The Martian (film)

The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. The Martian, a novel by Andy Weir, served as the screenplay adapted by Drew Goddard. The film depicts an astronaut's lone struggle to survive on Mars after being left behind, and efforts to rescue him. It also stars Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, Aksel Hennie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The film, produced through 20th Century Fox, is a co-production of the United States and the United Kingdom.[2] Producer Simon Kinberg began developing the film after Fox optioned the novel in March 2013, which Drew Goddard adapted into a screenplay and was initially attached to direct, but the film did not move forward. Scott replaced Goddard, and with Damon in place as the main character, production was approved. Filming began in November 2014 and lasted approximately seventy days. Twenty sets were built on a sound stage in Budapest, Hungary, one of the largest in the world. Wadi Rum in Jordan was also used as a backdrop for filming.

The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015, while the London premiere was held on September 24, 2015. The film was released in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2015 and in the United States on October 2, 2015 in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and 4DX.[5] It received positive reviews and grossed over $630 million worldwide, becoming Scott's highest-grossing film to date, as well as the 10th highest-grossing film of 2015. It received several accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Goddard, and the 2016 long form Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Damon won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and was nominated for several awards including the Academy Award for Best Actor, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the Critic's Choice Award for Best Actor.

The Martian
The tired and worn face of a man wearing a space suit, with the words "Bring Him Home" overlaid in white lettering. In smaller lettering the name "Matt Damon" and the title "The Martian".
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRidley Scott
Produced by
Screenplay byDrew Goddard
Based onThe Martian
by Andy Weir
Starring
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
CinematographyDariusz Wolski
Edited byPietro Scalia
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • September 11, 2015 (TIFF)
  • September 30, 2015 (United Kingdom)
  • October 2, 2015 (United States)
Running time
142 minutes[1]
Country
  • United States[2]
  • United Kingdom[2]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$108 million[3]
Box office$630.2 million[4]

Plot

In 2035, the crew of the Ares III mission to Mars is exploring Acidalia Planitia on Martian solar day (sol) 18 of their 31-sol expedition. A strong dust storm threatens to topple their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), forcing them to abort their mission. During the evacuation, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by debris and lost in the storm, and telemetry from his suit's biomonitor stops. With Watney believed dead, the storm worsening by the second, and the MAV on the verge of toppling, mission commander Melissa Lewis orders the crew to take off and return to their orbiting vessel, the Hermes.

Watney awakens after the storm to a low-oxygen warning and returns to the crew's surface habitat ("Hab"). Doing self-surgery, he removes from his abdomen the debris that destroyed his biomonitor. He begins a video diary. Lacking communications with Earth, his only chance of rescue is via the next Mars mission, four years later: the Ares IV, landing 3,200 kilometers (2,000 mi) away at the Schiaparelli crater. Watney's immediate concern is food; being a botanist, he improvises a farm inside the Hab utilizing Martian soil fertilized with human feces, water produced by extracting hydrogen from leftover rocket fuel, and potatoes intended for Thanksgiving dinner. He also begins to modify the only functional rover for longer journeys in preparation for the long-distance travel.

After NASA holds a funeral for Watney, satellite planner Mindy Park reviews images of the Hab area and realizes he has survived. NASA administrator Teddy Sanders has the news released, but despite the objections of the Hermes flight director Mitch Henderson, decides not to distract the Ares III crew (still en route back to Earth) by informing them.

Watney takes the rover to retrieve the nearby Pathfinder probe, which fell silent in 1997. Using Pathfinder's camera and its motor, he establishes rudimentary two-way communication with Earth, first using simple signs, and then sending and receiving ASCII in hexadecimal. NASA sends a software patch to link the rover with Pathfinder and communicate via text. Watney becomes angry when he learns that the crew has not been told of his survival, and Sanders reluctantly lets Henderson finally inform them.

Henderson and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) director Bruce Ng prepare an Iris space probe to deliver enough food to last Watney until Ares IV's arrival. Meanwhile the Hab's airlock malfunctions due to a small puncture, destroying Watney's ability to grow further crops. Sanders orders the team to skip the usual safety inspections to launch the probe sooner, but it fails 40 seconds after liftoff. Watney now feels his death is inevitable.

The China National Space Administration has been developing a powerful classified booster rocket, the Taiyang Shen. Feeling camaraderie with NASA's scientists, they violate their government's secrecy and offer it to repeat the Iris mission. As Watney is still at more risk the longer he waits, JPL astrodynamicist Rich Purnell devises an alternative plan: send the Taiyang Shen with supplies to the Hermes, which will use Earth's gravity to "slingshot" back to Mars two years earlier. Sanders rejects the idea, refusing to risk the crew on Hermes, but Henderson surreptitiously sends them Purnell's plan. Risking their lives and careers, they vote unanimously for it, and make the necessary course change. Powerless to stop them, NASA concedes the issue.

Watney begins the 90-sol journey to Schiaparelli, where the MAV for Ares IV has been pre-positioned, but it needs to be lightened to make the rendezvous with Hermes on its new course. Watney must remove many components, and replace the nose cone with a piece of the Hab's canvas. The MAV still fails to reach the required speed, so Commander Lewis maneuvers Hermes, consuming most of its available fuel, then ordering a directional explosive decompression of the internal atmosphere. Finally she uses a Manned Maneuvering Unit, but still cannot quite reach Watney. He pierces the glove of his pressure suit and uses the escaping air to propel himself towards Lewis, effectively reuniting him with his crew after 560 sols alone on Mars.

After returning to Earth, Watney becomes a survival instructor for astronaut candidates. Five years later, on the anniversary of the Ares V mission launch, those involved in Watney's rescue have begun new lives.

Cast

Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain star as Mark Watney and Melissa Lewis, respectively.

Matt Damon TIFF 2015
Jessica Chastain TIFF 2015
  • Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a botanist who is part of the Ares III team, presumed dead after a violent storm on Mars. Watney is forced to use his ingenuity and wits to survive until he can be rescued.
  • Jessica Chastain as Commander Melissa Lewis, an officer in the United States Navy, geologist and the Ares III mission commander.
  • Jeff Daniels as Theodore "Teddy" Sanders, the Director of NASA. Sanders is shown to be competent but averse to unnecessary risks.
  • Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose, the director of media relations for NASA. She is primarily concerned with the public perception of NASA during the Watney rescue.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, NASA's Director of Mars Missions and the first person to establish contact with Watney. His mother was a Baptist woman of African origin and his father was a Hindu.[6][7]
  • Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson, the Hermes flight director. His priority at all times is the welfare and stability of the Ares III crew.
  • Michael Peña as Major Rick Martinez, the pilot of the Ares III mission.
  • Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen, the Ares III's system operator.
  • Sebastian Stan as Dr. Chris Beck, an astronaut and flight surgeon for the Ares III mission.
  • Aksel Hennie as Dr. Alex Vogel, a German national who is the navigator and chemist of Ares III.
  • Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park, a satellite planner in Mission Control.
  • Donald Glover as Rich Purnell, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) astrodynamicist who formulates a plan to rescue Watney.
  • Benedict Wong as Bruce Ng, director of JPL, charged with constructing the rockets and payloads for the rescue mission.
  • Eddy Ko as Guo Ming (Chinese: 郭明), chief scientist at CNSA.
  • Chen Shu as Zhu Tao (Chinese: 朱涛), deputy chief scientist at CNSA.
  • Nick Mohammed as Tim Grimes.

Chastain prepared for her role by meeting with astronauts and scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. She was inspired by astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, saying "She's very matter of fact, very straightforward. My character is dealing with the guilt of leaving a crew member behind, but she's still responsible for the lives of five other crew mates. I tried to play her as Tracy would have been in those moments."[8] Damon prepared for the role by a different method than Chastain. He explained, "For me the rehearsal process was sitting with Ridley and going kind of line-by-line and moment-by-moment through the script and playing out a plan of attack for what we wanted each scene to accomplish."[9]

The Media Action Network for Asian-Americans (MANAA) criticized the casting of white actor Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park who it said was described by author Andy Weir as Korean-American. The group also criticized the casting of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, who the MANAA said Weir described as an Asian Indian character. In the novel, the character's name was Venkat Kapoor, and he identifies religiously as a Hindu (a Baptist and a Hindu in the film). The group called the casting whitewashing and said that Asian actors, being under-represented in Hollywood, were deprived of acting opportunities.[6] Weir said in October 2015 he perceived Mindy Park as Korean but said he did not explicitly write her as Korean. He also dismissed criticism of Ejiofor's casting as Kapoor, "[Kapoor]'s an American. Americans come from lots of different sources. You can be Venkat Kapoor and black."[7] In the original novel Weir intentionally avoided including the physical descriptions of his characters.[7]

Naomi Scott was cast as Ryoko, a member of the JPL team. She filmed her scenes but they were removed from the final cut.[10]

Production

Ridley Scott by Gage Skidmore
Director Ridley Scott

Development

PIA19913-MarsLandingSite-Ares3Mission-TheMartian-2015Film-20150517
Ares III mission landing site
(Acidalia Planitia region)
The route of 'The Martian' - from Chryse Planitia over Arabia Terra in the Martian highlands to Ares 4
Mark Watney's route on Mars

The Martian was directed by Scott and based on a screenplay by Drew Goddard that was adapted from Weir's 2011 novel of same name. 20th Century Fox optioned the novel in March 2013, and producer Simon Kinberg was attached to develop the novel into a film.[11] The following May, Goddard entered negotiations with the studio to write and direct The Martian.[12] Goddard wrote a screenplay for the film[13] and Matt Damon expressed interest in starring under Goddard's direction. Goddard then pursued an opportunity to direct Sinister Six, a comic book film about a team of supervillains.[14] Kinberg then brought the book to Scott's attention.[15] In May 2014, Scott entered negotiations with the studio to direct the film with Damon cast as the film's stranded astronaut.[16] Scott said he was attracted by the emphasis on science and thought a balance could be struck between entertainment and learning. Damon said he was attracted by the novel, the screenplay and the opportunity to work with Scott.[17] Following Scott's commitment, the project picked up the pace and was quickly approved.[18] Goddard has since expressed that he felt Scott made a much better film than he could have directed, telling Creative Screenwriting, "When it's Scott, collaboration is easy because I just revere him. Every day I would just look around and think, 'Is that really Ridley Scott sitting there at the table? This is exciting!'"[19]

Filming

Mountain in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum in Jordan was used for external scenes on Mars in filming The Martian.

Korda Studios 26 kilometres (16 mi) west of Budapest, Hungary, in the wine-making village of Etyek was chosen for filming interior scenes of The Martian. It was favored for having one of the largest sound stages in the world.[20][21] Filming began in Hungary on November 24, 2014.[22] Around 20 sets were constructed for the film, which was filmed with 3D cameras.[21] Actual potatoes were grown in a sound stage next to the one used for filming. They were planted at different times so that different stages of growth could be shown in film scenes.[23] A team of six people built 15 suits for the film. External scenes, some with Matt Damon, were filmed in Wadi Rum, a UNESCO world heritage site located in Jordan, over eight days in March 2015.[21][24][25] Wadi Rum had been used as a location for other films set on Mars, including Mission to Mars (2000), Red Planet (2000), and The Last Days on Mars (2013).[26] Total filming time for the film lasted approximately 70 days.[21] A special Mars rover model was built for the filming; the movie cast and team presented the rover model to Jordan in return for the hospitality they had received. The rover is now exhibited in Jordan's Royal Automobile Museum.[27][28]

Weir avoided writing Watney as lonely and depressed in his novel. While Watney's humor is preserved in the film, Scott also depicted the character's isolation in the vast, dusty Martian landscape. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "The scenes back on Earth provide a hectic, densely populated counterweight to the Martian aridity, which is magnificently represented by exteriors shot in the vicinity of Wadi Rum in Jordan."[29] Damon said he and Scott were inspired by the 2003 documentary film Touching the Void, which featured trapped mountain climbers.[30] Scott also expected to film Watney as a Robinson Crusoe, a character in full isolation, but learned to film Watney differently since the character would be self-monitoring his behavior under the watch of various mission cameras.[23]

According to Scott, the first cut of the movie was 2 hours and 45 minutes long.[31] An extended cut of the movie was released on home video.[32][33]

NASA involvement

NASA Journey to Mars and “The Martian" (201508180009HQ)
Damon while making hand prints in concrete at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is accompanied by Jim Erickson (left) and Andrew J. Feustel (right).

When the novel was first published, NASA invited Weir to tour the Johnson Space Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. When Scott began preparing the film, Weir contacted NASA to collaborate on the film.[34] When Scott and producer Mark Huffam had their first production meeting, they called NASA and spoke with its film and television liaison Bert Ulrich.[35] NASA decided to assist the filmmakers with depicting the science and technology in The Martian since it saw potential in promoting space exploration.[34] Key NASA staff members that joined the partnership were James L. Green, the Director of the Planetary Science Division, and Dave Lavery, the Program Executive for Solar System Exploration.[35] Scott conversed with Green twice before filming started. Over a period of a month, NASA answered hundreds of questions—on a weekly basis—on everything from radioisotope systems to the look of potential "habs"—the residences for future Mars astronauts. The questions were answered by Green or passed on to the right expert, and then came back to Scott's team to make their way into the production.[36][37] The space agency also sent hundreds of files of real images of Mars and images of control centers, down to what the computer screens look like, to the production team.[38] Green arranged a tour of the Johnson Space Center in Houston for production designer Arthur Max, who met with individual specialists, taking hundreds of photos as he went for eight hours.[36][38] The production designers created a futuristic, heavily modernized Mission Control as a studio set; Ars Technica described its depiction as "the space agency that we all dream of" and the opposite of the real Johnson Center's appearance as "a run down college campus".[39]

Newsweek said NASA collaborated more with The Martian than most other films: "Staff from many NASA departments consulted on the film, from script development through principal photography, and are now helping with marketing timed to the theatrical release."[35] As part of the collaboration, the production's NASA liaison included the front page of the script for the film in the payload of the spacecraft Orion during its Exploration Flight Test 1 on December 5, 2014.[40]

The Los Angeles Times said NASA and the wider scientific community anticipated the film as a way to publicize a human mission to Mars. The New York Times reports that the film "serves as a nice plug for NASA, which has returned the favor by pushing the movie on its website. (On Monday [September 28, 2015], scientists announced that signs of liquid water could be seen in photographs taken on Mars by a camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter,[41][42] timing that suggests NASA certainly has the whole cross-promotion thing down.)"[43] Jim Erickson, NASA project manager, said the film would show moviegoers "the risks and rewards" of humans traveling to Mars.[44]

In October 2015, NASA presented a new web tool to follow Watney's trek across Mars[45] and details of NASA's next steps, as well as a health hazards report[46][47] for a real-world human journey to Mars.[48][49][50]

Music

Harry Gregson-Williams composed the score for The Martian. It is the fourth collaboration between Gregson-Williams and Scott. Gregson-Williams previously worked on music for Scott's films Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Prometheus (2012) and Exodus: Gods and Kings, composing the main film score for the first and last films, and doing additional music for the other two.[51]

A running gag in the film is mission commander Melissa Lewis's love for 1970s songs (especially of the disco genre), which is the only music available to Watney on Mars and often appears as diegetic music. The soundtrack includes:[52]

The exit music includes Don't Leave Me This Way and I Will Survive, a commentary on Watney's situation on Mars.[53]

Marketing

20th Century Fox launched a viral marketing campaign for The Martian.[54] On June 7, 2015, NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino shared an in-universe video diary depicting Damon's character and the other crew members.[55][56] Ars Technica compared the video diary to similar viral videos marketed for Scott's 2012 film Prometheus in having a similar "style of slickly produced fictional promotional material". The studio then released an official trailer on June 8.[57] Forbes said, "20th Century Fox has cut together a pretty perfect trailer in that it absolutely makes the sale. It establishes the stakes, offers a sympathetic lead character, shows off an all-star cast, tosses out a potential catchphrase, and ends on a grimly humorous tagline."[58] In response to the trailer, Jimmy Kimmel, host of the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, released a spoof trailer, The Mastronaut: Emission to Mars, that edited the original to parody the film.[59]

International Space Station after undocking of STS-132
As a part of promotional cooperation from NASA, the space agency screened The Martian at the International Space Station on September 19, 2015.

At the start of August, Fox released another video, depicting interviews with each of the main crew members.[60] Mid-month, the studio released another film trailer, and NASA hosted a "Martian Day" at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to both promote The Martian and highlight the space program's ongoing efforts to carry out a human mission to Mars.[37] At the end of August, Fox released another video, presenting it as a special episode of the TV show StarTalk in which astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the hazards of traveling to Mars.[61] In September, Scott's RSA Films released a teaser for The Martian that depicted Damon wearing Under Armour sports clothing and being active in his off-world tasks.[62] The teaser originated from a collaboration between RSA Films and the marketing shop 3AM (under theatrical advertising agency Wild Card), initiated in 2014, to produce advertising content for The Martian. RSA contacted the advertising agency Droga5, under whom Under Armour is a client.[63] Droga5 ultimately collaborated with WME and 3AM to produce the teaser.[62]

Forbes's Peter Himler said American astronauts had traditionally been used by public relations to promote commercial products, starting with the drink Tang. Himler said it "came as no surprise" that NASA astronauts in the International Space Station were reported by The Guardian and CBS News as having read Weir's novel and hoping to see the film on board the ISS.[64] NASA participated in the marketing of the film despite its lack of involvement with previous films. Though it turned down a request for Interstellar to be screened on the ISS,[38] The Martian was screened on board[65] 402 km (250 miles) above the Earth's surface on September 19, 2015, and also at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral on October 1, 2015.[38]

In November 2015, 20th Century Fox announced The Martian VR Experience, a "virtual reality adventure" where viewers play as Mark Watney and reenact scenes from the film.[66] The project was executively produced by Scott and directed by Robert Stromberg. It was released for HTC Vive and PlayStation VR on November 15, 2016, and is also available for the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.[67]

Release

'The Martian' World Premiere (NHQ201509110004)
Damon and his wife Luciana Bozán Barroso at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival

The Martian premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015.[68] The film screened in a sneak preview at the New York Film Festival on September 27, 2015.[69] It also screened at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, on September 29, 2015.[70][71] The film was released in the Dolby Vision format in Dolby Cinema in North America.[72]

Box office forecast

Two months before The Martian's release, BoxOffice forecast that the film would gross $46 million on its opening weekend in the United States and ultimately $172 million in its theatrical run. The magazine said positive factors for its performance included the continued sales of Weir's novel, Scott's success with past science fiction films, and the positive reception of prior space-based films Gravity (2013) and Interstellar (2014). The magazine said negative factors included Damon not being a consistent draw at the box office, Gravity and Interstellar setting high expectations, and Scott's "stumble" with his previous film Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).[73] A week before the film's release, pre-release trackings in North America (United States and Canada) showed that the film was on pace to earn between $40–50 million at its opening weekend from 3,826 theaters.[74]

In comparison to other contemporary space films, Gravity, facing far less competition, opened to a better-than-expected $55.8 million in 2013. In November 2014, Interstellar debuted to $47.5 million.[74] Unlike Gravity and Interstellar, which had the benefit of IMAX locations, boosting profits, The Martian was not initially playing in IMAX, since IMAX was committed to an exclusive run of Robert Zemeckis' The Walk. The Martian played in more than 350 premium large-format theaters including 2,550 3D locations.[74][75] Also, the film was released several days after the announcement of NASA's discovery of water on Mars' planetary surface,[41][42] which might have aided in boosting its opening.[76] Ticket selling website Fandango reported that the film was outselling Gravity.[76] Unlike Gravity, The Martian did not contain abundant 3D spectacle (even though it was filmed in 3D), and was longer than Gravity.[77]

Theatrical run

The Martian was a financial success.[78] It grossed $228.4 million in the United States & Canada and $401.7 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $630.2 million against a budget of $108 million.[4] Worldwide, it was the highest-grossing Fox film of 2015 and the tenth-highest-grossing film of that year overall.[79] Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $150.32 million[80] while The Hollywood Reporter reported around $80–100 million profits for the film.[81]

The film was released in theaters in 2D and 3D.[82] In the United Kingdom, it was released on September 30, 2015, a Wednesday,[83] and in the United States on the following Friday, October 2, 2015.[84] It was also released in 49 markets including Mexico, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan from the weekend October 2–4, 2015 and expanded to Germany, Russia, and South Korea the following weekend. It opened in Spain on October 16, then France on October 21. China opened on November 25 and Japan bowed in the first quarter of 2016 on February 5.[85][86] Various sites estimated the film to gross between $45 and $50 million over its opening weekend in the United States.[87]

In North America, it opened on Friday, October 2, 2015, and earned $18.06 million on its opening day of which $2 million came from premium large formats from 3,831 theaters.[88][89] The film's Friday gross included $2.5 million from late-night Thursday screenings that took place in 2,800 theaters.[90] During its opening weekend, it earned $54.3 million from 3,831 theaters ranking first at the box office which is the second biggest October opening, behind Gravity ($55.7 million) and the second biggest for Scott, behind Hannibal ($58 million) and Damon, behind The Bourne Ultimatum ($69.2 million).[4] The film made $6 million at 375 premium large format screens.[91] 3D accounted for 45% of the ticket sales while RealD 3D accounted for 42% or $23 million of that sales which is one of highest for the 3D company in 2015.[91] The film fell short of breaking Gravity's record which might have been hurt by Hurricane Joaquin, the NFL season and the last day of the Major League Baseball regular season.[91] In its second weekend of release, it dropped gradually by 31.9% and earned $37 million from 3,854 theaters (+23 theaters) maintaining the top position. The Martian's demographics in its sophomore weekend remained in sync with its opening frame drawing 52% males and 72% over 25.[92] It topped the box office for two consecutive weekends before being dethroned by Goosebumps in its third weekend after a close race between the two ($23.6 million for Goosebumps and $21.3 million for The Martian).[93][94] It returned to the top of the box office for the third time in its fourth weekend,[95] and went on the top the box office for four non-consecutive weekends[96] before being overtaken by Spectre in its fifth weekend.[97] On November 5, the film surpassed Gladiator ($187.7 million) to become Scott's highest-grossing film at the domestic box office.[98]

Internationally, The Martian was released in a total of 81 countries.[99] Outside North America, it opened on the same weekend in 54 markets and grossed $44.6 million from 9,299 screens topping the international box office as well as opening at No. 1 in over 15 markets.[85] The following weekend, it added 23 more markets and grossed an estimated $57.5 million from 77 markets from 12,859 screens.[99] Its opening weekends in South Korea ($12.5 million)[nb 1], the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta ($10.2 million), Russia and the CIS ($7.4 million), France ($6.9 million), Australia ($4.5 million) and Germany ($4.3 million; behind Inside Out) represented its largest takings.[85][99][101] In terms of total earnings, the United Kingdom ($35.3 million), South Korea ($33.6 million), Australia ($16.57 million) and Germany ($16 million) are the top markets.[102][103] In South Korea, it became Fox's third-highest-grossing film ever behind Avatar (2009) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015).[102] It topped the box office outside of North America for two consecutive weekends before being overtaken by Ant-Man in its third weekend[104] but returned to the top in its fourth weekend.[101] In its fifth weekend, it was surpassed by Spectre thereby topping the international box office for three weekends in total.[102] The Martian opened in China on Wednesday, November 25 and earned $50 million in its five-day opening weekend from 4,848 screens of which $6.6 million came from 249 IMAX theaters.[105] In its second weekend, it fell by 60% to $13.7 million,[106] while in total, it grossed $95 million there.[107] It opened in Japan on February 5, 2016 under the name Odyssey,[99][108] where it earned $5.2 million from 8,333 screens in its three-day opening weekend, debuting at No. 1 at the box office and helped the film push past the $600 million mark. Its Saturday and Sunday take was $4.25 million.[108][109] It dropped just 19% in its second after adding $3.4 million.[110] It has topped the box office there for four consecutive weekends and as of February 28 has grossed a total of $23.2 million.[111][112]

For its United States release, the film was originally scheduled to be released on November 25, 2015, but 20th Century Fox switched The Martian with Victor Frankenstein, so the former would be its first film for all audiences in the country's fall season (September–November).[113] On the film's 3D screenings, RealD's chief Anthony Marcoly said 3D technology was proliferating from action-packed blockbuster films commonly released in the United States' summer season. Marcoly said the technology was being used in more immersive storytelling, citing The Martian and The Walk (released the same year) as two examples.[82]

Home media

The Martian was released on Blu-ray (2D, 3D and the extended cut) and DVD on January 12, 2016.[114] It was released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 14, 2016.[115]

Reception

Critical response

The Martian received praise for its direction, visual effects, musical score, screenplay, scientific accuracy, and likability, largely due to Damon's performance.[116] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, which categorizes reviews as positive or negative, surveyed 351 critics and determined that 91% of the reviews were positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny, The Martian offers a faithful adaptation of the bestselling book that brings out the best in leading man Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott."[117] Metacritic also surveyed 46 critics and assessed 40 reviews as positive and 6 as mixed; the website assigned an aggregate score of 80 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[118] CinemaScore polled sample audiences, who gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars and a 66% "definite recommend". Audience demographics were 54% men and a total 59% over 35.[119]

Variety reported, "Critics are calling the film a funny, thrilling ride, and a return to form for [Ridley] Scott after The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings fell flat."[120] According to aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin, commenting in The Guardian:

[The film] is the first genuine Mars movie. It is the first movie that attempts to be realistic and that is actually about human beings grappling with the problems of exploring Mars, as opposed to various movies set on Mars that are essentially either shoot 'em ups or horror films. It does not engage in fantasy: no monsters, no magic, no Nazis. However, there are a number of technical mistakes.[121]

Writing for the New York Post, Lou Lumenick considered the film to be Scott's and Damon's best and thought that it is a "straightforward and thrilling survival-and-rescue adventure, without the metaphysical and emotional trappings of Interstellar."[122] Manohla Dargis, of The New York Times, stated that the film "involves a dual journey into outer and inner space, a trip that takes you into that immensity called the universe and deep into the equally vast landscape of a single consciousness. For this accidental castaway, space is the place where he's physically marooned, but also where his mind is set free", from a film director, whose "great, persistent theme is what it means to be human".[43]

Negative reviews focused on the lack of character depth or atmosphere. Jaime N. Christley, writing in Slant Magazine, commented, "It goes in for the idea of texture, tics, and human behavior, but there's no conviction, and no real push for eccentricity. ... It hardly seems interested in its characters or in any depiction of their work, settling instead for types of characters and kinds of scenes, correctly placed among the pendulum swings of Watney's dramatic journey."[123] In The Village Voice, Stephanie Zacharek stated that the actors "are treated as accessories", and that the director is "workmanlike in his approach to science, which always trumps magic in The Martian — that's the point. But if we can't feel a sense of wonder at the magnitude and mystery of space, why even bother?"[124] In Cinemixtape, J. Olson commented: "Ridley Scott and company have concocted the most colossally mediocre sci-fi movie of the decade, all in pursuit of empty backslapping and a grade school level celebration of science. Not only is The Martian not in the same class as Scott's two masterpieces – Alien and Blade Runner – it's not even on the same continent."[125]

The Martian was listed on nearly two dozen critics' top ten lists for 2015.[126]

Accolades

The film was included in many critics' Top Ten Films of 2015 lists.[126] The film received various industry awards and nominations including 26 Best Picture, 20 Best Director (for Scott), and 19 Best Actor (for Damon) nominations at different organizations and associations.[127] The American Film Institute selected The Martian as one of the Top Ten Films of the year.[128] The film garnered two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Damon. Scott was also nominated for Best Director. It received nine nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Visual Effects. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.[129]

The Martian was named Film of the Year by National Board of Review also winning Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Ranked at position eight, it won the Top Ten Films of the year award at African-American Film Critics Association. It received eight nominations from Satellite Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor – Motion Picture, Best Screenplay – Adapted, and Best Visual Effects.[130]

The Martian was named one of the best films of 2015 by over 50 critics and publications and was ranked seventh on Rotten Tomatoes and thirteenth on Metacritic's best scored film of 2015.[126][131]

Solanum watneyi, a species of bush tomato from Australia, has been named after the character of Mark Watney, to honor the fictional heroic botanist portrayal. It is a member of the same genus as the potato, Solanum.[132][133]

U.S. President Barack Obama named The Martian as among the best science fiction films he had ever seen.[134]

Scientific accuracy

James L Green
James L. Green, the Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA's Science Mission Directorate, worked as an adviser for the film.[135]

When Weir wrote the novel The Martian, he strove to present the science correctly and used reader feedback to get it right.[136] When Scott began directing the film, he also sought to make it realistic and received help from James L. Green, the Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Green put together teams to answer scientific questions that Scott asked.[137] Green said, "The Martian is reasonably realistic", though he said the film's hazardous dust storm, despite reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour (190 km/h) would in reality have weak force.[138] Green also found the NASA buildings in the film to be more stylish than the functional ones NASA actually uses.[139] Film critics picked up the point that the Martian winds could amount to "barely a light breeze" in their reviews,[140][141] and screenwriter Goddard agreed the winds had to be considerably exaggerated in order to set up the situation that sets the story in motion.[142][143][144]

The process used by the character Watney to produce water was accurate and is being used by NASA for a planned Martian rover. The radioisotope thermoelectric generator was also appropriately used for heat.[136] When his rations begin to run low, Watney builds an improvised garden using Martian soil and the crew's feces as a fertilizer. "We could probably grow something on Mars", said Michael Shara, curator, Department of Astrophysics, Division of Physical Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History.[145] However Martian soil has since been found to be toxic to both plant and animal life, although it is believed that microbial organisms have the potential to live on Mars.[146][147][148] In one scene, the glass face shield on Watney's helmet cracks; as oxygen momentarily drops below the critical level, he quickly patches the helmet with duct tape and avoids suffocation. According to Shara, "As long as the pressure on the inside is around 30%, you could hold it together before your eyes blow out or you had an embolism."[145]

While Martian gravity is less than 40% of Earth's, director Scott chose not to depict the gravitational difference, finding the effort less worthwhile to put on screen than zero gravity.[34] Scott said the heavy spacesuits would weigh the main character enough to make up for not showing the partial gravity.[44] The climate of Mars is also cold enough that it would make Watney's initial plan to disable the rover's heater immediately impractical. The average temperature is −80 °F (−62 °C); it is cold enough on Mars for carbon dioxide snow to fall at the poles in winter.[145]

The plot key to the eventual rescue plan undertaken is that a lone JPL astrodynamicist suddenly comes up with an out-of-nowhere idea about using gravity assist to get astronauts back to Mars faster and then has to convince layers of NASA management that this could work. In reality, gravity assist is a well-known practice that has been used on a number of robotic planetary exploration missions and served as a backup strategy on manned Apollo missions. It would have been one of the first approaches that everyone within NASA would have considered.[149]

Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, said, "What this story does really well is imagine a near-future scenario that doesn't push too far of where we are today technically."[44] British physicist Brian Cox said, "The Martian is the best advert for a career in engineering I've ever seen."[150]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The film opened in Korea during the three-day Hangul Day Holiday and earned almost $12.5 million from 1.81 million admissions over four days. It is Ridley Scott's highest-opening film in Korea, surpassing Robin Hood which grossed $10.2 million from 1.6 million admissions in 2010[100] and Fox's biggest opening weekend of all time in the market and the biggest ever October opening.[99]

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Alexander Gerst

Alexander Gerst (born 3 May 1976 in Künzelsau, Baden-Württemberg) is a German European Space Agency astronaut and geophysicist, who was selected in 2009 to take part in space training. He was part of the International Space Station Expedition 40 and 41 from May to November 2014. Gerst returned to space on June 6, 2018, as part of Expedition 56/57. He was the Commander of the International Space Station. Alexander returned to Earth on December 20, 2018. Upon the end of his second mission, he holds the most time in space than any active ESA astronaut (362 days), succeeding Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and German ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, who formally held the record for the longest time in space for any active or retired ESA astronaut.

Arthur Max

Arthur Max (born May 1, 1946) is an American production designer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards: once for his Production Design work on Gladiator (2000), American Gangster (2007), and The Martian (2015). In addition to his Oscar nominations, Max won several other honors for his production design on the film, including the BAFTA, the National Board of Review prize and the Broadcast Film Critics honor. He also collected two "Excellence in Production Design" Awards from the Art Directors Guild, the first for Gladiator and the second for The Martian. He was previously nominated for Black Hawk Down, Robin Hood, American Gangster, Prometheus and Panic Room. After The Martian (film), Max worked on All The Money In The World (2017) marking Max's twelfth project for filmmaker Scott, a list of achievements which includes Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Counselor, Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood, Black Hawk Down, and Body of Lies. His first job as a Production Designer was Fincher's 1995 thriller, Seven and his latest is Lyrebird (2019) based on a true story of art forgery, set in Holland just after World War II .

The native New Yorker began his career as a stage lighting designer in the music industry following graduation from New York University in the late 1960s. Those assignments included work at Bill Graham's famous music venue The Fillmore East in New York's East Village, and the historic Woodstock Festival of 1969 where he operated a spotlight for Chip Monck, a rock lighting and stage design company during the Woodstock festival in 1969. During the following decade, he designed concert lighting and festival stages for many rock and jazz artists. He was Pink Floyd's lighting designer during the bands' tours in the US and around the world in the early-1970s. After studying architecture in England (earning degrees in the early-1980s from the Polytechnic of Central London and the Royal College of Art), Max went on to do several architectural design projects in London including an award-winning lighting design for the stage of St John's Concert Hall, a former 18th Century church in the centre of Smith Square, Westminster, London.He entered the British film industry as an assistant to several English production designers. First for Stuart Craig on Hugh Hudson's "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" and "Cal" (both 1984), then for Ashetton Gorton on Hudson's "Revolution" the following year. He commenced his own production design career in TV commercials over a period of ten years from 1985 to 1995 (for such clients as Pepsi, Nike, Jeep, Coke and Levi's), which led to his ongoing associations with directors Scott and Fincher.

Container-based sanitation

Container-based sanitation (abbreviated as CBS) refers to a sanitation system where toilets collect human excreta in sealable, removable containers (also called cartridges) that are transported to treatment facilities. This type of sanitation involves a commercial service which provides toilets and delivers empty containers when picking up full ones. The service transports and safely disposes of or reuses collected excreta.

A key benefit of container-based sanitation systems is relative low-cost. In addition, the process assures there is no human contact with excreta. Feces can be contained, carried, transported and emptied into treatment facilities without exposing humans to pathogens.

Since 2010, container-based sanitation has typically been used in low-income settings where it is not feasible or appropriate to use or construct sewerage systems. This includes densely-populated urban neighborhoods, informal settlements, areas with high water tables, or where there is risk of frequent flooding.

In the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 to "ensure sanitation for all by 2030", container-based sanitation systems have emerged as a viable, low-cost sanitation solution. Rapidly growing urban areas, refugee camps and emergency situations lend themselves to container-based sanitation solutions.

List of accolades received by The Martian (film)

The Martian is a 2015 British-American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. With the screenplay by Drew Goddard, based on the Andy Weir's 2011 novel of the same name. The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015. The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015, while the London premiere was held on September 24, 2015. The film was released in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2015 and in the United States on October 2, 2015, distributed by 20th Century Fox in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and 4DX. The Martian went on to gross over $589 million worldwide, becoming Scott's highest-grossing film to date, as well as the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2015.

The Martian was well received, with an approval rating of 93% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes The film has been critically acclaimed, and has been included in many critics' Top Ten Films of 2015 lists. The film has received many industry awards and nominations including 16 Best Picture, 10 Best Director (for Scott) and 11 Best Actors (for Damon) nominations at different organizations and associations. It was recognized at several major Awards Ceremonies, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, six BAFTA and seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Goddard, and the 2016 long form Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Damon won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and was nominated for several awards including the Academy Award for Best Actor, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the Critic's Choice Award for Best Actor.

The Martian was named Film of the Year by National Board of Review also winning Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Ranked at position eight, it won the Top Ten Films of the year award at African-American Film Critics Association. It received eight nominations from Satellite Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor – Motion Picture, Best Screenplay – Adapted and Best Visual Effects.

Lists of accolades by award winner

The following are lists of accolades received by specific award winners.

Marvin the Martian

Marvin the Martian is a character from Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons.

Oxia Palus quadrangle

The Oxia Palus quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The Oxia Palus quadrangle is also referred to as MC-11 (Mars Chart-11).The quadrangle covers the region of 0° to 45° west longitude and 0° to 30° north latitude on Mars. This quadrangle contains parts of many regions: Chryse Planitia, Arabia Terra, Xanthe Terra, Margaritifer Terra, Meridiani Planum and Oxia Planum.

Mars Pathfinder landed in the Oxia Palus quadrangle at 19.13°N 33.22°W / 19.13; -33.22, on July 4, 1997. Crater names in Oxia Palus are a Who's Who for famous scientists. Besides Galilei and da Vinci, some of the people who discovered the atom and radiation are honored there: Curie, Becquerel, and Rutherford.Mawrth Vallis was strongly considered as a landing site for NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory. It made it to at least the top two sites for NASA's EXoMars 2020 Rover mission. The exact location proposed for this landing is 22.16 N and 342.05 E.The Mawrth Vallis region is well studied with more than 40 papers published in peer-reviewed publications. Near the Mawrth channel is a 200 meter high plateau with many exposed layers. Spectral studies have detected clay minerals that present as a sequence of layers.

Clay minerals were probably deposited in the Early to Middle Noachian period. Later weathering exposed a variety of minerals such as kaolin, alunite, and jarosite. Later, volcanic material covered the region. This volcanic material would have protected any possible organic materials from radiation.Another site in the Oxia Palus quadrangle has been picked for the EXoMars 2020 landing is at 18.14 N and 335.76 E. This site is of interest because of a long-duration aqueous system including a delta, possible biosignatures, and a variety of clays.This quadrangle contains abundant evidence for past water in such forms as river valleys, lakes, springs, and chaos areas where water flowed out of the ground. A variety of clay minerals have been found in Oxia Palus. Clay is formed in water, and it is good for preserving microscopic evidence of ancient life. Recently, scientists have found strong evidence for a lake located in the Oxia Palus quadrangle that received drainage from Shalbatana Vallis. The study, carried out with HiRISE images, indicates that water formed a 30-mile-long canyon that opened up into a valley, deposited sediment, and created a delta. This delta and others around the basin imply the existence of a large, long-lived lake. Of special interest is evidence that the lake formed after the warm, wet period was thought to have ended. So, lakes may have been around much longer than previously thought.

In October 2015, Oxia Planum, a plain located near 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368, was reported to be the preferred landing location for the ExoMars rover. An erosion-resistant layer on top of clay units may have preserved evidence of life.

Racefab Inc.

Racefab Inc. is a company formed by Joel Jackson in 1991.

Based in Rusk, Texas, Racefab Inc. is a North American designer and manufacturer of competition automobiles for sports car and prototype racing, as well as desert racing under the name of Off-Road International. They have constructed over 600 racers for competition around the world.

Robinsonade

Robinsonade () is a literary genre that takes its name from the 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The success of this novel spawned so many imitations that its name was used to define a genre, which is sometimes described simply as a "desert island story" or a "castaway narrative".The word "robinsonade" was coined by the German writer Johann Gottfried Schnabel in the Preface of his 1731 work Die Insel Felsenburg (The Island Stronghold). It is often viewed as a subgenre of survivalist fiction.

Royal Automobile Museum

The Royal Automobile Museum (Arabic: متحف السيارات الملكي) is an automobile museum in Amman, Jordan.

Space Apps

"The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place over 48-hours in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space...NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of government collaborators and over 100 local organizing teams across the globe." Space Apps is annual NASA’s global hackathon, first held in April 2012, and serves as innovation incubation program. NASA and its partners put out challenges relating to current work for which space enthusiasts around the world of all backgrounds can develop innovative solutions (which can be more than just apps!), particularly focusing on use of NASA data and promoting education. The project is run by NASA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and is a part of the Open Government Initiative. It also fulfills the United States’ commitments to the Open Government Partnership.

Zork II

Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz is an interactive fiction video game published by Infocom in 1981. It was written by Marc Blank, Dave Lebling, Bruce Daniels and Tim Anderson. It was the second game in the popular Zork trilogy and was released for a wide range of computer systems. It begins where Zork I left off and leads into Zork III. It is Infocom's second game.

Feature films
Other work
Awards for The Martian

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