|Directed by||Ken Kwapis|
|Produced by||Steve Golin
|Screenplay by||Jack Amiel
|Based on||Freeing the Whales
by Tom Rose
|Music by||Cliff Eidelman|
|Editing by||Cara Silverman|
Working Title Films
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||107 minutes|
Big Miracle is a 2012 family drama film starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski. The film, directed by Ken Kwapis, is based on the 1989 book Freeing the Whales by Tom Rose, which covers Operation Breakthrough, the 1988 international effort to rescue gray whales trapped in ice near Point Barrow, Alaska. The film was released on February 3, 2012.
The movie flopped at the box office, only opening to more than $7 million and pulling in $24,719,215 overall.
In small town Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend - a Greenpeace volunteer - on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.
Drawn into the collaborative rescue work are several normally hostile factions: Inupiat whale hunters, a Greenpeace environmental activist, an oil executive, ambitious news reporters, the National Guard, the American president and politicians on the state, national and international levels. Also joining in the effort are two entrepreneurs from Minnesota, who provide de-icing machines to help keep the hole open. Finally an enormous Soviet ice-breaker ship arrives to remove the last barrier before the whales die.The ship's first attempt doesn't work and leaves only a dent. The ice is finally broken and the adult whales escape the ice. Sadly, the infant whale Bam-Bam dies from injuries and does not surface again.
- John Krasinski as Adam Carlson
- Drew Barrymore as Rachel Kramer
- Ahmaogak Sweeney as Inupiat grandson Nathan to Malik
- John Pingayak as Inupiat whaler Malik
- Kristen Bell as Jill Gerard, a news reporter
- Vinessa Shaw as Kelly Meyers
- Stephen Root as Gov. Haskell
- Ted Danson as J.W. McGraw
- Kathy Baker as Ruth McGraw
- Dermot Mulroney as Colonel Scott Boyer
- Rob Riggle as Dean Glowacki
- Michael Gaston as Porter Beckford
- Megan Angela Smith as Sheena
- Tim Blake Nelson as Pat Lafayette
- James LeGros as Karl Hootkin
- Mark Ivanir as Dimitri
- Andrew Daly as Don Davis
- Jonathan Slavin as Roger Notch
- Gregory Jbara as General Stanton
- Tom Clark as Morton Heavey
- Sarah Palin as herself (archive footage, as Sarah Heath, in her brief sportscasting career)
Warner Bros. bought the screenplay by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler in April 2009, and in the following June, Kwapis was attached to direct. In September 2010, with Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski cast in the starring roles, filming began in Seward. It had a production budget of $30 or 40 million. The crew constructed sets in Anchorage to resemble places in Barrow during the whale rescue. Filming lasted for 10 weeks.
The film's working title was Everybody Loves Whales, which is a line still heard in the film.
Burger King promoted the movie with toys.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film currently holds a rating of 74% based on 95 reviews. The site's consensus was: "Big Miracle uses real-life events as the basis for a surprisingly satisfying family drama." Metacritic currently holds a score of 61 based on 28 reviews.
The film opened with $2,267,385 on its opening day, ranking at No. 4 behind Chronicle, The Woman in Black, and The Grey at the box office. The film grossed $7,760,205 on its opening weekend and remained at the same spot. On its second weekend the film dropped to #8, with $3,946,050. The film closed its run on April 5, 2012 with $24,719,215 worldwide as a box office disappointment.
- Hopkins, Kyle (June 12, 2010). "Drew Barrymore film will be shot in Alaska". Anchorage Daily News.
- Anderton, Ethan (April 30, 2010). "John Krasinski Joins Drew Barrymore in Family Flick 'Whales'". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- "Drew Barrymore To Star In ‘Everybody Loves Whales’". Ecorazzi.com. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
- Liam (June 25, 2010). "Kristen Bell Joining 'Everybody Loves Whales'". Empire Movies. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- "Ted Danson and Vinessa Shaw Join 'Everybody Loves Whales'". HeyUGuys. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- McNary, Dave (June 4, 2009). "Ken Kwapis circles 'Whales' drama". Variety.
- Hopkins, Kyle (September 17, 2010). "'Everybody Loves Whales' crew begins filming in Anchorage". Anchorage Daily News.
- "Big Miracle Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- "Big Miracle Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Rose, Tom (1989). Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event. Carol Publishing Corporation. ISBN 978-1-55972-011-3.