Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, it had mixed reviews when it was first released, but now, it has become a cult favourite for many. It has remained consistently strong with worldwide home video and DVD/Blu-ray sales.
Till this day I still consider it as one of my favourite movies of all time, if not my favourite.
With a production budget of around $15,000,000, it opened in 858 theatres (widest release was 1,052 theatres by week 3). It debuted in 3rd place its opening weekend earning $4,657,335. It dropped to #5 in its second weekend making $3,370,458 but from strong word of mouth at the time - it added more theatres and in its third weekend of release it jumped to #2 and made $5,405,071, a 61% increase. It was in theatres for 9 weeks which was really good in those days. It left theatres after the February 11th - 13th weekend back in 1983. Its final Domestic Gross was $40,577,001.
It was a big critical success, winning a Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film and winning the grand prize at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and a BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects.
The Dark Crystal was the highest-grossing box office release for 1983 in France and Japan and it won the 1983 Seiun Award media prize.
Thinking back, Jim Henson and Co. were so ahead of their time. This was the first film (not including animated) that did not have a single human being on screen. There was no CGI. Everything had to be created (Jim Henson's Creature Shop was formed at this time), made and brought to life 'live' on set by Jim Henson and all his amazing crew of puppeteers, mimes, dancers, acrobats and all the technical and visual teams. It was really a truly amazing accomplishment. Let's not forget that wonderful score by Trevor Jones. Amazing.
A sequel, Power of The Dark Crystal, has been in development for years with Lisa Henson and The Jim Henson Company. Last we heard, back in September 2011, this had been put on 'hold'. It was suppose to be a combination of CGI, puppets and made in 3D. Will we ever see this? Who knows. I do know that there are just as many that do as there are that don't want to see a sequel to The Dark Crystal. Time will tell.
In 1986, Jim released another fantasy film, Labyrinth. This time human actors were added amongst the creatures created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, songs, and more humour was injected into the script . Things many said were missing from The Dark Crystal. Although Labyrinth was also an amazing film for its time, it never reached the financial reward earring $13,000,000 in domestic returns. However, like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth has a HUGE following of fans, and deservedly so I must add.
Today, The Dark Crystal continues to find new fans every day. Tokyopop released 2 graphic novels back in 2007 and 2010.
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