Les Misérables (2012) is aBritish drama musical (basedon a stage musical adaptedfrom the French novel LesMisérables) set in 19th centuryFrance following the life of anex convict avoiding captureas he agrees to take care of adying prostitute’s illegitimatedaughter.
ProductionProduction for Les Miserables began in June 2011, with TomHooper as director and the screenplay written by WilliamNicholson. The all-star cast includes Hugh Jackman(Jean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Anne Hathaway (Fantine)and Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) though Emma Watson wasconsidered to play Cosette and Kate Winslet to play Fantine.Filming mostly took place in areas of England likeGreenwich, Northamptonshire and Hampshire but also tookplace in France. The budget was $61,000,000, due to thehigh profile cast and Oscar winning director Tom Hooper andwas produced by Working Title Films.
DistributionLes Miserables was distributed by Universal Pictures (theparent of Working Title), one of the six major movie studios. Itwas set to be released on the 14th December 2012 but waspostponed to Christmas Day in fear of conflicting with TheHobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It was released on the 11thJanuary 2013 in the UK.
MarketingThe marketing campaign for LesMiserables was mostly viral and promotedthrough the film’s Facebook page in orderto reach more people and create a buzz.It started with the release of a teasertrailer online in May 2012. In September2012, more buzz was generated from a“first look” video uploaded on Facebook inwhich users could see behind the scenesof the live singing training aspect of thefilm, as well as the international trailer.Following this, in late September 2012, anew poster for the film was released andthen in October, several character posterswere released. Footage of the film’spremiere in New York was streamedonline.Having been based on a book and stageplay, Les Miserables already had a pre-sold audience. Versions of the book werealso published with the front cover as aposter of the movie (tie in production)
About the Director… Tom Hooper is a British director, best known for directing films such as Les Miserables and historical drama The King’s Speech (2010). The King’s Speech won seven BAFTA’s and four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Hooper. This partly explains the high budget for Les Miserables as Hooper had, by this point, become a critically acclaimed film director.
About the Production Company…Working Title is a British Film Company that was founded in1983. After the huge success of British films such as BridgetJones: The Edge of Reason, Love Actually, Billy Elliot andShaun of the Dead- Working Title could branch out withAmerican films such as Burn After Reading. Considering it isa subsidiary of Universal Studios and one of the mostsuccessful British film companies, it makes sense that theirfilms would be successful at the box office.
ClassificationLes Miserables hasa classification of12A due to thepresence of violenceand sexual materialbut also as not torestrict its audience.
Box OfficeDue to the pre-sold audience of Les Miserables. the high profilecast (star power) and the list of award nominations/wins (GoldenGlobe for Best Actor, Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actressand Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture as well as eightAcademy Award nominations that include Best Picture, Best Actorand Best Supporting Actress), it is not surprising that it was hugelysuccessful at the box office.In the US, Les Miserables broke the record for the highest openingday gross for a musical film and was also the second highestopening day gross for a film released on Christmas day, premieringin 2,208 screens and grossing $27.3 million in it’s openingweekend.In the UK, it grossed £8.1 ($13.1) million in its opening weekendand was not only the largest opening weekend for a musical filmbut for Working Title. To date, Les Miserables has grossed $143,984,000