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Official Site: Warner Bros.
Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American ensemble comedy science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and based on the cult trading card series of the same name. The film uses elements of black comedy, romantic comedy, surreal humor and political satire, and is also a parody of multiple science fiction B movie. The film has an ensemble cast which includes Jack Nicholson, Lukas Haas, Annette Bening, Jim Brown, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Glenn Close, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Danny DeVito, and Christina Applegate.
Director Tim Burton and writer Jonathan Gems began development for Mars Attacks! in 1993, and Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the trading card series on Burton's behalf. When Gems turned in his first draft in 1994, Warner Bros. commissioned rewrites from Gems, Burton, Martin Amis, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski in an attempt to lower the budget to $60 million. The final production budget came to $80 million, while Warners spent another $20 million on the Mars Attacks! marketing campaign. Filming lasted from February to June 1996.
The filmmakers hired Industrial Light & Magic to create the Martians using computer animation after their previous plan to use stop motion, supervised by Barry Purves, fell through because of budget limitations. Mars Attacks! was released on December 13, 1996 to mixed reviews from critics. The film broke even worldwide and grossed approximately $101 million in box office totals, which was considered a disappointment. Mars Attacks! was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and earned multiple nominations at the Saturn Award.
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