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Deepwater Horizon (film)

Deepwater Horizon
Deepwater Horizon (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Berg
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by Matthew Sand
Based on Deepwater Horizon's Final Hours
by David Barstow
David Rohde
Stephanie Saul
Starring
Music by Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography Enrique Chediak
Edited by
  • Colby Parker Jr.
  • Gabriel Fleming
Production
companies
Distributed by Summit Entertainment
Release date
  • September 13, 2016 (2016-09-13) (TIFF)
  • September 30, 2016 (2016-09-30) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget
  • $156 million (gross)[2]
  • $110–120 million (net)[2]
Box office $121 million[3]

Deepwater Horizon is a 2016 American biopic disaster film directed by Peter Berg, written by Matthew Sand and Matthew Michael Carnahan, and starring an ensemble cast including Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O'Brien and Kate Hudson. It is based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Principal photography began on April 27, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival[4] and was theatrically released in the United States on September 30, 2016. It received generally positive reviews and grossed over $121 million worldwide. The film was nominated for two Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects, and a BAFTA Award for Best Sound at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.

Plot

On April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon, an oil drilling rig operated by private contractor Transocean, is set to begin drilling off the southern coast of Louisiana on behalf of BP. Chief Electronics Technician Michael "Mike" Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and rig supervisor James "Jimmy" Harrell (Kurt Russell) are surprised to learn that the workers assigned to pump the cement intended to keep the well stable are being sent home early without conducting a pressure test, at the insistence of BP managers Donald Vidrine (John Malkovich) and Robert Kaluza (Brad Leland). While Mike prepares the drilling team, including Caleb Holloway (Dylan O'Brien), Harrell meets with Vidrine and persuades him to conduct a test, which only serves to weaken the already poorly placed cement further. His patience thinning, and without waiting for Harrell to confirm the results, Vidrine orders the well to be flowed.

At first, the operation goes smoothly, but the cement job eventually fails completely, triggering a massive blowout that overpowers and kills Keith Manuel, Shane Roshto, Roy Kemp, Karl Kleppigner, Adam Weise and Gordon Jones.

A chain of equipment malfunctions, coupled with a failed attempt to seal the well, ignites the oil, killing Dewey Revette, Stephen Curtis, Jason Anderson (Ethan Suplee) and Donald Clark. Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), the rig's navigation officer, tries to alert the Coast Guard, only to be overruled by her superior, Captain Curt Kuchta, on the grounds that the rig is not in any imminent danger. With oil now spewing into the ocean, a frightened pelican flies into the bridge of a nearby vessel, which heads towards the rig just as the workers begin a frantic evacuation. Harrell, still alive, although seriously injured in the explosion, is rescued by Mike and assumes control of the situation, only to discover that the rig could not be saved. Dale Burkeen, a close friend of Mike's, sacrifices himself to keep a burning crane from collapsing onto the surviving crew, while Mike and Caleb are able to rescue Vidrine and Kaluza and get them to safety.

As night falls and the burning oil lights up the area, the Coast Guard becomes aware of the incident and sends a ship to collect the survivors. With all the lifeboats full, Mike locates the emergency life raft, but it becomes separated from the rig before he and Andrea can board, causing the latter to suffer a panic attack. Just as the oil in the well itself ignites and destroys the rig, the two jump into the water and are picked up by rescuers.

Returned home, the workers reunite with their families in a hotel lobby, during which a relative of one of the dead crew members angrily confronts Mike for failing to save him, resulting in Mike having a panic attack himself. The film ends with a series of clips showing the aftermath of the disaster, including testimony from the real-life Mike Williams and the revelation that not a single employee of either Transocean or BP was prosecuted for their actions. Pictures appear of the 11 men who lost their lives before the credits.

Cast

Production

On March 8, 2011, it was announced that Summit Entertainment, Participant Media, and Image Nation had acquired the film rights to The New York Times' article Deepwater Horizon's Final Hours, written by David Barstow, David S. Rohde, and Stephanie Saul, and published on December 25, 2010, about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill.[6][7] Matthew Sand was set to write the screenplay, while Lorenzo di Bonaventura was in talks to produce the film under his Di Bonaventura Pictures banner.[7] Summit and Participant Media/Imagination would also finance the film. On acquiring the article to develop into a film, the president of Participant Media, Ricky Strauss said,

This is a perfect fit for us–a suspenseful and inspiring real-life account of everyday people whose values are tested in the face of an impending environmental disaster.[8]

On July 24, 2012, Ric Roman Waugh was in talks with the studios to direct the film, Mark Vahradian was set to produce the film along with Bonaventura, and Lions Gate Entertainment also joined the project to produce and distribute.[9] On July 11, 2014, it was announced that All Is Lost's director J. C. Chandor had been hired to direct the film; the screenplay's first draft was written by Sand, while Matthew Michael Carnahan wrote the second draft.[10] In early October, it was confirmed that Summit would distribute the film, not Lionsgate.[11] On January 30, 2015, it was reported that Lone Survivor director Peter Berg had replaced Chandor, and would re-team with Wahlberg on the film. Chandor exited due to creative differences.[12]

Casting

On August 19, 2014, casting began, with actor Mark Wahlberg added in the lead role of the film.[13] Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, a real-life electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. On March 18, 2015, Gina Rodriguez was set to play a woman named Andrea Fleytas, who was on the bridge on board the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the blowout, and frantically tried to contact the Coast Guard.[14] On April 10, 2015, Deadline reported that Dylan O'Brien was in talks to play Caleb Holloway.[15] Kurt Russell joined the film on the same day O'Brien was in talks.[16] Soon after, John Malkovich was confirmed cast, as a BP representative who fatally underestimates the dangers of working on the rig.[17] Kate Hudson was announced as a cast member in May, 2015, and playing the wife of Wahlberg's character; her role will be her first on-screen pairing with Russell, her stepfather, although they shared no dialogue in the film.[5][18]

Filming

Principal photography on the film began on April 27, 2015.[19] It was officially announced by Lionsgate on May 18, 2015 that filming had begun in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The film cost a total of $156 million to produce, with $122 million spent in Louisiana. As a result, Lionsgate (the studio financing the film) received a $37.7 million subsidy from the state, under Louisiana's film incentive program.[20] Later estimates put the amount at $110 million.[21]

Release

Deepwater Horizon had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, on September 13, where it received a standing ovation from audiences after the screening.[22] It opened in theaters on September 30, 2016, distributed by Summit Entertainment in the United States and Canada, and by Lionsgate Entertainment internationally.[11]

Reception

Box office

Deepwater Horizon grossed $61.4 million in the United States and Canada and $59.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $121 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, Deepwater Horizon was projected to gross $16–20 million from 3,259 theaters in its opening weekend, although some publications noted Wahlberg's films tend to outperform box office projections.[23][24] The film made $860,000 from its Thursday night previews at 2,400 theaters, and $7.1 million on its first day.[25] In total, the film earned $20.2 million during its opening weekend, debuting at number two at the box office behind Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.[26] The film was released at a time when the marketplace was already dominated by two other adult-skewing pictures, The Magnificent Seven and Sully.[27] The film over-performed in the Gulf Coast region, and also did exceptionally well in IMAX, which earned $2.7 million of the film's total opening weekend.[27]

The film's opening weekend was regarded as underwhelming and a disappointment, given its hefty production budget, but dramas released during the fall, and Wahlberg's films, tend to have box office legs.[27][28] Forbes called the opening "good, but not great", especially considering the solid reviews.[29] While most adult-skewing films would generally be made on a conservative budget in order to protect themselves financially, Deepwater Horizon was produced for $110–120 million (after tax rebates). Box office analyst Jeff Block said the film was "a hard sell. This should have been a $60 million film. The budget was out of control." Recent real-life drama films such as Sully ($60 million budget), Bridge of Spies ($40 million) and Captain Phillips ($55 million) were made for more moderate amounts. The Hollywood Reporter noted that when Hollywood spends north of $100 million on a film, it is intended for a much broader audience, but that was not the case for Deepwater Horizon, as the main demographics were adults, with 67% of the total ticket buyers during its opening weekend being over the age of 35.[2] Another possible reason for the film's mediocre debut was its marketing miss, which was also a subject of criticism; from the outset, Lionsgate marketed the film as a heroic tale versus an issues-oriented movie. The name "Deepwater Horizon" itself is more associated with the aftermath of the spill than the heroics of the men who survived and helped their fellow workers.[2]

Outside North America, Deepwater Horizon opened simultaneously in 52 markets, and grossed $12.4 million, of which IMAX made up $1 million 119 IMAX screens.[30] The U.K. was the top earning market, with $2.6 million, followed by the Middle East ($1.5 million), Taiwan ($1.4 million), Australia ($1.3 million), and Russia ($1.2 million).[30][31] In China, the film opened on Tuesday, November 15, where it delivered a six-day opening weekend of $7.9 million, debuting in third place, behind local film I Am Not Madame Bovary and the continuation of Doctor Strange. The next major markets to open were Germany (November 24) and Spain (November 25).[32]

Critical response

Deepwater Horizon received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 84% based on 222 reviews with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Deepwater Horizon makes effective use of its titular man-made disaster to deliver an uncommonly serious – yet still suitably gripping – action thriller."[33] On Metacritic, the film has a score 68 out of 100 based on 52 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[34] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[35]

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, writing, "ruggedness and resilience counts for far more in the characterizations here than does nuance, and everyone delivers as required. From a craft and technical point of view, the film is all but seamless, a credit to the extra care taken to avoid a CGI look."[36] Mike Ryan of Uproxx praised the film's performances and ability to make audiences angry at BP: "I’ll be honest, I didn’t think we needed a movie about this subject. I’ve changed my mind. And, if nothing else, I hope it gets people angry again, because the people who did this to our planet, and killed 11 people in the process, got off too easy."[37] Benjamin Lee of The Guardian praised Berg's direction as "admirably, uncharacteristically restrained...[He] stages the action horribly well, capturing the panic and gruesome mayhem without the film ever feeling exploitative. It’s spectacularly constructed, yet it doesn’t forget about the loss of life, ensuring that, despite thin characterisation, the impact is felt."[38]

Former crew members started their own crowd-funded documentary project before the film's release, out of frustration with factual liberties taken in the film script and in the media.[39]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice AnTEENcipated Movie Actor Dylan O'Brien Won [40]
2017 National Board of Review Spotlight Award Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg (also for Patriots Day) Won [41]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Movie Deepwater Horizon Nominated [42]
Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in a Live Action Production Raul Essig, Mark Chataway, George Kuruvilla and Mihai Cioroba Nominated [43]
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Craig Hammack, Petra Holtorf-Stratton, Jason Snell, John Galloway and Burt Dalton Won [44]
Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project Kelvin Lau, Jean Bolte, Kevin Sprout and Kim Vongbunyong Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Sound Mike Prestwood Smith, Dror Mohar, Wylie Stateman and David Wyman Nominated [45]
Society of Camera Operators Awards Camera Operator of the Year – Film Jacques Jouffret Nominated [46]
MPSE Golden Reel Awards Feature English Language – Effects/Foley Wylie Stateman, Renée Tondelli, Gary Hecker, Rick Owens, Sylvain Lasseur, Dror Mohar and Kris Fenske Nominated [47]
Academy Awards Best Sound Editing Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli Nominated [48]
Best Visual Effects Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Deepwater Horizon (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. September 5, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Pamela McClintock (October 3, 2016). "Box-Office Analysis: Can 'Deepwater Horizon' Be Rescued". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Deepwater Horizon (2016)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Toronto To Open With 'The Magnificent Seven'; 'La La Land', 'Deepwater Horizon' Among Galas & Presentations". Deadline. July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Evry, Max (May 18, 2015). "First Look at Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon". comingsoon.net. Retrieved May 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours, By DAVID BARSTOW, DAVID ROHDE and STEPHANIE SAUL, New York Times, December 25, 2010
  7. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (March 8, 2011). "Summit, Participant And Imagenation Target Oil Rig Tragedy". deadline.com. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Summit and Participant Acquire Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour". comingsoon.net. March 8, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (July 24, 2012). "Summit, Participant Tap Ric Roman Waugh To Helm 'Deepwater Horizon' Oil Rig Disaster". deadline.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (July 11, 2014). "Deepwater Horizon Disaster Movie Draws 'All Is Lost' Director J.C. Chandor". variety.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Deepwater Horizon, Starring Mark Wahlberg, Set for 2016 Release". comingsoon.net. October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (January 30, 2015). "Peter Berg in Talks to Replace J.C. Chandor on 'Deepwater Horizon'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ Ge, Linda (August 19, 2014). "Mark Wahlberg in Talks to Star in J.C. Chandor's 'Deepwater Horizon'". thewrap.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  14. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 18, 2015). "Gina Rodriguez in Talks to Co-Star With Mark Wahlberg in 'Deepwater Horizon' (Exclusive)". thewrap.com. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 10, 2015). "Dylan O'Brien In Talks To Board 'Deepwater Horizon' Opposite Mark Wahlberg". deadline.com. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 10, 2015). "Kurt Russell Joins Mark Wahlberg in 'Deepwater Horizon' (EXCLUSIVE)". variety.com. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (April 21, 2015). "John Malkovich Joins Mark Wahlberg in 'Deepwater Horizon' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (May 7, 2015). "Kate Hudson Joins Mark Wahlberg's 'Deepwater Horizon'". Variety. Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  19. ^ "On the Set for 4/27/15: Jennifer Lawrence Wraps David O. Russell's Joy & Starts on X-Men: Apocalypse". ssninsider.com. April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  20. ^ Cieply, Michael (August 25, 2016). "Louisiana Sends Dollars To 'Deepwater Horizon' Disaster Flick As Charities And Feds Hunt Money For Disaster Aid". Deadline. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  21. ^ Lang, Brent (2016-09-28). "Box Office: 'Deepwater Horizon' No Match for Tim Burton's 'Miss Peregrine's'". Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  22. ^ Scott Feinberg (September 13, 2016). "Toronto: 'Deepwater Horizon' Could Stake a Claim in Oscar's Tech Categories". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 14, 2016. 
  23. ^ "'Miss Peregrine' To Punish Competition At Weekend Box Office – Preview". Deadline.com. 
  24. ^ Ryan Faughnder (September 27, 2016). "'Miss Peregrine' expected to top 'Deepwater Horizon' and 'Magnificent Seven' at the box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  25. ^ "'Miss Peregrine' Enrolls Moviegoers On Thursday Night – Box Office". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  26. ^ Pamela McClintock (October 2, 2016). "Weekend Box Office: 'Miss Peregrine's' Blows Past 'Deepwater Horizon' With $28.5M". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  27. ^ a b c Anthony D'Alessandro (October 2, 2016). "'Miss Peregrine' Rules With $28M+; 'Deepwater Horizon' Pulls $20.6M; 'Masterminds' Bombs – Sunday Update". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  28. ^ Erich Schwartzel (October 2, 2016). "'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' Wins Weekend Box Office". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  29. ^ Scott Mendelson (October 2, 2016). "Box Office: Tim Burton's 'Miss Peregrine's' Tops 'Deepwater Horizon' With Strong $28.5M Weekend". Forbes. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Nancy Tartaglione (October 2, 2016). "'Miss Peregrine' Books $36.5M; 'Finding Dory', 'Bridget Jones' Reach Milestones; Big Frame For Local Pics – Intl Box Office". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  31. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (October 9, 2016). "'Miss Peregrine' Nears $100M Overseas; 'Girl On The Train' Chugs $16.5M; 'A Monster Calls' In Spain – Intl Box Office". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 9, 2016. 
  32. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (November 20, 2016). "'Fantastic Beasts' Finds Magical $143.3M Overseas; 'Doctor Strange' Passes $100M In China; WW Cume $572M – Intl Box Office". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Deepwater Horizon (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Deepwater Horizon Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  35. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. [permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "'Deepwater Horizon': Film Review | TIFF 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  37. ^ "'Deepwater Horizon' Just Debuted At TIFF And It Will, And Should, Make You Angry". Uproxx. 
  38. ^ Lee, Benjamin (September 13, 2016). "Deepwater Horizon review – Mark Wahlberg v BP in angry disaster movie". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  39. ^ "Industry Veteran Raising Funds for Deepwater Horizon Documentary". by Karen Boman, Rigzone, October 03, 2016.
  40. ^ "Teen Choice Awards: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. HollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016. 
  41. ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2016 Award Winners". National Board of Review. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  42. ^ "2017 People's Choice Awards nominees". USA Today. usatoday.com. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  43. ^ "44th Annual Annie Awards Nominees & Winners". Annie Awards. annieawards.org. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  44. ^ "VES Awards: 'Rogue One' Leads With 7 Film Noms; 'Game Of Thrones' Slays TV Rivals". Deadline. deadline.com. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  45. ^ "BAFTA Awards: 'La La Land' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. HollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  46. ^ "'La La Land' Camera Operator Tops SOC Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  47. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (February 19, 2017). "Golden Reel Awards: 'Hacksaw Ridge' Tops Feature Competition at Sound Editors' Ceremony". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  48. ^ "Oscar Nominations: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Noms; 'Arrival' & 'Moonlight' Snag 8 Apiece". Deadline. deadline.com. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 

External links