Vampire Academy (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Screenplay by||Daniel Waters|
|Based on||Vampire Academy|
by Richelle Mead
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Edited by||Chris Gill|
|Box office||$15.4 million|
Vampire Academy (also known as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters) is a 2014 fantasy comedy horror film directed by Mark Waters and scripted by Daniel Waters, based on Richelle Mead's best-selling 2007 novel of the same name. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, Lucy Fry, and Dominic Sherwood 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 $15.4 million worldwide against a $30 million budget, making the film a box office flop.
Rose Hathaway, a seventeen-year-old Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) guardian-in-training, and her best friend, Moroi (the peaceful, mortal vampires) princess Lissa Dragomir, are living discreetly, having escaped from the St. Vladimir's Academy boarding school one year prior. 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 into 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, 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 classmate Mia Rinaldi, who once dated Lissa's brother Andre, a playboy who enjoyed non-committal relationships. Mia was clingy and focused her hatred towards Lissa as the only surviving member of the Dragomir line. 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. Vladimir had, that of Spirit, a power which enables the caster to heal ailments, and saves the dying; however, using Spirit drains the user's life energy bit by bit with each use. At the same time, 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. 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 Lissa's 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 she bonded to Lissa is that 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 student at the school, is enacting the tools of his escape having turned Strigoi by draining her crush to death. 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 is thanks to Rose that she can master it. Rose then goes outside to meet Dimitri and ask about his feelings for her. He states that he can't love her because if there was any danger between Rose and Lissa, he would save her instead of Lissa. Rose gives Dimitri a kiss on the cheek and walks back to the academy. A mountain cave not too far from the academy holds a massive army of Strigoi, among them being Sonya Karp, a teacher with Spirit Magic that turned herself Strigoi after being driven insane by her magic. She says 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
- Dominic Sherwood as Christian Ozera
- Gabriel Byrne as Victor Dashkov
- 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
- Nick Gillard as Kenneth
- Rory Fleck-Byrne as Andre Dragomir
- Alexander Abadzis as Eric Dragomir
- Elizabeth Conboy as Rhea Dragomir
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.
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 United Kingdom with additional photography planned in and around Montana, and that director Mark Waters had started pre-production work in London.
The Academy exterior shots were filmed at Chaterhouse School in Surrey. Director Mark Waters said that "as soon as I saw that courtyard I had that exhilarating feeling of everything locking into place. This school was not just my mental image of St. Vladimir's...it was better." The school allowed the production to shoot at the location during the school holidays. Waters believed the location really defined the look of the film.
Prior to the official release of the film, the "Blood Sisters" portion of the title was dropped.
|Vampire Academy: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||February 4, 2014|
On January 14, 2014, the track listing of the official soundtrack was unveiled. The album itself was released on February 4, 2014, including tracks by artists such as Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, Sky Ferreira, Natalia Kills, and Au Revoir Simone. It also contains Chvrches' cover of Bauhaus' 1979 song "Bela Lugosi's Dead", featured during the film's end credits.
|1.||"In Your Grave"||Jaymes Bullet||3:11|
|2.||"Red Lips" (DSL Remix)||Sky Ferreira||3:50|
|3.||"Nice and Slow"||Max Frost||3:50|
|5.||"Boys Don't Cry"||Natalia Kills||3:36|
|7.||"Sinful Nature"||Bear in Heaven||3:30|
|8.||"Think About It"||Naughty Boy featuring Wiz Khalifa and Ella Eyre||3:05|
|11.||"Crazy"||Au Revoir Simone||2:57|
|12.||"Bela Lugosi's Dead"||Chvrches||3:49|
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 Weinstein 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 was moved up a week to February 7, 2014, in the United States. The UK had been set for a February 19 release by the film's British distributor Entertainment One, but was pushed back to April 24. However, due to the film's poor box office incomes and critical response, the film was again postponed. The film was released straight-to-DVD on July 14, 2014.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on May 20, 2014, in the United States, on July 3, 2014, in Australia, and on July 14, 2014, in the United Kingdom. Special features include an alternate opening, deleted scenes and a conversation with the author of the Vampire Academy book series, Richelle Mead.
The film underperformed and made $3,921,742 in its opening weekend, ranking number 7 in the US box office. The film later opened in a further 12 countries, but did not pass the $1 million mark, grossing just $619,381.
As of February 16, 2014, the film had grossed $6,663,650, 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 $7,742,311 at the box office. The film was expected to be a big hit in both Australia and Russia, but only made $1.6 million in each country. As of April 10, 2014, the film had earned $7,791,979 domestically and $7,600,000 overseas for a worldwide total of $15,391,979, therefore failing to recoup its $30 million budget making the film a box office bomb.
Poor international box office takings led to the cancelation of the film's theatrical release in Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Vampire Academy was not screened for critics, and has received overwhelmingly negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 16% based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 3.4 out of 10. The consensus site's 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 reviews from 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" from critics. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B-" on scale of A to F.
The film was mostly criticized for its script, action sequences, and CGI effects. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone gave the film zero stars out of four 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 performances received a mixed response, with Harvey and RogerEbert.com's Susan Wloszczyna negatively comparing Zoey Deutch's performance to that of Ellen Page as the titular character in Juno, while Jordan Hoffman of New York Daily News called her work the film's "breakout" performance while positively comparing her to Page. However, Hoffman criticized Gabriel Byrne's performance as "obligatory slumming". Harvey described Danila Kozlovsky's acting as "so expressionless that he can in all honesty now say that he never acted in anything called Vampire Academy", while also criticizing Byrne, Joely Richardson, and Olga Kurylenko; Travers also panned the latter three, saying they were "bringing shame on all their reputations". Dargis praised Waters for providing "a conspicuous sympathetic touch" to the performances of Deutch, Lucy Fry, Sarah Hyland, and Dominic Sherwood.
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||Vampire Academy||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Zoey Deutch||Nominated|
At the Los Angeles premiere, screenwriter 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 film 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 film 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 five hours and $100,000 on the first day. eBay auctions for character clothing such as the Academy uniforms and the Equinox dresses were placed in late August. A month after the start of the campaign, fans had donated $254,500, just 17% of the $1.5 million goal. Fans raised an overall of $272,882 from the auctions and the donations, therefore not reaching the goal. Preger Entertainment canceled the film the next day.
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