George Malley: I'm what everyone can be. Anyone can get here. I'm the possibility. What I'm talking about is the human spirit. That's the challenge. That's the voyage. That's the expedition.
The film earned mixed reviews from critics, and maintains a 50 percent average rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews.
The film was a box office success, having earned more than $16,000,000 on its opening weekend, debuting on third position and later climbing up to second. It finally grossed $104,636,382 in the US and $47,400,000 elsewhere, grossing approximately $152,000,000 overall.
A scene in which Malley asks Pennamin, "Hey, would you, uh, love me for the rest of my life?" and she responds, "No, I'm gonna love you for the rest of mine" inspired Trace Adkins' late-1997 single "The Rest of Mine".
Awards and nominations
Travolta and Whitaker both won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for their performances in 1997. Moreover Whitaker received an Image Award. In the same year the film was nominated for a Saturn Award. Travolta was nominated for a MTV Movie Award for his performance as well as for Best Kiss with Kyra Sedgwick. Eric Clapton was nominated for his song Change the World and won an ASCAP Award and the BMI Film & TV Award. Thomas Newman also received a BMI Film & TV Award for the score.
On November 1, 2003 a television movie titled Phenomenon II was broadcast on the ABC Network. It was directed by Ken Olin and starred Terry O'Quinn, Jill Clayburgh and Christopher Shyer as George Malley. Although it was billed as a sequel to the film, Phenomenon II is actually a partial-remake of the original film, essentially retelling the original story while adding new characters and introducing a sub-plot involving the NSA. The open ending of the telefilm suggests that it may have served as a pilot for a new TV series, though a Phenomenon series has not materialized.
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