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Edge of Tomorrow (film)

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Edge of Tomorrow
A man and a woman, wearing battle armor, holding large guns, and looking battle-worn, stand against an urban background devastated by war. The sky is golden, meteors are falling, and Nelson's Column can be seen in the background.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by
  • Erwin Stoff
  • Tom Lassally
  • Jeffrey Silver
  • Gregory Jacobs
  • Jason Hoffs
Screenplay by
Based on All You Need Is Kill 
by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Starring
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Edited by
  • James Herbert
  • Laura Jennings
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • May 28, 2014 (2014-05-28) (London IMAX)
  • June 6, 2014 (2014-06-06) (United States)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
Country United States[2]
Language English
Budget $178 million[3]
Box office $369.2 million[3]

Edge of Tomorrow (also marketed with the tagline Live. Die. Repeat.)[nb 1] is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film directed by Doug Liman. It stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth is based on the 2004 Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The film takes place in a future where Earth is invaded by an alien race. Major William Cage (Cruise), a public relations officer inexperienced in combat, is forced by his superiors to join a landing operation against the aliens. Though Cage is killed in combat, he finds himself in a time loop that sends him back to the day preceding the battle every time he dies. Cage teams up with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt) to improve his fighting skills through the repeated days, seeking a way to defeat the extraterrestrial invaders.

In late 2009, 3 Arts Productions purchased the rights to the novel and sold a spec script to the American studio Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio produced the film with the involvement of 3 Arts, the novel's publisher Viz Media, and Australian production company Village Roadshow. Filming began in late 2012, taking place in England at Leavesden Studios outside London, and other locations such as Trafalgar Square and Saunton Sands. Nine companies handled the visual effects.

The film was released in theaters on the weekend of May 30, 2014, in 28 territories, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Spain, India, and Indonesia. On the weekend of June 6, 2014, it was released in 36 additional territories, including North America (United States and Canada), Australia, China, and Russia. The film grossed over $369 million in theaters worldwide and received largely positive reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

In the near future, a race of space aliens called Mimics has taken over continental Europe. In England, General Brigham, head of humanity's United Defense Force, orders Major William Cage, a public affairs officer and former advertising executive, to cover combat on the beaches of France during the next day's assault on the Mimics. Cage objects to the dangerous assignment and threatens to use his public relations skills to turn the public against Brigham when the casualties start increasing from the invasion. General Brigham has Cage arrested; Cage is knocked out during an ensuing escape attempt. He wakes in handcuffs at a forward operating base at Heathrow Airport and discovers he has been demoted to private, charged with desertion and put on combat duty for the invasion under the command of Master Sergeant Farell.

The invasion is a disaster for the humans. Cage, despite his inexperience and incompetence, manages to kill a large Mimic but dies covered with its acid-like blood. He then wakes up at Heathrow the previous morning. No one believes his story that he knows the invasion will fail. He repeats the loop of dying on the beach and waking at Heathrow over and over many times until he encounters Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) during the invasion on the beach. She recognizes his ability to anticipate events and tells him to locate her the next time he "wakes up".

Together, Cage and Vrataski meet up with Dr. Carter, a former government scientist and expert in Mimic biology. Cage learns that the kind of Mimic he killed in his first loop, an "Alpha", resets time when it is killed to give the Mimics an advantage in battle. Cage inherited this ability when he was doused in the Alpha's blood as they both died. Vrataski had gained this ability in a recent battle but lost it after receiving a blood transfusion. She tells Cage that they must hunt the Mimics' hive mastermind, known as the "Omega" and destroy it.

Over innumerable successive time loops, Vrataski trains Cage into a more formidable soldier. Frustrated by his continued failures, though, he retreats to a London pub, only to discover the Mimics will attack and overrun the city after their invasion on the beach in France. He and Vrataski then spend several loops learning how to survive the battle on the beach and get inland based on his vision of the Omega hiding within a Bavarian Alps dam. After numerous loops end in Vrataski's death, Cage decides to hunt the Omega alone, abandoning her and the rest of the invasion to doom on the beach. When he arrives at the dam, he discovers that the Omega is not there. He manages to kill himself before an Alpha can steal his blood and prevent him from resetting the day. Back at Heathrow, he tells Vrataski and Carter that his vision was a trick.

Cage and Vrataski adopt a new approach: they infiltrate the Ministry of Defence in search of a prototype built by Carter that will allow Cage to discover the Omega's true location. After several failed loops they obtain the device, which reveals that the Omega is located under the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. They are injured as they flee; Cage is saved by a blood transfusion, but it removes his ability to reset the day.

Vrataski frees Cage and they return to Heathrow, where they convince Farrel's squad to help destroy the Omega before the invasion will happen. They fly to Paris and engage the guarding Mimics in combat outside the Louvre. The other squad members sacrifice themselves to get Cage and Vrataski beneath the Louvre. Vrataski distracts a waiting Alpha while Cage advances on the Omega. The Alpha kills Vrataski and mortally wounds Cage, but not before Cage primes and drops a grenade belt into the Omega's core, destroying it, which neutralizes all Mimics.

Cage's dying body floats down into a rising cloud of the Omega's blood. Regaining the power to reset himself, Cage wakes up en route to his first meeting with Brigham the day before. Brigham announces that Mimic activity has ceased following a power surge in Paris. With the events leading to his arrest never happening, Cage travels to Heathrow on his own, retaining his original rank of Major. None of his former squad mates recognize him, and everyone he met during his previous lives now treat him with the respect due an officer. He finds Vrataski, who greets him with the same initial rudeness as previous loops, causing Cage to smile.

Cast[edit]

Cruise, known for performing his own stunts in his films, also did so in Edge of Tomorrow. He and Blunt wore heavy metal suits that depicted their characters' battle suits.[5] Blunt trained three months for her role, "focusing on everything from weights to sprints to yoga, aerial wire work and gymnastics", and studying the Israeli combat system Krav Maga.[6]

Paxton was cast in a supporting role and also wore a battle suit in the film. The actor said he suspected that he was cast in the film because of his well-known role in the 1986 science fiction film Aliens.[7]

Production[edit]

Doug Liman in front of a steel beam.
Director Doug Liman at the Paris premiere of the film

Edge of Tomorrow was co-produced by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, with the involvement of production companies 3 Arts Entertainment and Viz Productions, on a budget of $178 million.[8] The screenplay is adapted from the 2004 Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.[9]

Development and writing[edit]

Viz Media published the novel in North America in 2009. After drawing the interest of producer Erwin Stoff,[10] his company 3 Arts Entertainment optioned the novel that same year. 3 Arts collaborated with the publisher's filmmaking subsidiary Viz Productions, headed by Jason Hoffs. Viz Media president Hidemi Fukuhara served as executive producer.[11][12] Instead of making a pitch to a major studio to purchase the property and proceed with writing and producing a film adaptation, the company developed a spec script to show the studios.[11] Stoff approached writer Dante Harper and sent him a copy of the novel. Harper found the book "too complex" to properly adapt, but, despite the prospect of not getting paid, he chose to "risk it" and accepted the job, taking eight months to write the script.[13] Upon completion, Warner Bros. purchased it in a $3 million deal in April 2010.[11] The studio hired Doug Liman to direct the film the following August.[9] Harper's screenplay was listed in the 2010 edition of The Black List, a survey of most-liked unproduced screenplays.[14]

In June 2011, Joby Harold was hired to rework the screenplay.[15] By September, Warner approached Brad Pitt to star;[16] after his decline, the studio then approached Tom Cruise.[17] Once Cruise accepted, the script changed the age of the leading role to fit the actor's. In December 2011, Cruise officially joined the film.[18] Emily Blunt entered negotiations to star opposite Cruise in April 2012.[19] Screenwriting duo Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman also delivered a draft of their own.[20]

Six months before filming started, Liman discarded two-thirds of Harper's original script. Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth were hired to rewrite the script. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg took over from the Butterworths, and eight weeks before the start of filming, he was replaced by Christopher McQuarrie.[21] McQuarrie was introduced to the project while directing Cruise in Jack Reacher. While reading the earlier script, McQuarrie "understood very clearly what the premise of the story was and what they were looking for in terms of characters".[22] Even if the previous scripts were darker, Cruise stressed the importance of the story's humor to McQuarrie.[23] The actor compared Cage's violent demises to Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner, declaring "It's fun coming up with new ways to kill yourself."[21]

The screenplay did not yet have a satisfactory ending, and, despite the producers and studio executives worried about starting filming without a set conclusion, Liman opted to finish the script during principal photography.[21] McQuarrie at one point suggested adding a twist involving the Mimics figuring out Cage's attack on Paris and resetting time during his strike, but discarded it as "you were so exhausted by the time you got to that point."[23] Eventually, McQuarrie considered that focusing on the comedic aspects meant "it needed to end in a way that wasn't harsh", and thus opted to end the plot where it started, on the helicopter bringing Cage to London, fulfilling the notion that "comedies generally have to go back to the way things were".[23]

Filming[edit]

Production began at Leavesden Studios near London. Warner Bros. purchased Leavesden as a permanent studio site after previously renting space there for its production of the Harry Potter films.[24] Though Liman intended to film the beach battle on location, the studio instead had a beach set built at the studio site.[21] The set was surrounded by chroma key green screens, which the visual effects artists later used to extend the beach with plates shot at Saunton Sands in North Devon.[25] It was intended for the battle scenes to be reminiscent of coastal battles during World War II such as the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of Dunkirk.[26]

Principal photography began at Leavesden on October 1, 2012.[27] The Los Angeles Times said on the second day, Liman "demanded a total reshoot of everything filmed on Day 1", which concerned producers.[21] Filming on the beach set was scheduled to last two weeks, but extended to nearly three months due to what the Los Angeles Times called "the director's self-described 'workshop-y' filming style".[21] Filming also took place in Trafalgar Square in London on November 24, 2012. The square was closed to the public, and tanks were brought in to film the action scenes.[28] A former army base in the village of Barton Stacey in Hampshire, was also used as a filming location for two weeks.[29]

Liman said filming took place seven days a week using two crews to film 20 days in addition to what had originally been scheduled. The crew struggled with rainy British weather since the film was supposed to be set in one day and had to maintain the same weather.[30] The beach set in particular became boggy and muddy, requiring the effects artists to enhance the environment with digital sand and surf.[25][31] Though filming concluded by August 2013, actor Jeremy Piven was added to the cast, and extra scenes including him were filmed;[32] ultimately, Piven did not appear in the finished film.[33] Cinematographer Dion Beebe made his first feature film with Liman, with whom he had worked previously on commercials. Beebe's approach was to develop "a world under siege, but not a bleak, dark, post-apocalyptic landscape”;[34] Beebe preferred to avoid the saturated bleach bypass look. 35mm film was used instead of digital cameras to evoke the World War II footage that provided inspiration for the battle scenes.[34]

Battle suit design[edit]

Production designer Oliver Scholl and his team worked with lead builder Pierre Bohanna to develop concept art for several battle suit options based on contemporary, real-world powered exoskeleton initiatives like those supported by DARPA. When director Doug Liman chose a design, the team built an aluminum prototype frame that had pivot points and hinges. Costume designer Kate Hawley contributed a gritty aesthetic design for the color palettes and surface treatments. While the design was meant to be utilitarian, it was also created so the actors could be seen in the suits and also run in them. The team created a foam mock-up of Tom Cruise so the frame could be tailored for him. The team handcrafted 70 hard material and 50 soft material battle suits in the course of almost five months. There were three versions of the battle suits: "grunts, dogs, and tanks". The battle suit for Emily Blunt's character had red slash marks sprayed on to reflect a Joan of Arc quality.[35]

The battle suit weighed 85 pounds (39 kg) on average. One of the heavier versions was around 130 pounds (59 kg) due to being equipped with a mock sniper rifle and rocket launcher.[6] Each actor needed four people to help put on the battle suit. Initially, Tom Cruise took 30 minutes to put on the suit and another 30 minutes to remove it. Ultimately, the time was reduced to 30 seconds.[35] Between takes, the actors would be suspended by chains from iron frames to take the weight of the suits off their shoulders.[7]

Visual effects[edit]

Nine companies handled the visual effects for Edge of Tomorrow under VFX supervisor Nick Davis.[36] Davis worked with the crew of The Third Floor on the film's previsualization process. Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) worked on the first two acts of the film and created over 400 shots, including photorealistic environments, battle scenes, and computer-generated creatures and characters. One major shot involved covering London Heathrow Airport with military troops, vehicles, and aircraft; SPI split some of the work with RodeoFX. Cinesite joined late in the production and developed 221 shots for ten key sequences, with 189 appearing in the final cut.[31]

A monster with various tentacle-like limbs in a beach.
An Alpha during the beach battle. The design for the extraterrestrial race aimed to be as otherworldly as possible, with a body consisting mostly of tentacles built out of obsidian-like shards.

Designers created the alien Mimics to look different from any terrestrial animal. Davis and Liman favored an early model composed primarily of tentacles. SPI's Dan Kramer described its appearance as "heavy black spaghetti" and noted that the modelers faced a challenge creating the tentacled creatures.[31] A technical animator created an Autodesk Maya plugin that made the movement of each tentacle independent.[37] Since Liman did not want the Mimics to look "too organic or terrestrial", Imageworks' artists devised the idea of making the aliens out of an obsidian-like material, "basically a glass that could cut".[38] Various debris was incorporated within the tentacles to give the creature a sense of weight and fast movement. The Alphas were given a definable head area to show their status as more sentient, while receiving a different color and a bigger size compared to the Mimic grunts.[38] Cinesite created the mechanical Mimics used in the training areas,[39] while MPC created the Omega in a digital environment into which the effects artists composited underwater footage filmed at Leavesden's water tank.[40]

Animators created digital versions of the battle suits, at times with the soldiers inside them. On the set, a 3D scanner booth digitized the actors, while hand scanners captured the textures of the practical suits. Imageworks received pieces of the suits for reference. The company's library of reflection data on various materials helped enhance the armor's shading.[38] SPI's crew created the base at Heathrow by merging the set at Leavesden with digitally altered footage from the airport; the film's drop ships, barracks and mess halls, replaced the existing aircraft.[31] Framestore created the digital Paris and recreated it with photomodeling from three days of visits. Given that the city is a no-fly zone, Framestore's artists obtained their aerial images by climbing an 80-meter crane parked in the Louvre courtyard.[38] The quadcopter dropships were based on the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey that can tilt its rotors to fly as either planes or helicopters, while having a design closer to the Quad TiltRotor.[41] Aside from the crashed ship on the beachhead and a gimbal set to depict the plane used by Cage's squad, the film used digital models for most ships. The computer-generated dropships had some of Imageworks' heaviest detail given the proximity of the actors to the aircraft in the camp scenes; the effects artists wanted to make sure the ships broke apart in a realistic way during the crashes.[38]

Prime Focus World converted the film into 3D in post-production using the same tools for the stereoscopy in World War Z and Gravity. The company made use of scans of the cast's faces from film production while vendor Nvizible helped the company convert the hologram table used by Dr. Carter.[38]

Music[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Christophe Beck
Released June 3, 2014
Genre Soundtrack
Length 45:30
Label WaterTower Music

Composer Christophe Beck was a late addition to the film, taking over from Ramin Djawadi, Liman's first choice to replace his frequent collaborator John Powell, who was on sabbatical.[42] Edge of Tomorrow marked Beck's first science fiction film score.[43] To prepare, Beck watched the film with temp tracks, including one from the 2012 film Battleship. He experimented with repeating the music with the scenes, but because this approach did not frequently fit the events on the screen, Beck used minimal repetition in the film. "The day is reset dozens of times in the film and it would get very repetitive to approach that musically the same way every time", Beck recalled.[44] He initially tried for "traditional heroic themes" that involved horns and trumpets, but he said Liman "preferred a non-traditional approach, driven by percussion and distorted orchestra". To that end, Beck used the pizzicato playing technique, "not in the traditional, plinky-plinky-isn't-this-funny way, but a little darker, and always accompanied by some higher concept synth colors".[43] The distorted orchestral samples enhanced the comedic tone of the extended sequences where Cage recurrently dies in battle, as the director felt it was important for the audience to find humor in this sequence.[42] With Liman's approach, the composer said there were "only a couple of traditional themes" in the film, including one for Emily Blunt's character Rita.[44]

Additional music
No. Title Music Length
1. "This Is Not the End"   Fieldwork  
2. "Massive Mellow"   Daniel Lenz  
3. "Railroad Track"   Willy Moon  
4. "Trip Into The Light"   Jeremy and the Harlequins  
5. "Love Me Again"   John Newman  

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

"I think the word 'kill' in a title is very tricky in today's world. I don't know that people want to be bombarded with that word. I don't know that people want to be opening the newspaper and seeing that word. We see it enough in kind of real newspaper headlines, and I don't think we need to see it when we're looking at a movie."

— Producer Erwin Stoff on changing the title[45]

Warner Bros. invested over $100 million in a marketing campaign for Edge of Tomorrow.[46] The film was initially titled All You Need Is Kill after the light novel. In July 2013, Warner Bros. changed the title to Edge of Tomorrow;[47] Warner Bros. president Sue Kroll said the title was changed partly due to "negative chatter" about the word "kill" in the title.[48] The film was promoted at Comic-Con in San Diego, California in July 2013,[47] and at WonderCon in Anaheim, California in April 2014.[7] Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner like the studio Warner Bros., promoted the film across its TV properties, including CNN, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim, TruTV, and Funny or Die. Variety said the move "put forth the notion that buying bigger packages of advertisements across a TV company's holdings is a viable option in an increasingly fragmented TV-viewing landscape". Turner also launched a website which would unlock film-related content like "a 3D game, back stories and artwork" if its promotional hashtag was circulated enough through the social media website Twitter.[49]

Viz Media released a new edition of the light novel on April 29, 2014, retitled Edge of Tomorrow.[50] It also published a graphic novel adaptation of the light novel on May 5, 2014.[51]

For the film's release on home media, Warner Bros. formed two teams for a September 28, 2014, Tough Mudder endurance event series in Black Diamond, Washington.[52] The teams included YouTube personalities and participants from the TV series American Ninja Warrior. Warner Bros. based the teams on the soldiers from "J Squad" in the film. To promote teamwork, the two teams competed in a Tough Mudder obstacle course.[53]

Box office forecast[edit]

Tom Cruise being interviewed at a film premiere.
Tom Cruise in Paris at the French premiere of Edge of Tomorrow

Weeks before the film's release, reports in early May 2014 predicted an underwhelming performance in the North American (United States and Canada) box office for Edge of Tomorrow.[8] Variety noted a "worrisome lack of buzz" leading up to the film's release.[48] Initial box office tracking at the start of the month for the film estimated a gross between $25 million and $30 million on its opening weekend.[54] Several weeks later, the estimate decreased by $5 million.[48] The film planned to compete with The Fault in Our Stars in the same opening weekend with an equivalent estimated gross around $25 million. The Wrap predicted that this competition could potentially impact the opening weekend gross of Edge of Tomorrow.[54] In contrast, Variety said Edge of Tomorrow could serve as counterprogramming to The Fault in Our Stars since that film's demographic is women under 25 years old.[48]

With its budget of over $175 million, The Hollywood Reporter called Edge of Tomorrow, one of the "biggest box-office risks" in North America for mid-2014. The trade paper said the film was similar to Oblivion, a 2013 science fiction film that also starred Tom Cruise, and that like Oblivion, it would likely perform better outside North America.[55] Box Office Mojo reported that four of Cruise's films with original material—Valkyrie (2008), Knight and Day (2010), Jack Reacher (2012), and Oblivion (2013)—failed to gross more than $100 million in North America. The website forecast that Edge of Tomorrow would gross $90 million in North America and $220 million in other territories.[56] TheWrap said that the studio focused on theatrical releases in other territories where Cruise "remains a major force" in drawing audiences.[54] Variety, writing from the US perspective, said, "Media reports have been quick to speculate that Edge of Tomorrow may be one of the summer's first big bombs based on the lack of enthusiasm by U.S. audiences. That may come to pass, but these reports downplay the centrality of foreign markets in today's globalized movie industry."[8]

In the week prior to the release of Edge of Tomorrow in North America, its estimated opening-weekend gross increased from the mid-$20 million range to $27 million.[57]

Theatrical run [edit]

Edge of Tomorrow initiated its theatrical run in several territories on May 28, 2014, and rolled out to a total of 28 territories for its opening weekend of May 30–June 1, 2014.[8][58] It grossed $20.1 million on its opening weekend.[59] For the second weekend of June 6–8, 2014, it was released in 36 additional territories.[60] Edge of Tomorrow grossed $100.2 million in North America and $269 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $369.2 million.[3] After the film's theatrical run, Entertainment Weekly said it had a "lukewarm box-office reception" despite praise from critics.[61]

Opening weekend[edit]

Façade of the London IMAX theater.
Edge of Tomorrow premiered at British Film Institute's London IMAX on May 28, 2014[62]

The film had premiere screenings in London, Paris, and New York City on May 28, 2014. The cast and the crew mimicked the film's time loop premise by attending the premieres in a single day, traveling westward to attend them on a staggered schedule.[63] The film was screened in New York City at 11:59 pm, the time chosen to refer to the film title.[64] The film was released in theaters in 28 territories—including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Indonesia—on the weekend of May 30, 2014.[8] Certain territories with strong association football followings were chosen so the film could screen to audiences before the month-long 2014 FIFA World Cup began on June 12, 2014. Edge of Tomorrow competed against Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, which opened the same weekend in 46 territories.[8]

On its opening weekend in 5,018 screens across 28 territories, Edge of Tomorrow grossed $20.1 million.[59] The Hollywood Reporter called the film's debut a "soft" opening. In many territories, Edge of Tomorrow ranked third behind fellow new release Maleficent and holdover X-Men: Days of Future Past. These included the United Kingdom, where the film ranked third and grossed $3.1 million, where Cruise's 2013 film Oblivion had opened with $7.6 million, and Germany, with an income of $2.1 million compared to Oblivion‍ '​s $2.6 million. Edge of Tomorrow ranked first in Indonesia and Taiwan, grossing $2 million and $1.9 million, respectively.[65] Its opening weekend in 286 screens in Indonesia was Tom Cruise's biggest opening to date in the country.[59] The film also grossed $1.5 million in Italy and $1.5 million in Spain.[60] Deadline.com said the film had good word of mouth, citing significant increases in Saturday grosses compared to the Friday grosses in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain.[59] Bloomberg Businessweek reported that $110 million was grossed in the first week of release and summarized its debut, "While it did solid business in Asia, its reception in Germany, France, and the U.K. has been tepid."[66]

Second weekend[edit]

In the first week of June 2014, Edge of Tomorrow opened in 36 additional markets, including North America, China, Russia, South Korea and France. The film was now showing in 63 countries and 19,000 screens.[67] The film led the global weekend box office with $28.8 million in North America and $82 million elsewhere.[67] The debut in China occurred on Monday, June 2, to take advantage of the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.[68] Edge of Tomorrow topped the Chinese box office with $26.7 million,[69] encompassing 4.06 million admissions in 99,768 screenings.[70] Edge of Tomorrow‍ '​s debut in both Russia ($8.6 million) and South Korea ($3.8 million, taking advantage of a five-day holiday) marked Tom Cruise's highest opening weekend in both countries.[71][72]

Edge of Tomorrow was released in 3,490 theaters in North America on June 6, 2014.[73] The ticket service Fandango reported advance tickets surpassed Tom Cruise's previous film Oblivion, but were being overcome by the competing film The Fault in Our Stars.[74] Edge of Tomorrow grossed $28.8 million on the opening weekend, ranking it third below The Fault in Our Stars ($48 million) and Maleficent ($34.3 million).[75] Polling firm CinemaScore said 61% of the opening weekend audiences were male.[76] It reported that audiences overall gave Edge of Tomorrow a "B+" grade, where younger filmgoers gave "A" and "A–" grades.[77] The Los Angeles Times said the disappointing box office performances of non-franchise films Edge of Tomorrow and Blended, both produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, indicated risky investments by the studio, which had better success earlier in the year with franchise films The Lego Movie and Godzilla (2014).[78]

Subsequent weekends[edit]

In its second weekend of release in North America (June 13–15, 2014), Edge of Tomorrow had a "light" second-weekend drop of 43% due to word of mouth and grossed $16.5 million on the second weekend.[79] In the same weekend in territories outside North America, the film was on 14,725 screens. With approximately 5.1 million admissions, it grossed $37.3 million. China, Russia, and South Korea respectively had the film's largest weekend grosses among the territories.[80] In South Korea, the film ranked first at the box office for two consecutive weekends, grossing a total of $25.65 million by June 17, 2014.[81]

In Japan, Edge of Tomorrow was released on July 4, 2014, under the light novel's title All You Need Is Kill.[82] The film opened second in the weekend rankings behind Maleficent, with an intake of $4.5 million.[83] As of November 30, 2014, with $15.3 million, Edge of Tomorrow is the sixth highest-grossing foreign movie of the year in Japan, and the 21st overall.[84]

Home media[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and video on demand in the United States on October 7, 2014. The Blu-ray disc includes over 90 minutes of bonus features.[53] The home release's packaging downplays the original Edge of Tomorrow title in favor of placing more prominence on the film's original tagline, "Live. Die. Repeat." Media critics believed that the re-branding was an attempt by Warner Bros. to re-launch the film's marketing following its poor U.S. box office performance. Posters for the film's theatrical release had similarly placed a larger emphasis on the "Live. Die. Repeat." tagline than the actual title of the film.[4][85] Similarly, some digital retailers listed the film under the title Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow.[4] The film ranked first in home media sales for the week beginning October 7, with 62% of sales coming from the Blu-ray version.[86]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow received largely positive reviews from critics.[87] Critics praised the humor, the aliens' design, the performances of Cruise and Blunt, and the time-loop premise's ability to remain fresh. However, some critics had issues with the film's conclusion.[88] Based on 267 reviews, review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 90% of critics gave the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.5 out of 10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller."[89] Another aggregator Metacritic surveyed 43 critics and assessed 35 reviews as positive and eight as mixed, with none negative. Based on the reviews, it gave the film a score of 71 out of 100, which it said indicated "generally favorable reviews".[90]

Justin Chang of Variety called Edge of Tomorrow "a cleverly crafted and propulsively executed sci-fi thriller", saying that the film was director Doug Liman's best since The Bourne Identity (2002). Chang said that the screenwriters, with the assistance of the editors, "tell their story in a breezy narrative shorthand (and at times, sleight-of-hand), transforming what must surely be an unbelievably tedious gauntlet for our hero into a deft, playful and continually involving viewing experience". Regarding the relationship between Cruise and Blunt's characters, Chang said "Liman handles it with a pleasing lightness of touch that extends to the proceedings as a whole." He also commended the visual effects of the "expertly designed Mimics" as well as Dion Beebe's cinematography.[91]

Todd McCarthy, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, said the film was "a narratively ambitious sci-fi actioner" that "takes a relatively playful attitude toward the familiar battle tropes". McCarthy said that, despite the humor, he found the time loop premise "tedious" and that "the final stretch becomes dramatically unconvincing and visually murky". However, he also called the effects "exciting, convincing and gritty" and applauded Gleeson and Paxton in their supporting roles.[92] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, considering the film "a star-driven mass-market entertainment that's smart, exciting and unexpected while not stinting on genre satisfactions" that broke a strain of "cookie-cutter, been-there blockbusters".[93]

The film was also included by various critics in their year-end 2014's best films list. Wesley Morris, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2011, listed Edge of Tomorrow as the sixth best film of the year;[94] similarly, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times included the film in her list of films released in 2014 "that meant the most" to her.[95]

Accolades[edit]

The theatrical trailer for Edge of Tomorrow was nominated at the 15th Annual Golden Trailer Awards for Best Action and for Best Summer 2014 Blockbuster Trailer, but lost to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Godzilla, respectively.[96] The film also received nominations at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards for Best Action Film, Best Action Actor (Tom Cruise), and Best Action Actress (Emily Blunt), but lost to Divergent.[97] The Japanese government gave director Doug Liman the Annual Japan Cool Content Contribution Award, an accolade that recognizes creatives who popularize Japanese media for worldwide audiences.[98]

Edge of Tomorrow was nominated for Critics' Choice Movie Awards in the following categories: Best Visual Effects, Best Action Movie, Best Actor in an Action Movie, and Best Actress in an Action Movie, with Blunt winning the latter.[99][100]

List of accolades received by Edge of Tomorrow
Award Category Recipient(s) and Nominee (s) Result
2014 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Kickass Award for Best Female Action Star Emily Blunt Won
Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Leading Man and The Love Interest Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt Nominated
42nd Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in a Live Action Production Steve Avoujageli, Atsushi Ikarashi, Pawel Grochola, Paul Waggoner, Viktor Lundqvist Won
3rd Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards Best Editing James Herbert, Laura Jennings Won
20th Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress in an Action Movie Emily Blunt Won
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Best Action Movie Nominated
Best Actor in an Action Movie Tom Cruise Nominated
2014 Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards Best Overlooked Film Nominated
2014 Denver Film Critics Society Awards Best Science-Fiction/Horror Film Nominated
20th Empire Awards[101] Best Actress Emily Blunt Nominated
2014 Golden Trailer Awards Best Action Nominated
Best Summer Blockbuster 2014 Trailer Nominated
18th Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Best Editing James Herbert, Laura Jennings Won
35th London Film Critics Circle Awards British Actress of the Year Emily Blunt Nominated
15th Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Overlooked Film of The Year Won
Best Stunt Won
Best Visual Effects Nominated
19th San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Editing James Herbert, Laura Jennings Won
41st Saturn Awards[102] Best Science Fiction Film Nominated
Best Director Doug Liman Nominated
Best Writing Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth Nominated
Best Actor Tom Cruise Nominated
Best Actress Emily Blunt Nominated
Best Editing James Herbert and Laura Jennings Won
Best Special Effects Gary Brozenich, Nick Davis, Jonathan Fawkner and Matthew Rouleau Nominated
2014 Science 2.0 Science In Film Awards[103] Best Picture Doug Liman Won
Teen Choice Awards 2014 Choice Movie Action/Adventure Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure Tom Cruise Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure Emily Blunt Nominated
13th Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture Albert Cheng, Jose Enrique Astacio Jr., Michael Havart, Dion Beebe Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture Steve Avoujageli, Pawel Grochola, Atushi Ikarashi, Paul Waggoner Nominated
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture Craig Wentworth, Matthew Welford, Marie Victoria Denoga, Frank Fieser Nominated

Social commentary[edit]

Gender roles[edit]

Emily Blunt being interviewed at the premiere of Edge of Tomorrow.
Emily Blunt, who plays Sergeant Rita Vrataski

Emily Blunt plays Sergeant Rita Vrataski, a veteran who guides and trains Tom Cruise's character, Major William Cage. Blunt said of her role, "In these male-fueled genres, it's usually the woman who's holding the hand of the guy and he's running through explosions leading her, and I wanted to be doing the leading."[104] Chris Nashawaty, reviewing the film for Entertainment Weekly, called it "the most feminist summer action flick in years".[105] Bustle‍ '​s Alicia Lutes described Rita as "ruthless and exacting in her takedown ... of a bunch of aliens" and said: "This is very much counter to the age-old ideals about ladies being the constant, delicate flowers of emotional heartstring-pulling." Lutes noted how Cage's strength depended on Rita's guidance, as "she trains him, aids him, and protects him (and in turn the fate of humanity) time and time again."[106] Blunt herself found it "joyous" that Cruise played "a character who was so useless at what [he] was doing" in contrast to a strong female.[107] Tasha Robinson, writing a piece in The Dissolve about "strong female characters" that lack real purpose in films, said that Rita in Edge of Tomorrow was an exception. Robinson acknowledged that Rita existed to support Cage in his trials, but believed that "the story doesn't degrade, devalue, weaken, or dismiss her".[108]

In contrast, The Wire‍ '​s Esther Zuckerman criticized the inclusion of a romantic relationship in the film, and said of the two characters' kiss: "There's a case to be made that the kiss is simply an acceptance of their fate, but everything we know about Rita up until this point implies that she's a dedicated soldier, and making her a sudden romantic betrays her character." Zuckerman added: "That's not to say she can't soften up a bit as humans do, but the moment reads less like she's accepting her humanity and more like the filmmakers had to acknowledge two attractive leads ... who should lock lips because that's what men and women do in movies."[109] Writing in The Week, Monika Bartyzel also criticized the romance in the film, stating that Rita is the one who kisses Cage, despite knowing him for only a day where he had known her for multiple days via time loop. Bartyzel said that Rita's portrayal was part of a commonly seen motif in which a female character helps a male "Chosen One" character, and that this was "the new normal because it allows Hollywood to appeal to feminist concerns while continuing to feed male wish fulfillment". Bartyzel said that Rita "at her most powerful" ultimately serves "to make the male hero into a fighter like herself".[110]

Comparison to video games[edit]

Liman said that the film's repeated scenes intentionally paralleled the respawning feature in video games, where players have to start over on a level when their character dies.[45] In the afterword of All You Need Is Kill, author Hiroshi Sakurazaka notes his experience playing video games as a source of inspiration while writing the novel.[111] Salon‍ '​s Ryan Leas said analyses of the film noted that it "steals from the video game genre". Leas called Edge of Tomorrow‍ '​s looped action "a meta-commentary on the blockbuster genre", saying: "It's a blockbuster interested in the question of how mind-numbing its genre has become to its viewers."[112] Comparing Edge of Tomorrow to film adaptations of video games, Wired‍ '​s Angela Watercutter said Liman's film was more successful for basing itself around the medium's narrative structure, and for its "ability to continue after 'Game Over' and discover something new".[113]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Digital retailers list the film's DVD and Blu-ray disc with the title Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow.[4] For more details, see the home media section.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]