About

“Open Water,” an American psychological horror film produced in 2003, tells the harrowing tale of two Americans who are accidentally abandoned by their boat crew and find themselves stranded in shark-infested waters. The story takes place on the couple’s vacation to the Caribbean. The film is loosely based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who, in 1998, visited the Great Barrier Reef with a scuba diving group, Outer Edge Dive Company. The couple was accidentally left behind because the dive-boat crew failed to take an accurate headcount and are believed to have perished in the incident as their bodies were never recovered. “Open Water” was financed, written, produced and directed by Chris Kentis and his wife, Laura Lau, who are both experienced and avid scuba divers. The film cost the couple approximately $500,000 to produce and was acquired by Lionsgate Entertainment for $2.5 million after its successful screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Lionsgate spent another $8 million in capital for the marketing costs of “Open Water.” The film’s ultimate gross profit was approximately $55 million worldwide, a return of over five times the original investment. The film was met with generally positive reviews, receiving a 3.5/4 from Roger Ebert and an aggregate score of 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. All in all, the film is widely regarded as a success, especially considering limiting factors such as a small budget and a relatively inexperienced director.