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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrad Peyton
Screenplay byBrian Gunn
Mark Gunn
Story byRichard Outten
Brian Gunn
Mark Gunn
Based onThe Mysterious Island
1874 novel
by Jules Verne
Produced byBeau Flynn
Tripp Vinson
Charlotte Huggins
CinematographyDavid Tattersall
Edited byDavid Rennie
Music byAndrew Lockington
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[1]
Release dates
  • January 19, 2012 (2012-01-19) (Australia)
  • February 10, 2012 (2012-02-10) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$80 million[3]
Box office$335 million[3]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a 2012 American science fantasy action-adventure film[4] directed by Brad Peyton and produced by Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson and Charlotte Huggins. A sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), the film is based on Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island (1875). It stars Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzmán, and Kristin Davis. The storyline was written by Richard Outten, Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, and the screenplay by Brian and Mark Gunn.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was released in cinemas on February 10, 2012, by Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Walden Media to mixed reviews, but was a box office success with a worldwide gross of $335 million, surpassing its predecessor.[3] It was released on DVD/Blu-ray on June 5, 2012.


Four years after his adventure in the center of the earth, 17-year-old Sean Anderson is arrested by the police for breaking into a satellite control center to enhance a coded signal his long-missing grandfather Alexander Anderson may have sent.

Wanting to bond with Sean, his new stepfather Hank Parsons helps decipher the code, which leads to three books: Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels, and Jules Verne's Mysterious Island. Using the books' individual maps, Hank uses a backlight to make them a single island, complete with its location coordinates. Hoping to prove to Sean that there is no mysterious island there, Hank convinces Sean's mother Liz to let him take Sean to where the coordinates point to.

In Palau, Hank reluctantly hires helicopter tourism guide Gabato and his daughter Kailani (on whom Sean develops an immediate crush) to fly to the coordinates, as no one else is willing to take them. The helicopter gets caught in a cyclone and they crash into the Pacific, waking up on the island.

Moving inland, they are shocked to discover miniature elephants (which belong to a prehistoric species, the Dwarf sicilian elephant) and giant butterflies, meaning the animal sizes are opposite. After coming across an egg clutch, Gabato accidentally wakes up a giant frilled lizard, which chases them throughout the jungle.

They nearly get eaten, but are saved by Alexander. He takes them to a hut he built from the wreckage of the ship that brought him to the island. He has a working radio, but they can't call out for two weeks due to the positioning of the satellite.

The next morning, Alexander leads the group to the lost city of Atlantis, which rises every 70 years and sinks again a short time later. Although Alexander insists the island won't sink for many years, Hank discovers sea water coming from underground, meaning they only have days before the island sinks. Their only means of salvation seems to be the legendary Nautilus, Captain Nemo's submarine. Kailani enters Nemo's crypt and finds his journal, which shows that Nautilus is in a cave at Poseidon's Cliffs.

To get there, they mount giant bees and fly over a high ridge. When giant bee-eater birds try to devour them, Sean saves Kailani's life, but dislocates his ankle. Hank and Alexander reset Sean's ankle, then the group has a bonding moment when Hank sings his rendition of "What a Wonderful World" to ease Sean's pain.

The next morning, the water rises greatly and Hank deduces the island will sink in a matter of hours. Gabato is missing, having gone toward the island's volcano, seeking gold. While Alexander and Kailani retrieve him, Sean and Hank head for Poseidon's Cliffs.

To reach Nautilus' underwater cave, Sean and Hank create makeshift oxygen tanks and dive down fifty feet, but are nearly killed by a giant electric moray eel. The 140-year-old batteries have run down, so they start the submarine using the eel's electricity.

Kailani and Alexander find Gabato and convince him to escape with them instead of trying to take some volcano gold. As they near Poseidon's Cliffs, the volcano erupts. Sean and Hank arrive in Nautilus just in time to rescue the others from the water. Gabato pilots the submarine out of harm's way while Hank and Sean fire torpedoes into the path of falling debris. As they clear the dangers, Kailani kisses Sean for his bravery.

Six months later, Kailani and Gabato are well off, as he runs the most popular tourist attraction on Palau – tours aboard the Nautilus. Kailani visits Sean on his birthday. While the family celebrates, Alexander arrives with a book for Sean's birthday present – Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, Alexander's suggestion for the next new adventure with the family.

Liz protests, but Hank says, "Oh honey, it's only the moon. What could possibly go wrong?" The film ends with the camera panning to the moon.



After the commercial success of the first film, New Line Cinema and Walden Media purchased Richard Outten's spec script, Mysterious Travels, in March 2009 to serve as the basis for the film. In the story, the characters embark on a journey to a mysterious uncharted island thought to have inspired the writing of three literary classics: Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and Jules Verne's Mysterious Island. Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn were chosen to revise Outten's script. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema announced that Journey 2: The Mysterious Island would be released on February 10, 2012.


Josh Hutcherson was the only actor to reprise his role. Due to scheduling issues, Brendan Fraser and Anita Briem did not return. Kristin Davis replaced Jane Wheeler as Sean's mother Liz. Dwayne Johnson played Sean's stepfather, who is forced to accompany Sean on the trip to find his missing grandfather Alexander (played by Michael Caine) on a mythical and monstrous island.[5] Vanessa Hudgens was cast as Hutcherson's love interest, Kailani.

Short film[edit]

The theatrical release of the film was preceded by a Looney Tunes short film titled Daffy's Rhapsody, featuring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd in the first CG or 3-D depiction of these specific Looney Tunes characters. The short film's director, Matthew O'Callaghan, noted that "Daffy Rhapsody was originally recorded in the early 1950s as part of a kids' album". Unlike the earlier CG Looney Tunes shorts that appeared before Happy Feet Two and Yogi Bear, this short did not appear on the home video release of the film it accompanied.


Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens in Sydney at the film's premiere on January 17, 2012

Theatrical release[edit]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was released in cinemas on February 10, 2012, by Warner Bros. Pictures, Walden Media and New Line Cinema. The film was accompanied by a 3D Looney Tunes short titled Daffy's Rhapsody. The short was originally going to play before Happy Feet Two, but was replaced with I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat to go along with the bird theme.

Home media[edit]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was released on DVD/Blu-ray on June 5, 2012.


Box office[edit]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island grossed $103.9 million in North America and $231.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $335.3 million, against a production budget of $79 million[6] surpassing its predecessor.[7][8] In North America, the film earned a $6.54 million on its debut Friday, ranking fourth at the box office.[9] Over the weekend, it earned $27.3 million, coming in third place, much higher than the original's $21.0 million debut.[10] Outside North America, Journey 2 began its run three weeks before its North American release.[11] It topped the box office outside North America for two consecutive weekends[12] and three in total.[13] It surpassed the original's total outside North America.[14] Its highest-grossing region after North America was China ($58.4 million),[15] followed by Russia and the CIS ($17.6 million) and Mexico ($12.7 million).[16]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval percentage of 45% based on 133 reviews and an average rating of 5.00 out of 10. The critics consensus states: "Aggressively unambitious, Journey 2 might thrill tween viewers, but most others will find it too intense for young audiences and too cartoonishly dull for adults."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 27 critic reviews, indicating "mixed or average".[18] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[19]

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B grade, stating that "the movie flies by pleasantly, and is then instantly forgettable. Perhaps Jules Verne can explain the science of that".[citation needed] Randy Cordova from the Arizona Republic said: "Johnson can't save the movie, directed by Brad Peyton, from being a sloppy skip from one seemingly unrelated idea to the next".[citation needed] Roger Ebert, who gave the first film two stars, gave the sequel two-and-a-half stars, stating: "It isn't a "good" movie in the usual sense (or most senses), but it is jolly and goodnatured, and Michael Caine and Dwayne Johnson are among the most likable of actors".[20]


List of awards and nominations
Award Year Category Recipient Result
BMI Film & TV Awards 2012 Film Music Andrew Lockington Won
Golden Trailer Awards 2012 Best Animated Family Poster Warner Bros and Ignition Creative Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2012 Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Vanessa Hudgens Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Josh Hutcherson Won
Movie Guide Awards 2013 Best Family Film Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2013 Favorite Male Butt Kicker Dwayne Johnson Won
Favorite Movie Actress Vanessa Hudgens Nominated



In August 2014, Carey Hayes and Chad Hayes were announced to write the script for a third film.[21] Brad Peyton and Dwayne Johnson were expected to direct and star in the sequel, respectively.[22] It was later stated that there would be two sequels.[23] By January 2018 however, Johnson stated despite the financial success of The Mysterious Island, and although a third film titled Journey 3: from the Earth to the Moon (based on the 1865 novel) was intended, its development had been cancelled due to a lack of immediate interest and troubles in adequately adapting the novel.[24] Despite this, reports from Hollywood production insiders arose in August 2020, stating that a sequel was once again in development. In December 2021, Hiram Garcia confirmed that Warner Bros. Pictures wants a sequel film, though Seven Bucks Productions decided to delay development in favor of pursuing other projects.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012): Full Production Credits". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  2. ^ "JOURNEY 2 – (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on July 14, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on May 20, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  4. ^ "JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND". Warner Bros. Archived from the original on December 6, 2021. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (September 8, 2010). "Michael Caine set for 'Journey 2'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  6. ^ "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) - Box Office Mojo". Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  7. ^ "Jules Verne Showdown". Archived from the original on November 17, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Subers, Ray (April 18, 2012). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Journey 2' Wins Weak Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  9. ^ Subers, Ray (February 11, 2012). "Friday Report: 'The Vow,' 'Safe House' Draw Huge Crowds". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  10. ^ Subers, Ray (February 12, 2012). "Weekend Report: Moviegoers Say "I Do" to 'The Vow,' Check In to 'Safe House'". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  11. ^ Subers, Ray (January 25, 2012). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Sherlock' Outwits Competition for Third-Straight Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  12. ^ Subers, Ray (February 21, 2012). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Journey 2' Still Strong Overseas". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  13. ^ Subers, Ray (February 21, 2012). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Journey 2' Wins Weak Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  14. ^ Subers, Ray (February 28, 2012). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Ghost Rider 2' Catches Fire Overseas". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  15. ^ Xia, Yun (March 17, 2012). "China Weekly Box Office (03/05 – 03/11): War Horse repeat while A Simple Life shined; Mission Impossible 4 crossed $100m". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 8, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  16. ^ "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  17. ^ "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island". Rotten Tomatoes.
  18. ^ "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island". Metacritic.
  19. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". cinemascore.com.
  20. ^ Roger Ebert (February 8, 2012). "Jump-starting the Nautilus with an electric eel". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  21. ^ "'Journey' Sequels in the Works With 'Conjuring' Writers (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. August 14, 2014. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  22. ^ "Brad Peyton Wants A More "Mature" Journey 3". We Got This Covered. May 21, 2015. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  23. ^ "Dwayne Johnson Journey 3 and 4: Writers Hired For Two More Sequels". Slashfilm. August 14, 2014. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  24. ^ Stephens, David (January 3, 2018). "Dwayne Johnson Confirms That Journey 3 Isn't Happening". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on April 29, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  25. ^ Weintraub, Steve (December 31, 2021). "Exclusive: Producer Hiram Garcia on 'Red Notice,' 'Black Adam,' the Next 'Jumanji' Sequel, and Dwayne Johnson's Upcoming Schedule". Collider. Archived from the original on January 5, 2022. Retrieved January 5, 2022.

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