Poseidon (film)

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Poseidon (2006) film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Produced by
Screenplay by Mark Protosevich
Based on The Poseidon Adventure 
by Paul Gallico
Music by Klaus Badelt
Cinematography John Seale
Edited by Peter Honess
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • May 6, 2006 (2006-05-06) (Tribeca)
  • May 12, 2006 (2006-05-12) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $160 million
Box office $181,674,817[1]

Poseidon is a 2006 disaster film directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is the third film adaptation of Paul Gallico's novel The Poseidon Adventure, and a loose remake of the 1972 film of the same name. It stars Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. It was produced and distributed by Warner Bros. in association with Virtual Studios. The film had a simultaneous release in the IMAX format. It was released on May 12, 2006, and nominated at the 79th Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects.[2] Poseidon grossed $181,674,817 at the worldwide box office on a budget of $160 million.


The SS Poseidon, a luxury ocean liner named for the Greek god of the sea, is making a transatlantic crossing.

Jennifer Ramsey (Emmy Rossum) and her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel) are a young couple hoping to be engaged, but her father, former New York City Mayor Robert (Kurt Russell), has doubts about their relationship. Elena (Mía Maestro), a traveling stowaway, is going to see her ill brother in New York. She is being helped by Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez), a waiter on the ship's staff who met her in a club and agreed to smuggle her on board. Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas) is a smooth-talking professional gambler who develops feelings for a woman, Maggie James (Jacinda Barrett), who has a son, Connor (Jimmy Bennett), to whom Johns grows close to throughout the movie, and Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) is an architect left distraught by his boyfriend leaving him.

Most of the passengers are at a New Year's Eve party in the ship's ballroom, unaware of the danger about to befall them. However, a depressed Nelson, awaiting a midnight phone call from his ex-lover that never comes, sees a 150-foot high rogue wave in the calm open ocean, heading towards the ship. The wave crashes into the starboard side of the ship, causing her to capsize and killing most of the passengers on its decks. As the ship rotates 180 degrees and submerges from the impact, the windows in the hallway explode from the intense force of the wave, causing water to flood into the ship and it begins to sink.

Calm is restored in the ballroom after Captain Michael Bradford (Andre Braugher) assures the passengers that rescue boats are on their way and will be there in a couple of hours. A small group of the surviving passengers attempt to head toward the bow of the ship, where they believe they will have the best chance of escaping the capsized liner. They attempt to make their way through such hazards as fire and water, ultimately arriving at the bow and escaping through the propeller tube. Yet, one by one, the survivors begin dying as they try to make it to the "bottom" of the ship and the surface. After a while the water starts to leak in the ballroom where all the remaining passengers are and the water breaks through, killing them all.

The group finds themselves in the galley and see the bow section is flooded. While finding a new exit, an explosion in the stern causes the bow to rise out of the water. Robert, Christian, Jen and Nelson go first, leaving Dylan, Maggie and Connor behind. Maggie and Dylan find Connor trapped. He is eventually saved by Dylan and the three reunite with the group. In the engine room, Nelson opens a cover in the propeller tube and the force of the air causes his face to bleed. Knowing that the control room for the propellers is now below water, Robert swims to turn them off. He discovers that the off switch is broken, before running out of air, but he hits the reverse button instead just before he drowns. The group notices that the propellers are turning in the other direction. Dylan finds a nitrogen tank and throws it into the propellers, creating an explosion and therefore stopping them. After climbing through the propeller tube, they jump overboard and into an inflatable raft. They are flung away from the ship, which rolls right side up, and sinks. After firing a flare, helicopters arrive and save the six survivors.



As with the film The Poseidon Adventure, which based many of its sets on rooms aboard the RMS Queen Mary, the film's set designers drew inspiration for some of the spaces aboard the fictional Poseidon from rooms aboard Queen Mary 2, most notably in Poseidon's ballroom, which is modeled on the main dining room of Queen Mary 2.

On the sound stage at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California, separate sets for each main room were built — one right-side-up and the other upside down. The upside down ballroom set was built on top of a large water tank in the sound stage so that it could be filled with water and drained in a matter of hours. The interior and exterior shots of the ship rolling were constructed using computer-generated imagery.

The primary visual effects were completed by Industrial Light & Magic and Moving Picture Company. ILM used the most advanced version of mental ray to photo-realistically light and render the shots, and were responsible for all of the ship's exterior shots. The most complicated work featured the opening shot of the ship, where the camera tours the ship's exterior. The shot lasts for two and a half minutes, and features one of the most complex digital models ever created at ILM. For water simulations, proprietary software was used, known as PhysBAM, which was created in collaboration with Stanford University. Harold "Howie" Weed was computer graphics modeler for the film.

Digital interior sets and water effects were handled by MPC, while liquid and gaseous effects were simulated using Scanline VFX proprietary software Flowline, while other shots were handled by CIS Hollywood, with water effects simulated using RealFlow.[3][4]


The soundtrack was released on May 9, 2006, and includes music composed by Klaus Badelt, as well as songs performed by Fergie, who played Gloria in the film, and Federico Aubele.

No. Title Performed by Length
1. "Won't Let You Fall"   Fergie 4:39
2. "Bailamos"   Fergie 3:10
3. "Postales"   Federico Aubele 4:09
4. "The Poseidon"   Klaus Badelt 3:19
5. "The Wave"   Badelt 4:37
6. "A Map and a Plan"   Badelt 2:30
7. "Fire Dive"   Badelt 2:48
8. "Claustrophobia"   Badelt 7:09
9. "Drowning"   Badelt 3:05
10. "Don't Look Down"   Badelt 3:44
11. "Escape"   Badelt 2:42

Be Without You (Moto Blanco Vocal Mix) (8:44) by Mary J. Blige is played in the film but was not included on the soundtrack.


The film had a budget of $160 million and received generally negative to mixed reviews from critics, with a "Rotten" rating of 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an average score of 4.9/10 and 50 out of 100 on Metacritic, which indicates "mixed or average reviews". The film was also nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Ripoff. However, the film was commended for its realistic use of CGI in the capsizing scenes[5] and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. However, it lost the award to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

The film grossed a disappointing $22,155,410 on its opening weekend for an average of $6,232 from 3,555 theaters, failing to knock Mission: Impossible III from the top of the box office.[6] Warner Bros. President and Chief Operating Officer Alan F. Horn called the domestic grosses, "very, very disappointing". Poseidon went on to generate $60,674,817 in the United States, and $121,000,000 in foreign markets, for a combined total gross of $181,674,817.[1]

The film holds a Guinness World Record for having the most detailed CG model in a film. The exterior shots included 181,579 individual objects, including 382 cabins, 876 portholes, 73 towels, and 681 deck chairs, all of which were created by digital effects company Industrial Light & Magic.[citation needed]

DVD release[edit]

Poseidon was released to DVD on August 22, 2006, in both single-disc and double-disc editions. The single-disc edition contains a behind-the-scenes featurette and the theatrical trailer. The double-disc edition expands on these two features, and also includes the documentaries Poseidon: Upside Down: A Unique Set Design Chronicle; A Shipmate's Diary, which covers a film school intern's experience on the set; and a History Channel documentary which explores rogue waves.[7] DVD sales for Poseidon were 1,183,187 units, which translates to $19,665,430 in sales.[8] Poseidon has made $19,727,310 in DVD sales, bringing its total gross to $201,402,127.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Poseidon". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ "IMDb 2006 Oscar page". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 23, 2007. 
  3. ^ Poseidon: Making a Big CG Splash
  4. ^ fxguide, LLC (2006-05-08). "maya:after effects:avid - Wipe out: 'Poseidon' Fluid Simulations". fxguide. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  5. ^ McClintock, Pamela (May 21, 2006). "Pic rocks the Warners boat". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Poseidon sinks at US box office". Guardian Unlimited. May 15, 2006. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Poseidon". DVD Active. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Poseidon DVD". The Numbers. Retrieved September 10, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Poseidon — DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 

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