Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut is a 2004 extended version of Richard Kelly's directorial debut, Donnie Darko. A critical success but a commercial failure when first released in 2001, Donnie Darko grew in popularity through word-of-mouth due to strong DVD sales and regular midnight screenings across the United States. As a result of this growth, Kelly was approached by Bob Berney, president of the distributor Newmarket Films, who suggested that the film be rereleased. Kelly proposed producing a director's cut, and was given $290,000 to create what he called his interpretation of the original film. Donnie Darko was subsequently described as being the first "flop" to be given a director's cut.

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  • Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut is a 2004 extended version of Richard Kelly's directorial debut, Donnie Darko. A critical success but a commercial failure when first released in 2001, Donnie Darko grew in popularity through word-of-mouth due to strong DVD sales and regular midnight screenings across the United States. As a result of this growth, Kelly was approached by Bob Berney, president of the distributor Newmarket Films, who suggested that the film be rereleased. Kelly proposed producing a director's cut, and was given $290,000 to create what he called his interpretation of the original film. Donnie Darko was subsequently described as being the first "flop" to be given a director's cut. Kelly made various alterations to create the director's cut. Almost all of the deleted scenes that had previously been included as bonus features on the film's DVD were added, which increased the runtime by twenty minutes. Kelly also superimposed text from the in-universe book The Philosophy of Time Travel, providing an explanation for some of the more ambiguous elements of the film's plot. Additionally, the sound quality was improved, digital effects were added, and a new soundtrack was created using songs for which Kelly had previously been unable to obtain the rights – for the opening scene, "The Killing Moon" by Echo & the Bunnymen was replaced with "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS. The new cut premiered on May 29, 2004, at a sold-out screening during the Seattle International Film Festival. Critical reception to Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut was initially positive: review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 91% based on 43 reviews, while Metacritic awarded a score of 88 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim". Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, describing it as "alive, original and exciting". Retrospective reviews have been more negative, with reviewers criticizing the new soundtrack and the plot's lack of ambiguity. The film was released on DVD on February 15, 2005, and on Blu-ray four years later. Domestically, Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut took a total of $753,147 at the box office and $3.7 million worldwide. (en)
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  • For the director's cut, Richard Kelly replaced the use of "The Killing Moon" by Echo & the Bunnymen ' with "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS '. (en)
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  • Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut is a 2004 extended version of Richard Kelly's directorial debut, Donnie Darko. A critical success but a commercial failure when first released in 2001, Donnie Darko grew in popularity through word-of-mouth due to strong DVD sales and regular midnight screenings across the United States. As a result of this growth, Kelly was approached by Bob Berney, president of the distributor Newmarket Films, who suggested that the film be rereleased. Kelly proposed producing a director's cut, and was given $290,000 to create what he called his interpretation of the original film. Donnie Darko was subsequently described as being the first "flop" to be given a director's cut. (en)
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