Rampage is a 2018 American science fiction monster film directed by Brad Peyton, and loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It follows a primatologist named Davis Okoye, who must team up with George, a white gorilla who turns into a raging creature of enormous size following a rogue experiment, in order to stop two other giant monsters. It is the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015).
Principal photography began in April 2017 in Chicago. The film was released in the United States on April 13, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema, in 2D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats. It has grossed $286 million worldwide, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 2018. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Johnson and Morgan's performances and the visual effects, and disapproval of the writing and faithlessness to the source material; it is the best reviewed video game film of all-time, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
She had hoped to advance CRISPR research as a potential cure for disease but discovered that Energyne planned to use it as a biological weapon. The company fired her and sent her to prison for attempting to expose them. George escapes from captivity and goes on a rampage at the preserve. Davis calms him down, but George is captured by a government team led by Agent Harvey Russell and is put on a plane. Meanwhile, Claire and her brother Brett send a squad of mercenaries led by Burke to capture the mutated wolf, Ralph, but they are all killed.
Claire, hoping to capture Ralph and use George to kill Kate so they can cover up their plans, uses a massive transmitter atop the Willis Tower to lure the animals, who have been engineered to respond aggressively to a certain sound frequency, to Chicago. George reacts violently to the sound and crashes the plane. Davis, Kate and Agent Russell manage to parachute from the plane before it crashes. George, who survived the crash, joins Ralph as they make their way to Chicago. Davis and Kate convince Russell to help them steal a helicopter so they can get ahead of George.
By the time they arrive, George and Ralph are attacking the city. The military are overwhelmed when the mutated crocodile, Lizzie, arrives and causes more casualties. Davis and Kate attempt to steal a serum with the hope they can turn the mutated animals back to normal. They are able to reach Energyne headquarters at the Willis Tower and steal a handful of serums, but they are caught by Claire and Brett. Claire reveals that the serum only eliminates the animals' aggressiveness rather than revert them to their normal sizes, and she shoots Davis, though he survives. When George climbs up to the top of the building and causes chaos, Claire orders Davis to distract him while she attempts to escape with Kate held at gunpoint. During the escape, Kate slips the serum into Claire's handbag and pushes her towards George, who eats the terrorist alive, and thus the serum. George and the other animals destroy the transmitter, and consequently, the entire building topples to the ground, which Davis and Kate survive by hovering in a damaged helicopter over the falling building.
With George returned to his normal personality, Davis stays to help him defeat the other two animals while Kate flees to prevent the military from dropping a MOAB bomb on the city. Russell is able to take a laptop of incriminating evidence from Brett before the latter is crushed by falling rubble. George and Davis trick Ralph into flying into Lizzie's jaws, which decapitate him, then George kills Lizzie by impaling her with a metal bar. With the threat neutralized, the airstrike is called off, and George helps in clearing the city of debris.
Warner Bros. acquired the film adaptation rights to the 1986 arcade game Rampage in 2009, as part of their acquisition of Midway Games for $33 million. The project was announced in November 2011, with John Rickard set as a producer. In June 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Dwayne Johnson was set to star, re-teaming with New Line and producer Beau Flynn, while the studio was looking for a director to start production in mid-2016. In July, it was reported that New Line was in talks with Brad Peyton to direct and produce. Peyton later stated that the film would "be a lot more emotional, a lot scarier and a lot more real than you'd expect." Between January and July 2017, the rest of the supporting cast was assembled.
Principal photography on the film began on April 17, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. The film also shot in Atlanta, Georgia.
The visual effects were primarily provided by Weta Digital. Effects supervisor Erik Winquist and a small crew travelled to Chicago to create a better model of the Chicago Loop that would be destroyed in the climactic battle, learning the building materials and architecture styles. Up to 15,000 photographs were taken with 3D scanners, while motion cameras covered downtown Chicago. As reference for the building destruction, the artists studied both the World Trade Center attacks and implosions of buildings affected by the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake in Weta's hometown of Wellington. Given Weta had plenty of experience creating animated apes in King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its sequels, it helped the studio create George "in a much shorter time than it may have 10 years ago," according to Winquist. Motion capture coach Terry Notary even took a break from Avengers: Infinity War, which was also filmed in Atlanta, to help Jason Liles in his performance as George. On the other hand, the lack of motion capture for Ralph and Lizzie let the animators go loose with how these monsters were portrayed, such as "a wolf that has porcupine spines and wings".
Rampage was released on April 13, 2018, in 3D and IMAX, by Warner Bros. Pictures, after initially being set for release a week later, on April 20. The release date was moved up after Avengers: Infinity War had also shifted its release up by a week, to April 27, so as to provide Rampage with a two-week cushion. The film was coincidently released 3 weeks after Pacific Rim Uprising, another American Kaiju film.
As part of the promotion, a new version of the arcade game, playing more as a redemption game, was made available on Dave & Buster's.
Rampage grossed $99.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $326.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $426.2 million, against combined production and marketing budget of around $260 million.
In the United States and Canada, Rampage was released alongside the openings of Truth or Dare and Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, as well as the wide expansion of Isle of Dogs, and was projected to gross $35–$40 million from 3,950 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $11.5 million on its first day (including $2.4 million from Thursday night previews), $13.9 million on Saturday, and a total of $34.5 million over the weekend, finishing first at the box office. Like many films starring Johnson, the audience demographics were diverse, with 43% being Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 19% African American and 14% Asian. The film dropped 41% in its sophomore weekend to $21 million, finishing second behind A Quiet Place, which was in its third week. In its third weekend the film fell 64% to $7.1 million, finishing fourth. It fell 35% in its fourth weekend, grossing $4.6 million and finishing fifth. In its fifth weekend it fell just 27% and grossed $3.3 million and finished seventh.
Internationally, the film opened day-in-date in 41 markets, and made $25.4 million over its first two days. In China, where it was projected to have a $60 million debut, it made $15.7 million in its first day, the third-ever highest for a Warner Bros. film. It went on to have a foreign debut of $114.1 million (for a global total of $148.6 million) in 61 countries. Its top markets were China ($55 million), the UK ($5.7 million), Korea ($5.7 million), Mexico ($4.8 million) and Malaysia ($3.5 million). In its second weekend overseas, it again topped the international box office with $57 million crossing $200 million, in which China brings $106 million alone. In China it grossed $27 million in its sophomore weekend dropping 50%, but nonetheless topped the box office. In its third frame overseas, it fell 72.6% and grossed $16.2 million from 61 markets. In its fourth weekend overseas, it grossed $13.7 million from 63 markets. In France it opened at No.2 behind Infinity War with $2.3M. In China it has grossed $156 million to make it Warner Bros.' second-biggest film ever in the market. It fell just 6% in France in its second weekend and has a total gross of $4.8 million. It opened in Germany with $1.6 million and ranking No.2 at the box office. As of May 20, the film's largest markets after China were Mexico ($12.8 million), United Kingdom ($12.4 million), Korea ($11.2 million) and Malaysia ($7.9 million). It opens in Japan on May 18 as its final market. The film was released in Japan on May 18, 2018 and debuted to $1.8 million.
In an April 14, 2018, interview, director Brad Peyton was asked if the rat in the beginning of the film was based on Larry from the Atari Lynx port of the original game. Peyton responded, "We didn't name him Larry, but I'm going to use that, if there is a sequel, I'm going to make the rat's name Larry."
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