The slow and steady beat has worked out quite nicely for the thoughtfully perspective science fiction drama Arrival. The film – which is up for 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture – crossed the $100 million mark at the North American box office this past week leading up to the Oscar telecast. Budgeted at $47 million, the Amy Adams-headlined movie – which opened in theaters last November – has steadily remained, albeit quietly, remained a box office stalwart, having earned so far nearly $200 million worldwide.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, among the film’s Oscar nominees who is soon to introduce the world his Blade Runner 2049 and currently developing a remake of the cult classic Dune, Arrival centers around a linguist professor (played by Adams) who is assigned to interpret the enigmatic language of aliens who visit Earth. Throughout various twists and unexpected turns, Arrival is as much a film about family, motherhood and the nature of communication as it is about alien creatures, one of the surprising and near profound pleasures of the film. Eric Heisserer, also Oscar-nominated, penned the screenplay based on Ted Chiang’s short story Story of Your Life.
Somewhat unexpectedly given the films reception with critics, audiences and awards bodies, Adams was snubbed for her performance from the Academy, despite being an Oscar favorite with five previous nods to her credit (she was most recently nominated for her work in David O. Russell’s American Hustle). Arrival, however, and perhaps most importantly on terms of Hollywood cache represents her biggest solo box office hit since the 2007 fairy tale Enchanted – that Disney feature (which currently has a sequel in development) earned $127 million in 2007.