Big Miracle
Big Miracle poster
Directed by Ken Kwapis
Produced by Steve Golin
Michael Sugar
Tim Bevan
Liza Chasin
Eric Fellner

Drew Barrymore
John Krasinski

Music by Cliff Eidelman
Cinematography John Bailey
Editing by Cara Silverman
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release February 3, 2012
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $30-40 million
Gross revenue $24,719,215

Big Miracle is a 2012 family drama film starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski. The film, directed by Ken Kwapis, is based on the 1989 book Freeing the Whales by Tom Rose, which covers Operation Breakthrough, the 1988 international effort to rescue gray whales trapped in ice near Point Barrow, Alaska. The film was released on February 3, 2012.

The movie flopped at the box office, only opening to more than $7 million and pulling in $24,719,215 overall.


In small town Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend - a Greenpeace volunteer - on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.

Drawn into the collaborative rescue work are several normally hostile factions: Inupiat whale hunters, a Greenpeace environmental activist, an oil executive, ambitious news reporters, the National Guard, the American president and politicians on the state, national and international levels. Also joining in the effort are two entrepreneurs from Minnesota, who provide de-icing machines to help keep the hole open. Finally an enormous Soviet ice-breaker ship arrives to remove the last barrier before the whales die.The ship's first attempt doesn't work and leaves only a dent. The ice is finally broken and the adult whales escape the ice. Sadly, the infant whale Bam-Bam dies from injuries and does not surface again.


  • John Krasinski as Adam Carlson
  • Drew Barrymore as Rachel Kramer
  • Ahmaogak Sweeney as Inupiat grandson Nathan to Malik
  • John Pingayak as Inupiat whaler Malik
  • Kristen Bell as Jill Gerard, a news reporter
  • Vinessa Shaw as Kelly Meyers
  • Stephen Root as Gov. Haskell
  • Ted Danson as J.W. McGraw
  • Kathy Baker as Ruth McGraw
  • Dermot Mulroney as Colonel Scott Boyer
  • Rob Riggle as Dean Glowacki
  • Michael Gaston as Porter Beckford
  • Megan Angela Smith as Sheena
  • Tim Blake Nelson as Pat Lafayette
  • James LeGros as Karl Hootkin
  • Mark Ivanir as Dimitri
  • Andrew Daly as Don Davis
  • Jonathan Slavin as Roger Notch
  • Gregory Jbara as General Stanton
  • Tom Clark as Morton Heavey
  • Sarah Palin as herself (archive footage, as Sarah Heath, in her brief sportscasting career)


Warner Bros. bought the screenplay by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler in April 2009, and in the following June, Kwapis was attached to direct. In September 2010, with Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski cast in the starring roles, filming began in Seward. It had a production budget of $30 or 40 million. The crew constructed sets in Anchorage to resemble places in Barrow during the whale rescue. Filming lasted for 10 weeks.

The film's working title was Everybody Loves Whales, which is a line still heard in the film.


Visual effects on Big Miracle were created by Rhythm and Hues Studios and Modus FX.

Burger King promoted the movie with toys.

The MPAA has rated this film PG for language.

External links

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.