Filmed over the course of 28 days (coincidentally mirroring the time gone by in the movie), the film was almost released straight-to-video. Donnie Darko was screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2001, before receiving a limited theatrical release on October 26, 2001, by Flower Films. Due to the film's advertising featuring a crashing plane and the September 11 attacks that transpired a month before, the film was scarcely advertised. In the end, Donnie Darko grossed just over $7. 5 million worldwide on a budget of $4. 5 million. Despite its lackluster box office performance, Donnie Darko received critical acclaim. Critics lauded the film's story, acting, and tone. The film was listed number 2 in Empire's 50 Greatest Independent Films of All Time, as well as number 63 in Empire's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.
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