Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wil Shriner|
|Produced by||Frank Marshall
|Screenplay by||Wil Shriner|
by Carl Hiaasen
Tim Blake Nelson
|Music by||Jimmy Buffett|
|Editing by||Alan Edward Bell|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema (USA)
Fox Searchlight Pictures (AU)
|Release dates||May 5, 2006|
|Running time||91 minutes|
Hoot is a 2006 American family comedy film, based on Carl Hiaasen's novel of the same name. It was written and directed by Wil Shriner, and produced by New Line Cinema and Walden Media. The film was released on May 5, 2006.
The film is about a group of children trying to save a burrowing owl habitat from destruction. The habitat is located on the intended construction site of a pancake house. The greedy and corrupt developer of the project intends to proceed regardless of the environmental damage it would cause.
Hoot features live burrowing owls and music by Jimmy Buffett. Buffett is also listed as a co-producer, and he played the role of Mr. Ryan, the science teacher, in the movie.
The film was generally regarded as unsuccessful in its initial theatrical run, and received largely mixed to negative reviews from notable film critics and film-review websites.
Middle school student Roy A. Eberhardt (Logan Lerman) has just moved to Florida from Montana. He is mercilessly teased and bullied by Dana Matherson until Roy breaks his nose in order to be free. He is exasperated, but then makes the acquaintance of Beatrice "The Bear" Leep (Brie Larson), and her stepbrother, "Mullet Fingers" (Cody Linley).
Meanwhile, Chuck Muckle, the corrupt and ruthless CEO of a pancake company is attempting to construct a new pancake house on a nearby vacant lot. There is a problem however: a group of burrowing owls live on the site, and they will be killed if their habitat is bulldozed.
The trio embark on a crusade to save the endangered animals. Fingers continually sabotages construction efforts on the site, while Roy is drawn deeper and deeper into the effort to save the owls. Meanwhile, Delinko (Luke Wilson), an incompetent police officer, is assigned to find out who is vandalizing the site; and Leroy 'Curly' Branitt (Tim Blake Nelson), an inept construction foreman, is trying to keep the construction schedule going, despite the presence of the owls.
In the end, the trio reveals to Delinko and the rest of the town that there are burrowing owls on the lot. They then manage to get everyone to be quiet long enough for the owls to emerge, and Muckle is subsequently arrested by Delinko. The construction site eventually becomes an owl preserve.
At the very end, Roy's parents decide to stay in Florida, Delinko finally gets to be a detective, Dana goes to military camp, Muckle does community service, and finally, Mullet Fingers and Roy pass a sign that says "The Dunes of Coconut Cove: Condominium development. 300 Luxury units coming soon!" They nod their heads, and walk off of the beach.
- Logan Lerman as Roy A. Eberhardt
- Brie Larson as Beatrice "The Bear" Leep
- Cody Linley as Napoleon Bridger "Mullet Fingers" Leep
- Luke Wilson as Officer David Delinko
- Tim Blake Nelson as "Curly" Brannit
- Neil Flynn as Mr. Eberhardt
- Kiersten Warren as Mrs. Eberhardt
- Clark Gregg as Chuck Muckle
- Jessica Cauffiel as Kimberly
- Dean Collins as Garrett
- Robert Wagner as Mayor Grandy
- Eric Phillips as Dana Matherson
- Damaris Justamante as Mrs. Matherson (cameo)
- Jimmy Buffett as Mr. Ryan
- John Archie as Captain
- Robert Donner as Kalo
- Carl Hiaasen as Muckle's Assistant, Felix
Most of Hoot was shot in Florida between July 6, 2005 and September 2, 2005. Some new scenes were shot in Los Angeles on January 21, 2006. For example, the scene where Mullet Fingers leaps out of a tree after dropping a bulldozer seat was actually shot in Los Angeles.
Hoot was shot during hurricane season, and the set did not escape Hurricane Katrina, which struck Southern Florida on August 25, 2005. Brie Larson and Cody Linley were moved from their beach-front hotel (Marriott Harbor Beach) to another hotel because of the storm.
New Line and Walden Media pushed the film's initial release date of April 14, 2006 back to May 5, 2006, as only Mission: Impossible 3 and An American Haunting were opening wide that weekend. The gambit failed and Hoot opened at #10 at the U.S. and Canadian box office on 3,018 screens. Hoot's opening U.S. and Canadian box office was a disappointing $3.4 million - well below forecast. Hoot held on at #10 for its second week then the movie broke a record set by Gigli for biggest drop in cinemas screening the film as it lost 2200 screens and came in at #19 on its third weekend. The film grossed $8,224,998 worldwide. In 2007, Walden Media's The Seeker: The Dark is Rising nudged Hoot into second place in terms of 'biggest theatre drops'. Hoot topped The Seeker: The Dark is Rising in reaching number one in the "worst super-saturated (3000 plus screens)" openings in the US and Canada: Hoot opened in almost 42% of all screens. Hoot's production budget was $15 million, although the costs for such a wide opening would probably have made the film considerably more expensive to distribute than it was to produce - the cost of its prints would have been twice as much as the production budget, according to respected industry opinions.
DVD sales were more successful than the box office gross. The DVD was released on August 15, 2006 and sold 114,528 units, bringing in $2,058,068 in the opening weekend. A newer figure indicates that 703,786 units have been sold, translating to $10,972,266 in revenue.
One of the most positive reviews came from the Boston Globe's Ty Burr (3 stars out of 4), saying, "Hoot tells kids they can make a difference in this world, and that's worth a hundred Ice Age 2s." San Francisco Chronicle's Ruthe Stein gave the film a positive review (3 stars out of 4) and said, "...the film does nothing to dilute the save-the-Earth-and-every-creature-on-it message of Carl Hiaasen's ingeniously plotted award-winning children's book."
Roger Ebert gave Hoot 1.5 stars (out of 4) and included Hoot in his 2007 book - Your Movie Sucks - where he says "'Hoot' has its heart in the right place, but I have been unable to locate its brain" and "... the kids (especially Mullet Fingers) are likeable but not remotely believable". Michael Medved panned Hoot (2 stars out of 4) saying that "...the lame plot centers around a greedy developer who wants to bulldoze a lot inhabited by rare burrowing owls" and "though I'd like to root for 'Hoot', its entertainment value is moot".
Logan Lerman, who played the lead role of Roy Eberhardt, won a Young Artist Award for his performance in Hoot. He received the nomination & win in early 2007 for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor.
The soundtrack of Hoot has three elements: an original score, pop songs sung by a variety of artists, and pop songs (covers and originals) sung by Jimmy Buffett.
The pop songs sung by a variety of artists are:
- "Lovely Day" - performed by Maroon 5, featuring Bill Withers and Kori Withers. Written & originally performed by Bill Withers.
- "Back of the Bus" - performed by G Love and Special Sauce. Written by Garrett Dutton.
- "Let Your Spirit Fly" - performed by Ry Cuming. Written by Ry Cuming.
- "Coming Around" - performed by Brie Larson. Written by Brie Larson, Jacques Brautbar and Rami Perlman.
- "Funky Kingston" - performed by Toots & the Maytals. Written by Frederick Hibbert.
- "Florida" - performed by Mofro. Written by John J.J. Grey.
The songs sung by Jimmy Buffett are:
- "Barefootin'" - performed by Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson. Written & originally performed by Robert Parker.
- "Floridays" - performed by Jimmy Buffett. Written by Jimmy Buffett.
- "Good Guys Win" - performed by Jimmy Buffett. Written by Mac McAnally and Roger Guth.
- "Werewolves of London" - performed by Jimmy Buffett. Written by LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel and Warren Zevon; originally performed by Warren Zevon.
- "Wondering Where the Lions Are" - performed by Jimmy Buffett. Written & originally performed by Bruce Cockburn.
- Hoot Movie Official website under "Production Notes"
- The Young Stars of Hoot Discuss the Family Friendly Film
- Walden Media April 7 Press Release
- The Numbers.com
- Box Office Mojo under "Hoot"
- Box Office Mojo: Biggest Theatre Drops.
- Box Office Mojo: Worst Wide Openings. Retrieved 16 Dec 2008
- Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for May 5-7, 2006 By John Hamann
- Hoot's acquisition by MOMA Retrieved 09 May 2009.
- Rotten Tomatoes.com under "Hoot"
- Metacritic.com under "Hoot"
- "'Hoot' delivers message of empowerment to kids"
- "Kids unite to save owls before a pancake house flattens them"
- Roger Ebert reviews Hoot
- Michael Medved's Movie Minute "Hoot"
- 28th Annual Young Artist Awards
- Hoot at allmovie
- Hoot at the Internet Movie Database
- Hoot at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hoot at Box Office Mojo
- Hoot at Walden Media