Nim's Island

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Nim's Island
Nim's Island poster.jpg
Directed by Jennifer Flackett
Mark Levin
Produced by Paula Mazur
Screenplay by Joseph Kwong
Paula Mazur
Mark Levin
Jennifer Flackett
Based on The novel 
by Wendy Orr
Starring Abigail Breslin
Jodie Foster
Gerard Butler
Music by Patrick Doyle
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Edited by Stuart Levy
Distributed by 20th Century Fox (USA)
Universal Pictures (Latin America, UK, Canada)
Summit Entertainment (Outside USA)
Release dates 4 April 2008
Running time 96 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget $37,000,000
Box office $100,076,342

Nim's Island is a 2008 Australian adventure-fantasy film directed by Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin and starring Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, and Gerard Butler. The story is based on the children's story of the same name by Wendy Orr. A young girl, Nim, seeks help from the author of her favorite adventure series when her scientist father goes missing. Nim, though, lives on an island in the South Pacific. The author, Alexandra Rover, is agoraphobic and lives in San Francisco. While Rover attempts to overcome her agoraphobia in order to set out in search of her, Nim tries to overcome her fear of losing her father. In the meantime, a cruise ship company attempts to invade Nim's island with uncouth tourists.


Nim (Abigail Breslin) is an 11-year-old girl, whose mother, Emily, has died. Her father, Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler), a marine biologist, said she was swallowed by a blue whale after it was scared by a ship called the Buccaneer. Nim lives on an island in the South Pacific and has some local animals for company: Selkie the sea lion, Fred the bearded dragon, Chica the sea turtle, and Galileo the pelican. Jack goes by boat on a scientific mission of two days to find protozoa nim (a new species of plankton); he wants to take his daughter along, but she convinces him that she needs to stay to oversee the imminent hatching of Chica's eggs and can manage on her own; they will be able to communicate by satellite phone.

Nim, who is fond of Alex Rover adventure books written by Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster), receives an email addressed to her father with an inquiry about his field of knowledge. The sender "Alex Rover" seems to be the explorer, but is actually Alexandra, a neurotic San Franciscan who constantly sees her character Alex Rover (also Gerard Butler). An email conversation follows, where Nim first acts as her father's assistant and goes to the island with the volcano, but she is injured.

Jack suffers a shipwreck in a hurricane, which makes it impossible for Nim and Jack to communicate. Therefore he does not return as planned. Galileo brings Jack things he needs to fix his ship. Nim explains the situation to "Alex". Alexandra suffers from agoraphobia and therefore never leaves the house or even opens the door. The island is visited by tourists. Nim believes them to be pirates. As the tourists approach the island, Nim makes the island feel uninhabitable by launching lizards to shore. Nim also makes a fire in the crater of the volcano, which fools the tourists. Without revealing herself she gets out of the crater just in time as plumes of clouds burst out. Down at the beach the tourists scramble to the boats. One of them, a boy, Edmund, sees and follows her. He is confused by her presence but believes she lives on the island. When he tells the others, they do not believe him. Alexandra travels to the island to rescue Nim, but Nim, who expected "Alex", first refuses her.

Nim starts to cry, when she thinks that her ever-winning father must be dead after four days. But Jack appears on a makeshift windsurf coming to the island. Jack and Alex begin to know each other, and the film ends with them playing soccer with a coconut.


Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 51% of critics, based on 101 reviews.[6] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 55 out of 100, based on 23 reviews.[7]

Box office performance[edit]

In its opening weekend, Nim's Island grossed $13.3 million in 3,513 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office behind 21.[8] The film had a domestic box office gross of $48,006,762 surpassing its $37 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo and a foreign gross of $52,069,700 and total of $100,076,342 worldwide.

Home media release[edit]

Nim's Island was released on DVD on 5 August 2008. It opened at #1 at the DVD sales chart, selling 466,326 DVD units and earning $8,389,200 in revenue. As per the latest figures, 1,013,100 DVD units have been sold, acquiring revenue of $18,188,600.[9]

Filming locations[edit]

  • Bowen, Queensland, Australia
  • Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia – this serves as Nim's Island[10]
  • Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
  • Warner Bros. Movieworld – Pacific Highway, Oxenford, Queensland, Australia (studio)


The score to Nim's Island was composed by award-winning composer Patrick Doyle. He recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage during the week of 3 February 2008. This marked the first time in a decade that he recorded a score in Los Angeles.[11]

The song playing over the closing credits is "Beautiful Day" by U2.

The film's soundtrack CD was released on 8 April 2008 from Varèse Sarabande.[12]


A sequel, Return to Nim's Island, aired on the Hallmark Channel on 15 March in the U.S. and was released on DVD 19 March 2013, exclusively to Wal-Mart, and two days later on 21 March worldwide. Bindi Irwin replaced Abigail Breslin as Nim Rusoe, Toby Wallace replaced Maddison Joyce as Edmund, and Matthew Lillard replaced Gerard Butler as Jack Rusoe, Nim's father. Return to Nim's Island was released theatrically in Australia on 4 April 2013.


  1. ^ a b Michael Fleming (2007-04-01). "Foster, Breslin circle 'Island'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  2. ^ Pamela McClintock (2007-05-17). "Butler sets sail for 'Island'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  3. ^ Susan Wloszczyna (2007-11-09). "First look: All is idyllic on 'Nim's Island'". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  4. ^ "Nim's Island". Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  5. ^ "Nim's Island". Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Nim's Island Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  7. ^ "Nim's Island (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  8. ^ "Nim's Island (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  9. ^ php
  10. ^ "Australia movie locations". Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  11. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2008-02-25). "Patrick Doyle records his score to Nim's Island in Los Angeles". Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  12. ^

External links[edit]