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 two 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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