
Poseidon was released to DVD on August 22, 2006, in both single-disc and double-disc editions. The single-disc edition contains a behind-the-scenes featurette and the theatrical trailer. The double-disc edition expands on these two features, and also includes the documentaries Poseidon: Upside Down: A Unique Set Design Chronicle; A Shipmate's Diary, which covers a film school intern's experience on the set; and a History Channel documentary which explores rogue waves. Domestic DVD sales for Poseidon were $27,196,438.
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