Vampire Academy (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Produced by||Don Murphy
|Written by||Daniel Waters|
|Based on||Vampire Academy
by Richelle Mead
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Edited by||Chris Gill|
|Distributed by||The Weinstein Company|
|Box office||$15.4 million|
Vampire Academy (also known as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters) is a 2014 American satirical fantasy horror film based on Richelle Mead's 2007 best-selling novel of the same name, directed by Mark Waters, and scripted by Daniel Waters. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, and Lucy Fry in lead roles. It was released in North America on February 7, 2014 and globally between March and July of the same year. It was distributed in the United States by The Weinstein Company.
The film was a failure critically and financially, grossing only $15 million worldwide against a $30 million budget, making the film a box office flop.
The story features 17-year-old Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) guardian-in-training Rose Hathaway, and her royal Moroi (the peaceful, mortal vampires) best friend Lissa Dragomir living discreetly within our world, having escaped from their boarding school St. Vladimir's Academy one year prior to the beginning of the story, following a series of warnings and threats. They are soon dragged back to the Academy in Montana and rediscover the dangerous hierarchy within it, along with lies, rumors and secrets, both struggling to fit in to the school politics. Rose starts to form an attraction to her Russian Dhampir mentor and fellow Guardian, Dimitri Belikov.
Mysterious messages threatening Lissa start to appear (messages written on the wall in blood and an exploding memorial to her family in the school church), but it turns out to be the work of fellow classmate Mia Rinaldi, who once dated Lissa's brother, a playboy who enjoyed non-committal relationships. Mia was clingy and focused her hatred towards Lissa as the only surviving member of her family. Manipulating two other students using sex, she persuaded them to help her in her fear tactics against Lissa. A Moroi named Christian Ozera, who is viewed poorly by his peers because his parents became Strigoi (the evil, undead vampires of legend, which Moroi become if they completely drain their victims of blood), tries to romance Lissa but Rose manages to keep him away by lying to both Lissa and Christian. Rose also discovers that Lissa has the same rare power that the founder of their school St. Vladamir had, that of Spirit, a power which enables the caster to heal ailments, and save the dying. At the same time as Mia and her two compatriots have been leaving her nasty notes threatening her safety dead animals have been popping up wherever Lissa goes, including her beloved cat Oscar. At the Equinox Dance, Rose confronts Mia, believing she is responsible for all the dead animals and the notes. Mia, however, is horrified because she loves cats and gave Oscar treats. Soon Lissa is kidnapped and Rose, Dimitri and Christian go to save her.
The Moroi responsible for Lissa's kidnapping and the threats against her is Victor Dashkov, a previous candidate for the throne, who has contracted a disease that leaves him too feeble for the job. He wants to use Lissa to cure himself, even knowing that the cure would cost her her life as continued healing would eventually take its toll on her. Once captured and placed in the secure cells beneath the school, Victor explains to Rose that the reason why she bonded to Lissa (and is therefore sometimes able to see through her eyes) is because she was "shadow-kissed", having been brought back to life by Lissa's magic. While they are talking, Victor's daughter Natalie - who befriended both Lissa and Rose and was a very insecure, almost invisible, student at the school - is enacting the tools of his escape having turned Strigoi by draining her crush to death, instead of losing her virginity to him. Rose helps Dimitri kill Natalie and detain Victor.
During a speech by vampire Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, Lissa steps in and gives a speech of her own, announcing that Spirit is her type of magic, and that it's thanks to Rose (who will help keep her from straying from the person she truly is) that she can master it. The scene then shifts to a mountain cave not too far from the academy, where a massive army of Strigoi reside; they say it will be time soon.
- Zoey Deutch as Rosemarie "Rose" Hathaway
- Macey Chipping as Young Rose
- Lucy Fry as Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir
- Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri Belikov
- Gabriel Byrne as Victor Dashkov
- Dominic Sherwood as Christian Ozera
- Olga Kurylenko as Headmistress Ellen Kirova
- Sarah Hyland as Natalie Dashkov
- Cameron Monaghan as Mason Ashford
- Sami Gayle as Mia Rinaldi
- Ashley Charles as Jesse Zeklos
- Claire Foy as Sonya Karp
- Joely Richardson as Queen Tatiana Ivashkov
- Dominique Tipper as Guardian Gabriela
- Edward Holcroft as Aaron Drozdov
- Bronté Norman-Terrell as Camilla Conta
- Chris Mason as Ray / Ralf Sarcozy
- Ben Peel as Spiridon
- Ramon Tikaram as Mr. Meisner
- Harry Bradshaw as Bruno
- Shelley Longworth as Feeder Norrine
- Rory Fleck-Byrne as Andre
- Alexander Abadzis as Mr. Dragomir
- Elizabeth Conboy as Rhea Dragomir
- Ryan Prescott as Nick
- Maria Dagyte as Mia's Friend
- Alice Wahtel as Mia's Friend
- Mai Arwas as Lucy
- Jackson Bews as Jered
- Nick Gillard as Kenneth
In June 2010, Preger Entertainment optioned the film rights to the Vampire Academy series. On July 6, 2010, they announced that producer Don Murphy had joined them to help bring the series to the big screen. On December 17, 2012, it was announced that Daniel Waters was writing the script and subsequently, it was announced, that his brother, Mark Waters would direct.
On February 1, 2013, it was announced that Zoey Deutch, Australian actress Lucy Fry, and Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky were cast as Rose Hathaway, Lissa Dragomir, and Dimitri Belikov, respectively. On April 29, 2013, it was announced that Olga Kurylenko had been cast as Headmistress Ellen Kirova. On May 10, 2013, additional cast members were announced to be Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Claire Foy, and Ashley Charles for the roles of Mason Ashford, Mia Rinaldi, Sonya Karp and Jesse Zeklos respectively. On May 18, 2013, it was announced that Gabriel Byrne would play Victor Dashkov, Lissa's uncle, while Sarah Hyland would play Natalie Dashkov, Victor's daughter and fellow student at the academy. Joely Richardson played Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, leader of the Moroi Vampires and Dominic Sherwood played Christian Ozera, Lissa's love interest. On May 20, 2013, the producers posted a behind the scenes photograph revealing the names of a few more cast members. Casting for the film was undertaken by Marci Liroff and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton.
The title was initially changed from Vampire Academy to Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. This was the name of the first book in many foreign languages and a different name for each film was wanted. The title was later changed back to simply Vampire Academy. The project was officially greenlit on April 1, 2013. The producers announced on their official Facebook page that principal photography would take place in the UK with additional photography planned in and around Montana in USA and that director, Mark Waters had started pre-production work in London.
Prior to the official release of the film, the "Blood Sisters" portion of the title was dropped.
|Vampire Academy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score (Digital download / Audio CD)|
|Released||February 4, 2014|
On January 14, 2014, the track list of the official soundtrack was released. The album itself was released on February 4, 2014. Tracks included the artists Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, Sky Ferreira, Natalia Kills, and Au Revoir Simone. There was also a special cover track of Bela Lugosi's Dead featured during the film's end credits by Chvrches.
- In Your Grave [3:11]
- Red Lips [3:50]
- Nice and Slow [3:50]
- Thea [4:48]
- Boys Don't Cry [3:36]
- Bounce [2:45]
- Sinful Nature [3:30]
- Think About It [3:05]
- Rats [4:32]
- Spiritual [4:34]
- Crazy [2:57]
- Bela Lugosi's Dead [3:50]
The Weinstein Company, the North American distributors for the film, held a competition where the winner would be able to visit the set in London and meet the cast. The official motion poster was also revealed on July 22, 2013 by Yahoo! Movies. On August 13, 2013, three official stills were released by USA Today and later in the day The Weinstein Company released a sneak peek of the teaser trailer. On August 14, 2013, The Weintstein Company released the full official teaser trailer on Yahoo! Movies. On September 12, 2013, The Weinstein Company started releasing stills and character profile photos on the film's Twitter account. Sherwood, Gayle, Fry and Deutch attended the New York Comic Con for the movie, where a new sizzle reel was previewed by those in attendance. On November 21, 2013, the official theatrical trailer was released by Yahoo! Movies.
The film was originally set to be released on Valentine's Day, but changed to February 7, 2014 in the United States; elsewhere, it is set to open in the Spring/Summer of 2014. The theatrical release of the film was cancelled in both Brazil and the UK due to low international box office earnings. The film only stayed 20 days in Australian cinemas.
The film under-performed and only made $3.9 million in its opening weekend. The film later opened in a further 12 countries but didn't pass the $1 million mark, grossing just $619,381. As of February 16, 2014, the film had grossed $6.6 million, with many suggesting that poor box office returns will effectively end any plans for a sequel. After a month of theatrical release in the US, Vampire Academy grossed just $8 million at the box office. The movie was expected to be a big hit in both Australia and Russia, but only made $1.6 million in each country. As of April 11, 2014, the film had grossed $15,391,979 worldwide therefore failing to recoup its $30 million budget making the film a box office bomb. The film ended its North American run on April 11 with a $7.8 million total.
Vampire Academy was not screened for critics, and has received overwhelmingly negative reviews. The film currently holds a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews, with an average rating of 3.2 out of ten. The consensus states: "Though it may appeal to its built-in fanbase, Vampire Academy 's Twilight-meets-Mean Girls conceit borrows lazily from its predecessors and offers few laughs or thrills to complement its overstuffed backstory." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 30 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" from critics.
The film was mostly criticized for its script, action sequences, and CGI effects though the film's attempts to satirize the YA novel adaptation trend's cliches was warmly received. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone gave the film a 0/4 stars and wrote, "One idea, mixed with lame jokes, and stretched beyond coherence. Vampire Academy doesn't need a review. It needs a stake in the heart." Dennis Harvey from Variety also gave the movie a negative review, stating it "Not only plays like the crassest possible mashup of Harry Potter and Twilight elements, but seems designed to make those franchises look like eternal monuments of world culture by comparison." Manohla Dargis from The New York Times said "[Mr. Waters] doesn't seem especially interested in the supernatural parts of Vampire Academy, and he clearly didn't have the budget to make what little hocus-pocus there is magical." The cast was also panned, with critics singling out Deutch's performance as a "ripoff" of Ellen Page as Juno from the film of the same name. Kevin A. Rason of MovieCrypt.com noted Fry for displaying occasional charisma but compared her at other moments to "nails on a chalkboard".
At the LA premiere of the movie, Daniel Waters confirmed that he had finished the first draft of the script for the sequel Frostbite. After the critical and financial failure of Vampire Academy, sequel plans were put on hold. In an interview with a radio station, Mark Waters said that the producers were trying to make the second movie of the franchise by using reused money and lowering the production budget. It was revealed on August 6 that they had investors but that they would only finance the movie if enough fan support was shown. A fundraising campaign on indiegogo.com was started with the goal of reaching $1.5 million within a month. The campaign offered perks for people who donated more than $10. Piers Ashworth wrote the script with filming planned to begin in early 2015 based on cast availability, and a possible release date for Fall 2015. Fans raised $50,000 in the first 5 hours and $100,000 in the first day. eBay auctions for character clothing such as the Academy uniforms and the Equinox dresses were placed in late August. Fans raised an overall of $272,882 from the auctions and the donations, therefore not reaching the goal. Preger Entertainment canceled the movie the next day.
- "VAMPIRE ACADEMY (12A)". Entertainment One. British Board of Film Classification. June 15, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Vampire Academy". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- "Vampire Academy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- Berlin 2013: The Weinstein Co. Strikes Deal for U.S. Rights to Vampire Pic 'Blood Sisters' Hollywood Reporter (2013-02-01). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- New York Times Bestselling Series 'Vampire Academy' Staked by Preger Entertainment – LOS ANGELES, June 29 /PRNewswire/. Prnewswire.com (2010-06-29). Retrieved on 2010-12-30.
- McNary, Dave. (2010-07-06) 'Academy' bites bigscreen – Entertainment News, Book Adaptations, Media. Variety. Retrieved on 2010-12-30.
- Heathers writer and Mean Girls director teaming up for the undead ass-kicking Vampire Academy movie. IO9 (2013-02-02). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- 'Vampire Academy' Film Takes Flight; Mark Waters Directing Daniel Waters' Script deadline.com (2013-02-01). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- 'Oblivion's Olga Kurylenko Sinks Teeth Into 'Vampire Academy' deadline.com (2013-04-29). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- 'Vampire Academy' Adds 'Blue Bloods' Sami Gayle, 'Shameless' Cameron Monaghan & More To Cast deadline.com (2013-05-10). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- 'Vampire Academy' Adds 'Modern Family's' Sarah Hyland, Gabriel Byrne & More To Cast
- "Twitter / OfficialVAMovie: Sneak Peak! #productionoffice". Twitter.com. May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Twitter / MarciLiroff: The über talented UK CD". Twitter.com. May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- The 'Vampire Academy' Movie is a Go! Production to Begin May 2013 Teen.com (2013-04-04). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- Zoey Deutch Gets A Workout For 'Vampire Academy' Mtv (2013-03-05). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- "Twitter / fusdad: Happy to be training with Cameron Monaghan for "Vampire Academy"". Twitter.com. May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- "Twitter / fusdad: Jessie and Danila on his last day of training". Twitter.com. March 20, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- 'The Vampire Academy' casts Mason Hypable.com (2013-05-10). Retrieved on 2013-05-11.
- "Twitter / OfficialVAMovie: That's a wrap on "Vampire Academy."". Twitter.com. July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Universal Music Enterprises to Release VAMPIRE ACADEMY Soundtrack out February 11, 2014 Yahoo! Finance (2014-01-16). Retrieved on 2013-01-18.
- Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters sweepstakes Hypable.com (2013-06-10). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- Exclusive 'Vampire Academy' Motion Poster Will Stake You For Sure Yahoo! Movies (2013-07-22). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- 'Vampire Academy' brings up a 'brassy' heroine USA Today (2013-08-14). Retrieved on 2013-08-15.
- "Twitter / VAOfficialMovie: You passed the test! 10K+ RTs!". Twitter.com. August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Sass Is Thicker Than Blood in First 'Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters' Trailer Yahoo! Movies (2013-08-14). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- Batman Superman Film pushed back to 2016, Vampire Academy moved up The Slanted (2014-01-18). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Harvey, Dennis (February 11, 2014). "'Vampire Academy' Review: It Bites". Variety Media. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- "'Vampire Academy' box office". Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Travers, Peter (February 7, 2014). "'Vampire Academy' Movie Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- "Vampire Academy - Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Vampire Academy Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- Dargis, Manohla (February 9, 2014). "'Vampire Academy,' a Film Based on Richelle Mead's Series - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- Wloszczyna, Susan (February 7, 2014). "Vampire Academy Movie Review & Film Summary (2014)". Ebert Digital. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- "Review: 'Vampire Academy' (School Isn't All That Sucks Here)". MovieCrypt.com. February 9, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- Official website
- Vampire Academy at the Internet Movie Database
- Vampire Academy at Box Office Mojo
- Vampire Academy at Rotten Tomatoes
- Vampire Academy at Metacritic
- Official Vampire Academy Movie Page at Facebook
- Vampire Academy Movie (Page set up by distributors) at Facebook