This past summer, Warner Bros. released a sci-fi blockbuster starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, best known as Edge of Tomorrow. What many people do not know, is that Edge of Tomorrow has had 3 title changes throughout the course of its existence—and technically, Edge of Tomorrow isn’t even its title anymore.
The film’s very first title was All You Need is Kill, which is also the name of the Japanese novel that it’s based upon. Back when the film first premiered producer Edwin Stoff told The Hollywood Reporter, “I think the word ‘kill’ in a title is very tricky in today’s world. I don’t know that people want to be bombarded with that word. I don’t know that people want to be opening the newspaper and seeing that word. We see it enough in real newspaper headlines, and I don’t think that we need to see it when we’re looking at a movie.” So as you can tell, the filmmakers clearly had a lot of serious discussion about this and changed the title for a legitimate reason.
The second change of title is the one that most of us know the movie by: Edge of Tomorrow. It’s a much “safer” title, but it’s definitely one that doesn’t necessarily scream, This is an Action Movie, or Badass Sci-fi Adventure. Nonetheless, I think the producers did a fine job in overcoming their “title problem” by finding a new title that wouldn’t threaten their target audience.
Unfortunately, when the film was released wide last summer, it didn’t storm the box office like the studios had hoped. However, contrary to many reports declaring the film to be a “big box office bomb,” Edge of Tomorrow actually didn’t do too badly. It made $369,206,256 worldwide, but it’s worth noting that 73% of the gross was fueled by foreign markets, while the domestic total was only 27%. You can see why the studios may be concerned with the fact that they scored little money in their most lucrative market. So, in one last-ditch effort to make more money, Warner Bros. changed the title, again—this time for the home video release.
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow is the film’s current (and hopefully final) title. On the DVD/Blu-Ray case the film barely even recognizes the fact that Edge of Tomorrow is still in the title. Live Die Repeat almost plays out like an obnoxious tagline rather than a real title—which I’m sure that’s exactly what they were trying to do: hook an audience immediately by hearing the title (which, isn’t that kind of a point of a title, too?).
The film did debut at #1 on the iTunes movie chart, but it’s obviously unclear if this can be attributed to the title change or if it was simply due to good word of mouth from audiences and critics (the film lies at a hearty 90% on Rotten Tomatoes). Either way, I’m sure the studios were pleased to see it in a #1 spot.
Do you think the studios made the right decision in changing the title? Is there any title that you think works better than the others? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
– Alex Miller