Edge of Tomorrow, 2014
AKA Live Die Repeat
Based on the novel All You Need is Kill.
UpdateSummer 2016: There is a sequel/prequel announced for Edge of Tomorrow that is being written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse and starring Cruise again with director Liman returning.
"It sounds crazy, but it's true, and you have to listen to me..."
Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton.
Production company Warner Brothers. Directed by Doug Liman
Based on All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Released in the United States June 6, 2014
Close Date: September 11, 2014 - Release days: 98 days / 14 weeks
"What the hell were you thinking?"
Final earnings: $369,206,256
Domestic market gross $100,206,256
Foreign market gross $269,000,000
Worldwide total: $369,206,256
Why didn't Edge of Tomorrow / Live Die Repeat do better?
Post Mortem Oct 2014: For a film with a major American star (Cruise), expensive CGI ($178 million production budget + reported $100 million marketing money) and plenty of positive reviews to then only barely scootch past the $100 million mark in North America box office*, the obvious question is : why?
Picking out the faults of a movie can be easy ("It's boring!) but Edge of Tomorrow (aka Live Die Repeat) isn't boring, it has plenty of ardent fans (me, for example) and good word of mouth from everyone I know who has seen it.
That prompts the idea that maybe the good word of mouth was the only thing that helped the film creep past $100 million? Was the advertising campaign that off-putting to everyone else? Was the title just too murky (why else change it to Live Die Repeat? Apparently the studio was afraid of naming the film for its source material All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka)
Edge of Tomorrow's faults:
Some of the negative points (for a more positive attitude, scroll down)
- The predictable alien-invasion news montage at the beginning. The story information was unnecessary to anyone who has already seen any of the other alien-invasion movies of the last 20 years. The obvious audience for this film (sci-fi action fans) just don't need such a bland explanation for what's happening.
- Emily Blunt doesn't have much space in this film. She's the co-star, but everything we learn about why she is so hard-faced and unlikable is passed to us basically through the film's star (Tom Cruise) trying to get on her 'good side' as they repeatedly try to solve the main rubric of the alien attack (which is how to beat an unbeatable force). The parts of the film in which her character is interesting (a lethal expert at dispatching alien soldiers) are too few and the parts in which she is supposed to be "explained" (she has outlived her loved ones) is somehow... well, predictable. Tight-lipped, repressed pain isn't engaging over the length of two hours, even Batman in Nolan's Dark Knight movies was able to take a break and crack jokes as Bruce Wayne. (Tom Cruise gets to smile often enough into the camera in EoT, why not Blunt?)
- The battle suits are clunky and the soldiers sometimes look like frogs trying to walk in pants. Probably the way the battle-suits are presented on screen is completely realistic, but somehow the gracelessness of it was distracting (this is alternated with the sheer power the suits provide for the characters, who then are able to do amazing things).
- The color-tone of the film seems to be predominately olive-green drab. This isn't surprising since EoT is deliberately mimicking, on some level, a dozen different WW II films from the past. But even the scenes on the aircraft carrier are olive-green (instead of Navy blue and white). There may be a psychological purpose for the claustrophobia of the color design in Edge of Tomorrow, to perhaps heighten the sense of being trapped. But it also heightens the sense of CGI-sameness in the world the characters live and fight in. Some neon colors here and there could have cheered up the colorscape.
These points aside, the movie is well-done, and Cruise carries it forward as the panic-stricken coward who has to live out the old maxim "a coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man only one," which is the plot in a nutshell. Just as Cruises' character must find a way to unlock the combination of actions that might beat the unbeatable aliens, there's also his task (rather lightly touched upon as the film progresses) of what combination of actions and words will unlock the closed-faced character played by Emily Blunt.
* Edge of Tomorrow had a respectable $369 million in International and and Domestic total earnings, placing it #14 in top earning films of the 2014 year, thus far.
Tom Cruise "Edge of Tomorrow" rebranded
Aug 15, 2014: The Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt sci-fi war film Edge of Tomorrow is being rebranded for its Oct 7 Bluray release as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow.
This is an understandable strategy considering the movie didn't do particularly well in the United States. Though still in theaters in August (it was released June 6), it has edged up to only $100 million in domestic earnings, which is poor indeed for a film with a reported $178 million budget and two star names on the poster. Overseas numbers for the film were better: $264,150,000 million, meaning a worldwide total of $364 million.
Part of the problem for the generally well-reviewed film was apparently the title. "Edge of Tomorrow" is too conceptual versus descriptive, and simply fails to convey much of the story and its video-game-like mechanism of back-and-forth time travel progression. "Live Die Repeat" is actually a better explanation of the movie's story, since this is the experience Tom Cruise's character gets into over and over as he is killed repeatedly while trying to sort out how to defeat an indomitable alien invasion force.
July 2014: Right at $100 million in domestic earnings with $264,150,000 million foreign money, thus a worldwide total of $364 million. It cleared its $178 million production budget, but hasn't delivered a "Tom Cruise Size" hit, something which hasn't happened for a Cruise-film since the mega-earnings of Mission Impossible 4 Ghost Protocol which had a worldwide take of $694,713,380 in 2011.
Besides the $100 million earnings in the USA domestic market, Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die repeat has pulled $65 million in China, $37 million in South Korea, and $21 million in Russia, among other places. (Source: Boxofficemojo)
These earnings are better than Cruise's Oblivion (worldwide $286,168,572 in 2013) and Jack Reacher (worldwide $218,340,595 in 2012).
Brief review of Edge of Tomorrow
A science fiction war film with a lot of CGI effects is usually epic in scope, but while Edge of Tomorrow has huge battle scenes that look like the Normandy invasion from WWII, it's actually a small tale with a small core cast. We see them over and over, repeating the same scenes, but with slight differences each time showing us that the films hero, Cage (played by Tom Cruise) is being cured of his monumental cowardice, and unfortunately for him, he holds the key to winning or losing the war between humans and aliens.
The scenes are repeated because Cage is caught in a Groundhog Day problem: every time he dies (and he dies a lot in this film) his life resets to the day he was unceremoniously taken from the recruitment and advertising section of the military and thrust into the part that actually does the fighting, something he fears and loathes. With each death, he is suddenly back at the beginning, with Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) screaming at him, about to be placed in a squad that hates him, and then dropped into a battlefield to face a grim army of aliens with fast moves and so many advantages in a confrontation that the humans are quickly losing the planet to them.
But due to an encounter with a unique form of the alien creatures called Mimics, Cage has the advantage of having his life rebooted like a video game, and he steadily begins making changes to his performance that allows him to live a little longer each time. It's a condition he shares with the most famous warrior in earth's army, Rita (Emily Blunt) who previously experienced the same inexplicable dilemma. She takes Cage under her wing and starts to refine his skills, and when he breaks a bone or gets a serious wound during the brutal training, she simply shoots the frightened Cage in the head so that they can start over. But soon the question becomes whether any level of training and skill can ever gain enough advantage over an alien enemy which seems to be holding all the cards.
The movie is almost all action, and the plot moves forward through the repetitions and the variations brought about by Cage's useless efforts to alter the nightmare he is caught in. Good writing and humor is interspersed with the CGI monsters and military hardware that visually dominates the film.
Like the 2013 Oblivion (which also featured Cruise), there's more going on under the surface of the story than is apparent at first.
Edge of Tomorrow at $319,628,021 Million
July 1, 2014: After 25 days in release, the Emily Blunt / Tom Cruise sci-fi action film has a domestic total of $85,128,021 and a foreign total of $234,500,000.
Bill Paxton - Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow hits $238,001,698 Million
Update June 16, 2014: Edge slides down to number 4 in the USA theaters with $57 million domestic market earnings and a much better $181,000,000 worldwide.
June 8, 2014: The Tom Cruise time-reversal sci-fi battle pic has piled up $140.1million in worldwide grosses after only three days in release, making it #1 in earthling theatres, but the film only pulls in at #3 in the American domestic market with $29,105,000. The film from director Doug Liman has gained generally good reviews and may pick up its numbers in the USA going forward.
Original Page June 2014 | Updated Nov 2016