Pro-Euthanasia Film "The Sea Inside" Flops at the Box Office

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Euthanasia Film "The Sea Inside" Flops at the Box Office Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 21, 2004

Hollywood, CA ( — Though it has garnered film awards from the media elite, pro-euthanasia film "The Sea Inside" has been a flop so far at the box office.

The film has generated little enthusiasm from movie-goers taking in just $55,000 at 23 locations nationwide. The Spanish-language drama, starring Javier Bardem, averaged a paltry $2,391 per theater.

That’s less than virtually ever other movie currently at the box office — including others being distributed on a limited basis.

Alejandro Amenabar directs the picture, which brings to the screen the story of Ramon Sampedro, a seaman who is left paralyzed after a horrific accident.

Sampedro is confined to a bed after the incident and he spends the next decades begging friends and family to euthanize him. Through his plight, he becomes a champion of euthanasia forces in Spain seeking to legalize assisted suicide.

During his life, he is romanticized by two women — one who agrees he should end his life and another who passionately urges him to fight and not give up hope.

In an interview with, Amenabar said he had been falling in love over the years with the human interest story of Sampedro.

"Then it was the book, and [how it] talked about life and death and love," Amenabar said. "Then it was when I researched his real life and I was told about all the anecdotes and how all these women were falling in love with him, that I thought it could make a good love story from one point."

Amenabar tells that he would not have pursued euthanasia were he in the same situation as Sampedro.

"I guess that the first question I might have asked myself was, ‘What would I want to do if I was in that situation?’"

"Now I think that I would, I think, I’m not sure of course, that I would go on living. I would get through it," the movie director says.