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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians:
The Lightning Thief
Directed byChris Columbus
Written byCraig Titley
Joe Stillman[1]
Rick Riordan (Novel)
Produced byChris Columbus
Michael Barnathan
Karen Rosenfelt
StarringLogan Lerman
Brandon T. Jackson
Alexandra Daddario
Jake Abel
Sean Bean
Pierce Brosnan
Steve Coogan
Rosario Dawson
Catherine Keener
Kevin McKidd
Joe Pantoliano
Uma Thurman
Ray Winstone
CinematographyStephen Goldblatt
Edited byPeter Honess
Music byChristophe Beck
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
February 11, 2010 (2010-02-11)
February 12, 2010
(United States)
Running time
119 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Budget$95 million[2]
Box office$191,143,508[3]

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (known as Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief in the UK and Australia) is a fantasy-adventure movie directed by Chris Columbus. The movie is based on The Lightning Thief, the first novel in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series by Rick Riordan. It stars Logan Lerman as the main character, Percy Jackson, alongside an ensemble cast which includes Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Sean Bean and Pierce Brosnan. It was released to theaters on February 12, 2010.[4]

In its opening weekend the movie ranked #2; and in its first week the movie grossed $40 million, comprising 40% of its "$95 million budget".[5] Critical reception was mixed. The movie made a worldwide total of $191,143,508 after 28 days of release. In 2013, a sequel to the film was released and it was titled Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Plot[change | change source]

At the top of the Empire State Building, Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) meets with Zeus (Sean Bean), who comments that the storm clouds have no lightning and that his master bolt has been stolen. He blames Poseidon's son for the theft. Despite Poseidon's claims of his son's innocence, Zeus gives Poseidon 14 days to return it, lest war break out.

During a field trip to a display of Greek and Roman art, teenager Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), is lured away from the crowd by a Fury disguised as his substitute English teacher, who then attacks him, questioning him about the lightning bolt. Percy, who has no knowledge of this, is rescued by his Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan). After getting rid of the Fury, Brunner gives Percy a magical pen. On Brunner's instruction, Percy's best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), takes Percy to a training camp for demigods (half-human, half-gods), Camp Half-Blood. They are driven by Percy's mother, Sally Jackson (Catherine Keener). During their trip to the camp, Percy tries to learn about his father from Sally, but they are attacked by a Minotaur. Percy and Grover, who is revealed to be a satyr (half-goat, half-human), make it to the camp. Its defenses keep Sally from entering, she is captured by the Minotaur, and disappears before Percy. Percy engages the Minotaur with the magical pen, which turns into a sword named Riptide. He finally kills the creature with one of its horns.

In touring Camp Half-Blood, Percy learns that Brunner is the camp's trainer and the mythological centaur (half-horse, half-human) Chiron. He also finds out that his father is the god Poseidon. He meets Luke Castellan (Jake Abel), the son of Hermes, and Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario), the daughter of Athena. While at the camp, Percy learns that water has the power to heal his injuries, and allows him to use his magical abilities.

Hades later appears and reveals that Sally Jackson is his prisoner, and proposes she be traded for the master bolt. Chiron instructs Percy not to bargain with the god, but to go to Olympus to convince Zeus that he did not take the bolt. Percy sneaks away from the camp to travel to the Underworld along with Grover and Annabeth, who secure for him a portable shield from Luke, flying shoes and a map to Persephone's (Rosario Dawson) pearls, one of which will reveal the exit from the Underworld.

At Aunty Em's Garden Emporium, they are attacked by Medusa (Uma Thurman), but manage to kill her, and take the pearl from her bracelet. They also take her head, which they later successfully use against a hydra that attacks them during their gaining of another pearl from the crown of a giant statue of Athena at the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee. They acquire the third and final pearl from a roulette wheel at a hotel casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, in part with help from Poseidon. The map reveals an entrance to the Underworld in Hollywood, California, beneath the Hollywood Sign.

The trio enter the Underworld and cross the River Styx. Persephone takes them to Hades. Percy tries to explain to Hades that he did not steal the bolt. During a resulting chaos, Percy drops his shield, whose handle conceals the missing master bolt, which Hades takes. However, the trio manage to get it back before escaping the Underworld with the rescued Sally, forced to leave Grover behind, in Persephone's "care", as they only had three pearls. They are transported to the top of the Empire State Building, which they learn is the entrance to Olympus. They are confronted by Luke, who reveals himself to have been the real lightning thief. Explaining his hope for new rulers to take over Olympus, he explains that he had hoped that the trio would not escape the Underworld alive. He steals the bolt from Percy and the two fight. After using his water powers to get rid of Luke, Percy arrives in Olympus, where he presents the retrieved bolt, and reveals the truth about Luke. Poseidon explains to Percy the reason why they could not know each other during Percy's childhood, but expresses his love for his son. Percy also requests that Zeus retrieve Grover from the Underworld, to which the god agrees. Percy returns to Camp Half-Blood, where he continues his training, ending the movie in the midst of a clash with Annabeth. After the end credits, a scene shows Sally forcing Gabe out of their apartment and he reads a note on the fridge from Percy that says not to open the fridge. Gabe destroys the lock on the refrigerator and as he opens it, Medusa stares right back at him, and the scene goes black while a crackling noise is heard, showing that Gabe has been turned to stone.

Cast[change | change source]

Main characters[change | change source]

Gods[change | change source]

Demigods[change | change source]

Mythical creatures[change | change source]

Mortals[change | change source]

Production[change | change source]

In June 2004, 20th Century Fox bought the movie rights to the book.[11] In April 2007, director Chris Columbus was hired to helm the project.[12] Filming began in April 2009 in Vancouver.[8] Sections of the movie were shot at the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens.[13] Filming wrapped up on the morning of July 25, 2009 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Digital intermediate work began in San Francisco in November 2009.[14] Christophe Beck composed the score.[15]

Columbus has stated that the cast were chosen specifically with sequels in mind. " I think with Percy Jackson it was a matter of finding the right cast to fit into these roles, sort of the perfect cast for these roles, because hopefully, God willing, we will go on to do other Percy Jackson movies and you want the cast to grow with their characters."[16]

Reception[change | change source]

Box office[change | change source]

The movie opened on February 12, 2010 in 3,356 theaters; its opening weekend box-office results totaled $31,236,067[17] in the U.S., finishing at #3 behind The Wolfman, which opened at #2 with $31,479,235 and Valentine's Day, which opened at #1 with $56,260,707.[18] The movie had a strong opening weekend for its genre, posting the highest opening weekend for a fantasy movie not from the Harry Potter, Narnia, or The Lord of the Rings series.[19] As of March 9, 2010, it grossed a total of $78,886,633, with $111,950,508 elsewhere in the world, bringing it to $190,837,141. It is the second highest grossing movie worldwide in 2010 after Alice in Wonderland.[20]

Critical response[change | change source]

Critical reception of the movie has been mixed, as indicated by a weighted average score of 48 out of 100 from Metacritic.[21] The movie currently holds a 50% 'Rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 120 reviews; the site's consensus being that although the movie "may seem like just another Harry Potter knockoff, the movie benefits from a strong supporting cast, a speedy plot, and plenty of fun with Greek mythology".[22] Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times described the movie as "standard Hollywood product... unadventurous and uninteresting."[23] The Washington Post reviewer thought "the movie suffers by taking itself a little too seriously. It's not just that it's a lot less funny than the book. It's also a lot less fun."[24] On BBC Radio 5 Mark Kermode criticized the similarity of the movie to director Chris Columbus' Harry Potter films.[25]

Video games[change | change source]

A Percy Jackson video game based on Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was released on the Nintendo DS on February 11, 2010.[26]

GameZone's Michael Splechta gave it a 6/10, saying "Percy Jackson might not make a splash when it comes to movie tie-in games, but fans of turn-based combat might find some redeeming qualities in this otherwise bare-bones game."[27]

References[change | change source]

  1. Fleming, Michael (March 12, 2009). "Joe Stillman joins 'Alien Zoo'". Variety. Archived from the original on December 24, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  2. "'Valentine's Day,' 'Percy Jackson' and 'Wolfman': The more they cost, the less they made". Los Angeles Times. February 15, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010. The debut of "Percy Jackson" was good, but not great given its $95-million production budget funded by 20th Century Fox, Dune Entertainment and Ingenious Film Partners.
  3. "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  4. "Contact Information and FAQ:Rick Riordan". Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
  5. "WHAT DOES THE 'PERCY JACKSON' OPENING WEEKEND MEAN FOR LOGAN LERMAN'S 'SPIDER-MAN' CHANCES?". MTV News. Archived from the original on 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  6. Siegel, Tatiana (March 2, 2009). "'Percy Jackson' finds lead actors". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  7. Fernandez, Jay A. (March 18, 2009). "'Lightning Thief' finds female lead". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Siegel, Tatiana (March 25, 2009). "Fox 2000 bulks up 'Percy Jackson'". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hewitt, Chris (May 7, 2009). "Dawson And Coogan Join Percy Jackson". Empire. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  10. Kit, Borys (April 15, 2009). "Catherine Keener joins 'Percy Jackson' film". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  11. Brodesser, Claude (June 23, 2004). "'Lightning Thief' strikes Maverick". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  12. Gilstrap, Peter (April 17, 2007). "Columbus struck by 'Lightning'". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  13. "Portions Of Movie To Be Shot At Parthenon". WSMV-TV. June 2, 2009. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
  14. Caranicas, Peter (October 20, 2009). "Goldblatt, Deakins follow similar path". Variety. Archived from the original on December 24, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  15. Knowles, Harry (November 20, 2009). "New trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief hits..." Ain't It Cool News. Archived from the original on December 24, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  16. Roberts, Sheila (February 8, 2009). "Exclusive Chris Columbus Interview". Roll Credits. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2009.
  17. "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com.
  18. "Valentine's Day (2010) - Daily Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com.
  19. "Weekend Report: Valentine's Day Massacres Presidents Day Record - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com.
  20. "2010 Yearly Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com.
  21. "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
  22. "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
  23. "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
  24. "Critic Review for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
  25. "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief reviewed by Mark Kermode". BBC. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
  26. "New Games, Newest Games". GameSpot.
  27. Splechta, Michael. "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Review". GameZone.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010.

Other websites[change | change source]