Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008 theatrical film)
|Journey to the Center of the Earth|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Eric Brevig|
|Produced by||Beau Flynn
|Screenplay by||Michael D. Weiss
|Based on||A Journey to the Center of the Earth
by Jules Verne
|Music by||Andrew Lockington|
|Editing by||Paul Martin Smith
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Journey to the Center of the Earth (also promoted as Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D or Journey 3-D) is a 2008 American 3-D science fantasy adventure film starring Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem. It refers to and may be considered a 21st-century sequel to the 19th-century novel of the same name by Jules Verne. It was followed by Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
This film was released on July 11, 2008 in 3D and 2D theaters. This film was also the introduction for the special "4D" motion effects cinema in Seoul, South Korea, which feature tilting seats, motion, wind, sprays of water and sharp air, strobes of lightning, fog, and odor effects outside the standard picture and audio. The format is known as 4DX, which is currently operating throughout international territories.
In the opening scene, Max Anderson (Jean-Michel Paré) is being pursued by a dinosaur, a Giganotosaurus. Max then comes across a fissure vent. When he tries to jump across, he falls to his death while calling out the name of his brother. Ten years later, Max's brother volcanologist Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) is visited by Max's son/Trevor's 13-year-old nephew Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson). In a box of items that belonged to Max is a book, Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. Notes written by Max are found inside the book.
In Trevor's volcanology laboratory, a device shows activity on Snæfell, a dormant volcano in Iceland. Trevor and Sean travel to Iceland to investigate. They try to contact Icelandic volcanologist Sigurbjörn Ásgeirsson, but instead encounter his daughter Hannah Ásgeirsson (Anita Briem), her father having died some years earlier. It turns out that Sigurbjörn and Max were both Vernians, a group of people who believe the works of Jules Verne to be fact, not fiction.
Hannah offers to help them climb the volcano. While the group is hiking up the volcano, a lightning storm forces them to take shelter in a cave. The cave entrance collapses, leaving them trapped in what appears to be an abandoned mine. They reach the bottom of a volcanic vent, the floor of the vent breaks, and they begin to fall towards the center of the Earth. The volcanic vent eventually becomes a water slide which drops them safely into a lake in the center of the Earth, which turns out to be a completely separate world contained within the Earth. Hannah is seen sinking because her pack was too heavy. She's later saved by Trevor.
The group starts seeking a way back to the surface. Along the way, they find evidence that someone had been there a hundred years ago. Trevor remarks that some instruments found are Lidenbrock's (the name of a character in Jules Verne's book Journey to the Center of the Earth). This suggests that another group had previously made the journey, somehow returned to the surface and recounted the tale of their adventure to Verne. They find some of Max's things as well.
While Trevor and Sean are examining what they've found, Hannah discovers Max's body. They bury Max on the beach of the underground ocean and Trevor reads a letter to Sean found in Max's journal. Trevor discovers that his brother died due to dehydration because of hot magma surrounding the center of the Earth.
Using information from Max's journal, Trevor determines that they must find a geyser that can send them to the surface before the temperature rises to 200 °F (about 93 °C). Further, they must reach the geyser within 48 hours or the water for the geyser will have evaporated. They build a raft and begin crossing the underground ocean, but soon encounter a pack of Xiphactinus. They use makeshift clubs to bat them away, then a shoal of Elasmosaurus attacks the Xiphactinus. The raft's sail becomes loose. Sean tries to hold on, but is blown away and separated from the two adults.
A little bird guides Sean towards the river. Meanwhile, Trevor and Hannah decide to take a rest, but are attacked by carnivorous plants. Hannah is captured and being strangled by the plants. Trevor defeats the plant that is holding Hannah by the neck, and they continue towards the geyser.
When they arrive at the river Trevor calls out to Sean but gets no response. Trevor says he is going to look for Sean, but tells Hannah she should continue on to the geyser and save herself. Meanwhile, Sean has entered an arid, bone-filled land. He hears roars, looks up and sees a Giganotosaurus coming after him. Trevor saves him. When they get to a river, they find Hannah sailing a boat fashioned from a Giganotosaurus skull. They sail to a volcano with magma rising in its crater. They are too late; the water needed for the geyser has evaporated.
Sean notices that the crater walls are wet. Trevor hears water flowing on the other side of the walls and sees that the crater walls contain magnesium. After Trevor uses a flare to ignite the magnesium, a geyser shoots them up and out of the Center of the Earth. They emerge in Italy from Mount Vesuvius. When they fall, they accidentally destroy a vineyard. To make amends, Sean gives the owner a diamond that he found while in the Center of the Earth. Trevor sees that Sean has many more diamonds in his backpack. Trevor later uses them to fund his late brother's laboratory.
During the adventure, Hannah and Trevor gradually become closer and eventually share a kiss. After the adventure, Sean visits Trevor and Hannah in their new home purchased using some of the diamonds Sean took from the cave. Trevor hands Sean a book about another strange land, Atlantis: The Antediluvian World by Ignatius L. Donnelly, and suggests they get together during Sean's Christmas break. Sean reveals that he has brought the little bird back from the center of the Earth to keep as a pet. However, the bird flies away ending the movie.
- Brendan Fraser as Prof. Trevor 'Trev' Anderson, a vulcanologist who is the uncle of Sean, brother of Max, love interest of Hannah and brother-in-law of Elizabeth.
- Josh Hutcherson as Sean Anderson, 14-year old nephew of Trevor, son of Max and Elizabeth.
- Anita Briem as Hannah Ásgeirsson, love interest of Trevor.
- Seth Meyers as Prof. Alan Kitzens, a scientist colleague of Trevor.
- Jean-Michel Paré as Maxwell 'Max' Anderson, the father of Sean and the brother of Trevor.
- Jane Wheeler as Elizabeth Anderson, the mother of Sean and the wife of Max
- Giancarlo Caltabiano as Leonard
- Garth Gilker as Sigurbjörn Ásgeirsson
The film transposes the novel into the present day and is mostly live action, with only the landscape and creatures supplied by computer-generated graphics. The film is projected using Real D Cinema and Dolby 3D.
The first trailer was shown before screenings of Meet the Robinsons, the re-release of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the release of Beowulf, with the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, and during the 2008 Kids' Choice Awards.
Warner Bros. marketed the film like a theme park attraction. However, the studio had to slightly tweak the campaign (including dropping "3D" from the title) when it became clear that the film would be shown in 3-D in far fewer theaters than anticipated.
The film received mixed to positive reviews. It received a 61% "Fresh" rating by Rotten Tomatoes, based on 155 reviews, with 94 "Fresh" reviews and 61 "Rotten". The site's consensus is: "Modern visuals and an old fashioned storyline make this family adventure/comedy a fast-paced, kitschy ride." The performance of Brendan Fraser has been also praised. Prairie Miller, from News Blaze, said: "Brendan Fraser's playful force of personality rules, 3D or no 3D, one of the few funny guys who could grab attention away from a dinosaur in assault mode, in the center of the earth or anywhere else on the planet". Metacritic gave the film a 57, indicating "Mixed or Average reviews."
Journey to the Center of the Earth opened #3 behind Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Hancock in North America. The film grossed $21,018,141 in 2,811 theaters in its first week of release with an average of $7,477. 57 percent of the opening gross was taken from theaters which showed the film in 3-D. In second weekend it dropped to $12,340,435 and in third to $9,717,217. 
As of October 2009, the film has grossed $101,704,370 in the US and $139,157,146 foreign sales, with a total of $241,995,151 worldwide. The film has also enjoyed strong DVD sales.
Journey to the Center of the Earth was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 28, 2008, in standard 2-D format as well as a magenta / green anaglyph. It opened at #2 at the DVD sales chart, selling 843,224 units in the 1st week which translates to $13,238,617 in revenue. As per the latest figures, 1,642,994 DVD units have been sold, bringing in $25,346,260 in revenue. This doesn't include Blu-ray Disc sales / DVD rentals.
The 2008 2-disc BD edition of the movie doesn't conform to the – only later established – Blu-ray 3D specifications, which means that this version doesn't take advantage of any dedicated 3D HDTVs, although it can be watched on them as well as on any other TV in anaglyph 3D by using red-cyan paper glasses (four pairs are included). A 3D Blu-ray version was released on January 17, 2012.
In May 2009, the film premiered as "Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D" at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. It also opened in the motion simulator at Dollywood under the same name on June 12, 2009. It also featured in the new 4D Cinema at the Weston Super-Mare Grand Pier in the U.K. Also shown in Movieworld on the Gold Coast.
Awards and nominations
|Teen Choice Awards||2008||Choice Summer Movie: Action Adventure||Nominated|
|Young Artist Award||2009||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor||Nominated||Josh Hutcherson|
|BMI Film & TV Awards||2009||Won||Andrew Lockington|
- Brazil - July 11, 2008
- Canada - July 11, 2008
- Ireland - July 11, 2008
- UK - July 11, 2008
- USA - July 11, 2008
- Chile - August 7, 2008
- Singapore - August 7, 2008
A sequel, entitled Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, was released in February 2012. Hutcherson reprises his role as Sean. Dwayne Johnson plays Sean's stepfather Hank Parsons and is forced to come along on a trip with Sean to find his missing grandfather Alexander Anderson (played by Michael Caine) on a mythical and monstrous island. Like the first film, the sequel was shot in 3D, and the script is loosely based on a Verne novel – this time The Mysterious Island.
Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D Adventure
Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D Adventure is a 15-minute 4D film shown at various 4D theatres over the world. It retells the condensed story of the film with the help of 3D projection and sensory effects, including moving seats, wind, mist and scents. Produced by SimEx-Iwerks, the 4D experience premiered in 2009. Locations included Warner Bros. Movie World (2010–2012), Dollywood (2009–2012), Enchanted Kingdom (2009–), Stone Mountain, and Rainbows End.
- Jean-Michel Paré's character, Max, is named after the playwright and journalist (James) Maxwell Anderson.
- Josh Hutcherson's character, Sean, is named after the professor and conservation biologist Dr. Sean Anderson.
- "Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Sunhee, Han (5 February 2010). "'Avatar’ goes 4D in Korea | Variety". Variety. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- In Iceland Sigurbjörn Ásgeirsson's daughter would have the last name Sigurbjörnsdóttir, but in the film it is Ásgeirsson.
- Journey 3-D Profile at Comingsoon.net. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "Dolby Laboratories, Inc. - First Digital 3D Movie Released in China with Dolby 3D Digital Cinema System". Investor.dolby.com. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- Box Office Mojo: 'Hellboy II' Sizzles. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Hollywood's 3-D kick hits a bump. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- "Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- Journey to the Center of the Earth – DVD Sales. The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- "Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D". Iwerks Entertainment. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "Journey To The Center Of The Earth 4-D Adventure (Warner Bros. Movie World)". Parkz. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Business Wire (12 June 2009). "Take a Journey to the Center of the Earth 4D At Dollywood’s KidsFestSM". BNET. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- "Enchanted Kingdom's newest 4D adventure now showing". The Philippine Star. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- IMDb. "Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "CI Professor inspires 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island". Ventura County Star. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- Official website
- Journey to the Center of the Earth at the Internet Movie Database
- Journey to the Center of the Earth at AllMovie
- Journey to the Center of the Earth at Box Office Mojo
- Journey to the Center of the Earth at Rotten Tomatoes
- Journey to the Center of the Earth at Metacritic
- Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D Production Notes