This Is the End
This Is the End is a 2013 American disaster black comedy horror film written, co-produced and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in their directorial debuts. Starring Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, the film centers on fictionalized versions of themselves in the wake of a global biblical apocalypse.
|This Is the End|
Theatrical release poster
|Based on||Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse|
by Seth Rogen
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Edited by||Zene Baker|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$126.5 million|
Produced by Mandate Pictures and Rogen and Goldberg's Point Grey Pictures, This Is the End premiered at the Fox Village Theater on June 3, 2013 and was released theatrically in the United States on June 14, 2013 by Columbia Pictures. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $126 million against a $32 million budget.
Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles to visit old friend and fellow Canadian actor Seth Rogen, who invites him to a housewarming party hosted by James Franco. There, Jay is uncomfortable at the crowded party, so Seth accompanies him to a convenience store for cigarettes. When beams of blue light come down and suck numerous people into the sky, Seth and Jay flee back to James' house and find the party unharmed. An earthquake then strikes and the crowd rushes outside to which a sinkhole suddenly opens in James' yard, swallowing several attendees. Seth, Jay, James, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson run back inside the house. Jay tells the remaining partygoers that the earthquake has destroyed most of Los Angeles. They then take inventory of their supplies, set up a ration system, board up the house and await help.
The next morning, Danny McBride, unaware of the crisis, wastes much of their food and water. He disbelieves what the others tell him of the previous night's events until a man outside is decapitated by an unseen creature. Tensions rise due to various conflicts, including Jay and Seth's growing estrangement and the others' skepticism of Jay's belief that the disaster might be the Apocalypse predicted in the Book of Revelation. Emma Watson makes her way back to James' house, but due to a misunderstanding, she believes the group is planning to rape her and leaves with the group's remaining drinks.
Craig goes for water, but he encounters an unknown being causing him to believe Jay's theory. Jay and Seth dig through the floor and find water, but Danny wastes most of it out of spite and the others kick him out of the house. Before leaving, Danny reveals that Jay was in town two months prior, but stayed at a hotel instead of with Seth because of their strained friendship. Jonah annoys Jay, who then punches him in the face. That night, Jonah prays for Jay to die and is possessed by a demon. Seth and James are attacked by the possessed Jonah, but Jay and Craig subdue Jonah and tie him up. During an exorcism attempt, Jay and Seth fight and knock over a candle, starting a fire that engulfs Jonah and the house and forces the others outside.
James suggests driving to his home in Malibu, but finds his car guarded by a demon. Craig volunteers to sacrifice himself and is raptured into Heaven when the plan succeeds. The others realize they can save themselves by performing a selfless act. On the way to Malibu, the three encounter cannibals led by Danny and his gimp, Channing Tatum. When James volunteers to sacrifice himself, a blue beam begins to pull him to Heaven, but when he taunts and insults Danny, the beam vanishes to which Danny and the other cannibals eat James alive while Seth and Jay escape and encounter Satan. Jay apologizes to Seth for his wrongdoings while Satan attempts to eat them. A beam strikes Jay and he begins to ascend while Seth does not. Jay grabs Seth's hand, but his presence prevents them from ascending into Heaven. Seth forces Jay to leave him behind whereupon another beam appears around Seth. The pair arrive in Heaven where they are reunited with Craig, who tells them that any wish comes true there. Jay wishes for the Backstreet Boys and the band performs "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" as everyone dances.
Most of the film's cast portray fictional and exaggerated versions of themselves:
Regarding why they made the film, Rogen and Goldberg told interviewers that "We always wanted to do a movie where people played themselves and something extraordinary happened; the initial version of the film was Seth Rogen and Busta Rhymes were filming a music video and a film respectively, on the Sony lot, and Antmen attacked from the center of the earth." The film is also based on Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse, a short film created by Goldberg and Jason Stone in 2007.
In an interview with The Guardian, Goldberg commented on influences contributing to the film, "If you drilled down to the core of what I do, it's just ripping off little bits of Charlie Kaufman. Seth and I always loved The Larry Sanders Show too. And the popularity of reality television now also feeds into that idea of whether what we're watching is actually real. We thought working with our friends in that situation would be awesome because they're all comedians willing to take stabs at themselves." The actors play exaggerated versions of themselves, with only James Franco having no objections to doing what the script wanted him to do.
While set in Los Angeles, principal photography was in New Orleans due to financial incentives from that city. Filming rolled from February to early July 2012. Modus FX made over 240 visual effects for the film, such as natural disasters, set extensions for the house, computer-generated demons and the Rapture beams. After filming wrapped, Rogen and Goldberg were displeased with their ending; they considered putting Morgan Freeman in Heaven, but he declined. Since "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" already played in an earlier scene and Rogen and Goldberg wanted to close on an over-the-top note, they decided to feature the Backstreet Boys in the scene instead.
During production, the film's working title was The Apocalypse, which was later changed to The End of the World. The name was then changed to This Is the End on December 20, 2012 upon the release of its first trailer and poster. This was done at the request of Rogen's Paul co-star Simon Pegg, who wrote to Rogen in concern that The End of the World was similar to his comedy film The World's End, which was also released in summer 2013 and centered around an apocalypse with an ensemble cast. As The World's End was the name of a key location in that film, Pegg felt worried that he couldn't change the name of his film.
|This Is the End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||June 11, 2013|
|1.||"Take Yo Panties Off"||Snoop Dogg & Craig Robinson||5:06|
|2.||"Step Into a World (Rapture's Delight)"||KRS-One||4:50|
|3.||"Tipsy (Club Mix)"||J-Kwon||4:05|
|4.||"A Joyful Process"||Funkadelic||6:17|
|5.||"Love in the Old Days"||Daddy||4:18|
|6.||"When the Shit Goes Down"||Cypress Hill||3:11|
|7.||"Watchu Want"||Belief & Karniege||2:57|
|9.||"Spirit in the Sky"||Norman Greenbaum||3:58|
|10.||"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"||Backstreet Boys||3:45|
|11.||"Please Save My Soul"||Church Friends Choir featuring Pamela Landrum||2:07|
|12.||"I Will Always Love You"||Whitney Houston||4:33|
- Songs featured in the film, but not in the soundtrack
- "Gangnam Style" by Psy
- "Hole in the Earth" by Deftones
- "Disco 2000" by Pulp
- "Spiteful Intervention" by Of Montreal
- "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.
- "End of the Beginning" and "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath
- "The Next Episode" by Dr. Dre
The score by Henry Jackman, with additional material by Dominic Lewis and Matthew Margeson and conducted by Nick Glennie-Smith, was not officially released on its own, not even as bonus tracks on the CD or digital releases on RCA's album. Despite that, a promotional album for the score does exist, according to Soundtrack.net.
|1.||"Rapture on Melrose"||1:47|
|2.||"Hills on Fire/The Sinkhole"||3:36|
|3.||"Foreboding News Report"||0:22|
|6.||"The Sinkhole Remains"||0:35|
|7.||"This Shit is Biblical"||0:58|
|10.||"Drawing Matches Part 1"||0:42|
|11.||"Craig Gets the Water"||1:37|
|12.||"Creepy Basement Memorabilia"||0:25|
|13.||"The Devil Rapes Jonah"||1:17|
|14.||"Drawing Matches Part 2"||1:05|
|15.||"Jay & Craig Go Outside"||1:22|
|16.||"Something's Wrong with Jonah"||0:37|
|17.||"Jonah is Possessed"||0:35|
|18.||"Demonic Chase Sequence"||4:01|
|19.||"Lights Out, Jay's Got a Plan"||0:22|
|20.||"The Exorcism of Jonah Hill"||0:37|
|22.||"Craig's Last Stand"||2:15|
|24.||"The Rapture of Seth & Jay"||2:25|
On April 1, 2013, Sony released an April Fools' Day trailer for Pineapple Express 2, which was actually a teaser trailer for This Is the End. According to Rogen and Goldberg, however, the homemade Pineapple Express 2 film in This Is the End depicts what they envision for the actual sequel.
The film was rated R for "crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence" by the Motion Picture Association of America; this rating shocked both Rogen and Goldberg, who expected an NC-17 rating for the film. Goldberg stated: "All the ratings stuff doesn’t make sense in the first place, but this is like ludicrous," Rogen then commented: "We actually made it even a little worse than we wanted and that version got approved. Insanely, [we] didn’t have a ratings issue."
Sony re-released the film in 2000 theaters across North America on September 6, 2013.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 1, 2013. It was the last film to be rented by Blockbuster Video before they went out of business at 11:00 PM on November 9, 2013. The Blu-ray release fully contains the original short the film was based on, Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse, as a special feature.
This Is the End grossed $101.5 million in the United States and Canada and $25.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $126.5 million, against a production budget of $32 million. It made a net profit of $50 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film.
The film was released in North America on June 14, 2013, alongside Man of Steel, and was projected to open to around $12 million from 3,055 theaters. The film made $7.8 million on its first day and went on to debut to $20.7 million in its opening weekend (a five-day total of $33 million), finishing second at the box office behind Man of Steel ($116.6 million). In its second weekend it grossed $13.3 million, dropping to 4th.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 221 reviews with an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End's loosely written script." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 41 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a letter grade of "A", saying, "You could sit through a year's worth of Hollywood comedies and still not see anything that's genuinely knock-your-socks-off audacious. But This Is the End . . truly is. It's the wildest screen comedy in a long time and also the smartest, the most fearlessly inspired and the snort-out-loud funniest." Brian D. Johnson of Maclean's wrote, "There could be worse ways to experience the apocalypse than with a party of stoned celebrities at James Franco's house. For one thing, his epic art collection can be used to board up the cracking walls against demons and zombies. That's the screwball scenario of This Is the End...The film unfolds as a profanely funny showbiz parody. But with perfect timing, it also sends up a genre that has recently gone viral at the multiplex: the apoca-blockbuster." Conversely, Canada's The Globe and Mail gave the film one-and-a-half stars out of five, comparing the film to the interminable wait for a cancelled bus and referring to the actors in the film as "the lazy, the privileged and the mirthless".
When Evan Goldberg was asked whether a sequel to the film was probable, he said, "If you ask me, I'd say there's a pretty good chance of a sequel. If you ask Seth Rogen, he'd say no." In June 2013, Goldberg announced ideas for a sequel in which the apocalypse occurs at the premiere of This Is the End. "Seth's a cokehead in this version, Michael Cera is a calm dude with a boyfriend, Rihanna and The Backstreet Boys are back," Goldberg said in an interview. "We have a lot of ideas: a heaven and hell for example and a Garden of Eden version where Danny [McBride] is Adam." Despite this, Goldberg has stated that it would be difficult to recreate the casting conditions from the first film due to different schedules, believing them to be a stroke of luck, saying, "I honestly don't know if we could get the guys together [again]." In May 2014, Rogen posted a status of the sequel on Twitter by saying, "I don't think we'll make a sequel to This Is the End, but if we did, it would be called No, THIS Is the End."
This Is the End was adapted into a 3D maze titled This Is the End 3D for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2015. The maze served as the event's first horror/comedy-based attraction.
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