In “Bradbury and Butterflies”, Ray Haberski explains why A Sound of Thunder didn’t make much of a flutter at the box office.
A time travel movie that plays in the past, present and future is A Sound of Thunder, a 2005 studio release starring Ben Kingsley, Edward Burns, and Catherine McCormack. The film did not do well. Reviews were, on balance, pretty awful. And it is safe to say that three leads are happy that they are remembered for other films. Yet, A Sound of Thunder had ambitions to do more and in a few specific ways it succeeded. First, it is based on the Ray Bradbury short story by the same name; second, it plays with the pulpiness of Bradbury’s story and the time in which it originally appeared, the early 1950s, with its kitchy cinematography, set design, and dialogue; and third, it riffs on the famous “butterfly effect.”
He also speculates about the film that might have been, and argues Bradbury deserves the credit given elsewhere for inventing a particular meme.
But here’s the ambitious part: the film wanted to animate and make accessible that catchy but often misunderstood principle of the “butterfly effect.” A Sound of Thunder followed in its date of release a film actually called The Butterfly Effect that starred the misguided Ashton Kutcher and was also inspired by Bradbury’s story. The funny thing is, of course, Bradbury is not typically credited with coining the term, Edward Lorenz is.