A Hologram for the King (film)

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A Hologram for the King
A Hologram for the King poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tom Tykwer
Produced by
Screenplay by Tom Tykwer
Based on A Hologram for the King
by Dave Eggers
Music by
Cinematography Frank Griebe
Edited by Alexander Berner
Distributed by
Release date
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Language English
Budget $35 million[3][4]
Box office $7.8 million[5]

A Hologram for the King is a 2016 comedy-drama film directed, written and co-scored by Tom Tykwer, based on the 2012 novel of the same name written by Dave Eggers,[6][7] and starring Tom Hanks as a washed-up corporate salesman, who goes to Saudi Arabia to propose a business deal.

Sidse Babett Knudsen, Tom Skerritt and Sarita Choudhury also star in this international co-production between the United States, Germany, and Mexico.[2] The film was released on April 22, 2016, by Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions and Saban Films. It received positive reviews but was a box-office flop, becoming the lowest-grossing film to feature Tom Hanks in top billing since Every Time We Say Goodbye in 1986.[8]


The film tells the story of a washed-up, desperate American salesman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a holographic teleconferencing system to the Saudi government.[7][9] Set in 2010, before the Arab Spring, American consultant Alan Clay is depressed after losing his house and being divorced by his wife during the Great Recession; he arrives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to make a sale in an upcoming development called the King’s Metropolis of Economy and Trade (a fictionalized version of King Abdullah Economic City).[9]




On June 12, 2013, Tom Tykwer was reported to be developing an adaptation of 2012 novel A Hologram for the King, written by Dave Eggers. Tykwer wrote and directed the film, which stars Tom Hanks as the lead. The film was made by Playtone, Primeridian Entertainment, and X-Filme Creative Pool.[6] On September 5, 2013, Lotus Entertainment began licensing international rights to the film.[10] On March 6, 2014 it was announced that Sarita Choudhury, Alexander Black, Tracey Fairaway, David Menkin, and Tom Skerritt had joined the cast of the film.[11]

Tom Hanks on set, March 13, 2014.


Production was set to begin in first quarter of 2014.[10] Principal photography commenced on March 6, 2014 in Morocco.[12] Filming also took place in Hurghada in Egypt, as well as in Berlin and Düsseldorf in Germany. Shooting wrapped in June 2014.[13][14]


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 71%, based on 126 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A Hologram for the King amiably ambles through a narrative desert, saved by an oasis of a performance from the ever-dependable Tom Hanks."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 59 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $1.1 million in its opening weekend, finishing 11th at the box office. With a total worldwide gross of $8,244,651 (U.S. domestic gross of $4,212,494), it is the lowest-grossing film to feature Tom Hanks in top billing since Every Time We Say Goodbye in 1986.[17]


  1. ^ "A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. March 17, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "A Hologram for the King (2016)". BFI. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Hollywood's comedy crisis with the Middle East". NewsTalk. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ "A Hologram For The King". BoxOfficeFlops.com. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  5. ^ "A Hologram for the King (2016)". The Numbers. Retrieved July 30, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Billington, Alex (12 June 2013). "Tom Hanks & Tom Tykwer Reteaming to Adapt a Dave Eggers Novel". FirstShowing. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (14 May 2014). "First Look at Tom Hanks in 'A Hologram for the King'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Tom Hanks". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 11, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Steven Holden, Review: ‘A Hologram for the King’ Is Elevated by Tom Hanks’s Portrayal of an American Everyman, The New York Times, April 21, 2016, accessed April 22, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (5 September 2013). "Lotus Stakes ‘A Hologram For The King’ With Tom Hanks And Tom Tykwer". Deadline. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Tom Tykwer’s Tom Hanks-Starrer ‘A Hologram For The King’ Finalizes Cast". Deadline. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Kay, Jeremy (6 March 2014). "Hologram shoot underway in Morocco". Screen Daily. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (6 March 2014). "Sarita Choudhury, Omar Elba Join Tom Hanks in ‘Hologram for the King’". Variety. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Tom Hanks: Ballett Lessons in Berlin (in German)". TV Today. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "A Hologram for the King (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  16. ^ "A Hologram for the King reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Tom Hanks". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]