The Adventures of Tintin (known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn outside North America) is a 2011 American 3D motion capture computer-animated adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé (Georges Remi). Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of the original comic books: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham's Treasure (1944). It is the first-ever animated film for both Spielberg and his longtime collaborator, composer John Williams.
Spielberg acquired rights to produce a film based upon the Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé's death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the films. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital provided the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and became a box office success with a worldwide gross of over $373 million. The Adventures of Tintin also won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globe Awards that year. It is the first non-Pixar film to win the award since the category was first introduced. Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. It is currently nominated for five Saturn Awards, including Best Animated Film, Best Director for Spielberg and Best Music for Williams.
Tintin (Jamie Bell), a young journalist, and his dog Snowy are browsing in an outdoor market in a European town (scene starts off with a cameo of Hergé doing Tintin's portrait). Tintin buys a model of a three-masted sailing ship, the Unicorn, on the cheap, but is then immediately accosted by the sinister Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (Daniel Craig), and the mysterious figure of Barnaby (Joe Starr), who both try to buy the model from Tintin, without success. Tintin takes the ship home, but it is broken during a fight between Snowy and a neighbour's cat. As it breaks, a parchment scroll slips out of the ship's mast. Snowy spots it but is unable to alert Tintin. Meanwhile, incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg) are on the trail of a pickpocket, Aristides Silk (Toby Jones). Tintin visits Sakharine in Marlinspike Hall, where he learns that there are at least two model ships. Tintin puts the scroll in his wallet, only to have it (his wallet) stolen by a pickpocket.
Later, Tintin is shot at, then abducted by accomplices of Sakharine, and imprisoned on the SS Karaboudjan. On board, Tintin escapes and meets the ship's nominal captain, Haddock (Andy Serkis). Haddock has been supplied with whisky by first mate Allan (Daniel Mays), who is working for Sakharine, and the captain is permanently drunk, and doesn't know what's happening on board his ship. Tintin and Haddock (and Snowy) eventually escape from the Karaboudjan in a lifeboat. Sakharine sends a seaplane to find them, but Tintin is able to capture the plane, and fly towards the (fictitious) Moroccan port of Bagghar, but they crash in the desert.
Dehydrated in the heat, and suffering from a sudden lack of alcohol, Haddock hallucinates, and starts to remember stories about his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock (Andy Serkis), who was captain of the Unicorn during the 17th century. Sir Francis' treasure-laden ship was attacked by a pirate ship, led by the masked Red Rackham (Daniel Craig), and, after a fierce battle and eventual surrender, Sir Francis chose to sink the Unicorn, and most of the treasure, rather than allow it to fall into Rackham's hands. It transpires that there were three models of the Unicorn, each containing a scroll. Together, the scrolls will reveal the location of the sunken Unicorn, and its treasure.
In Bagghar, Tintin and the Captain find out that the third model ship is in the possession of the wealthy Omar Ben Salaad (Gad Elmaleh), but it is encased in a bullet-proof glass display case. Sakharine's plan is to stage a concert involving famous diva Bianca Castafiore (Kim Stengel), the "Milanese nightingale", whose penetrating singing voice will be able to shatter the glass case, allowing Sakharine's trained hawk to fly down and steal the third scroll. After a chase down to the harbour, pursued by Tintin and Haddock, Sakharine finally escapes with all three scrolls. Tintin chases him back to Europe and arranges a police reception for him on the dockside. Haddock and Sakharine, who is revealed to be the descendant of Red Rackham, replay their ancestors' swashbuckling sword fight, using dockside cranes, swords, and even bottles of whisky. Haddock is eventually victorious and Sakharine is promptly arrested by Thomson and Thompson.
With the three scrolls in their possession, Tintin and Haddock find that the indicated location is Marlinspike Hall, and that the hall had been built originally by Sir Francis Haddock. There, in the cellar, they find some of the treasure, and a clue to the location of the sunken Unicorn. Both men agree to continue the adventure.
Box officeThe film grossed $77,591,831 in North America and $296,402,120, in other territories, for a worldwide total of $373,993,951.
On its first day, the film opened in the UK, France and Belgium, earning $8.6 million. In Belgium, Tintin's country of origin, the film made $520,000, while France provided $4.6 million, a number higher than other similar Wednesday debuts. In France, it was the second best debut of the year for its first day after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. On its first weekend it topped the overseas box office with $56.2 million from 21 countries. In Belgium, it earned $1.99 million. It also earned the top spot in many major markets like France and the Maghreb region ($21 million), where it set a record opening weekend for an animated title, the UK, Ireland and Malta ($10.9 million), Germany ($4.71 million) and Spain ($3.75 million). It retained first place for a second-consecutive and final weekend, earning $39.0 million from 45 territories. In its native Belgium it was up 20% to $2.39 million, while in France it plummeted 61% to $8.42 million. Its biggest debut was in Russia and the CIS ($4.81 million).
The movie grossed 7.5 crore (US$1.5 million) on its opening weekend (November 11–13, 2011) in India, an all-time record opening for a Steven Spielberg film and for an animated feature in India. The movie was released with 351 prints, the largest ever release for an animated film. In four weeks, it became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in the country with 25.4 crore (US$5.07 million).