|X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)||$234,362,462|
|The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)||$227,471,070|
|How to Train Your Dragon (2010)||$217,581,231|
Box office results courtesy of Box Office Mojo
Click for John Powell's full box office
Steeped in classical tradition, yet drawn to the idea of turning it on its head, John Powell has composed a series of acclaimed motion picture soundtracks since arriving in America two years ago. He brought out the film noir undertones of John Woo's direction for Face/Off (1997) and co-wrote an imaginative score for DreamWorks' computer animated Antz (1998). He's also the creative voice behind the hip, experimental score for DreamWorks' Forces of Nature (1999) and Hollywood Pictures' Endurance (May '99), which fuses African, Arabic and Western music to tell the story of the world's fastest runner.
Surrounded by music as a child, Powell was a classical snob until 13, when he began playing everything from rock 'n roll to jazz. In 1986 he exchanged the violin for the viola to gain entrance to London's Trinity College of Music, where he studied composition, earning the John Halford and the Boosey and Hawkes Bursary Music College Prizes.
While at Trinity, Powell joined performance art group Media Arts. With longtime collaborator Gavin Greenaway, he composed music and sound for their conceptual performances. Although the duo left the troupe upon graduating in 1986, they continue to co-create mixed-media installation pieces with artist Michael Petry, the most recent featuring bare-bottomed men and a German brass ensemble.
In 1988, Powell landed a job composing music for commercials and television at London's Air-Edel Music. There, he worked alongside composers Hans Zimmer and Patrick Doyle and made his first foray into feature films, assisting Doyle with the score of Into the West and writing cues and working as an electronic music programmer for Zimmer on White Fang.
Powell left Air-Edel in 1995 to co-found, with Greenaway, London-based commercial music house Independently Thinking Music (ITM). Together they composed scores for more than 100 British and French commercials and for independent films.
It was co-creating the opera "An Englishman, Irishman and Frenchman" (which really did end with a fat lady singing) that shifted Powell's focus to longer form composition. Written with Petry and Greenaway, the piece used everything from a traditional chorus to a handmade "smallanimalphone" (sic) to tell the fantastical story. After a series of successful performances at the Germany state-funded art gallery, Powell moved to Los Angeles to take on more demanding projects.
Arriving in the States in 1997, he immediately scored two DreamWorks TV projects: the second season of Stephen Spielberg's "High Incident" and the pilot "For the People." He also arranged songs composed by Stephen Schwartz for DreamWorks' animated feature Prince of Egypt (1998).
It was Powell's hair-raising score for the Nicolas Cage/John Travolta-starrer Face/Off that put him on the map. He composed one hour and forty-five minutes of hair-raising music, which utilized industrial sounds, unresolved harmonies and tragic melodies to build a heightened state of tension. He then turned to With Friends Like These, writing endearing melodies with an Italian influence for the Adam Arkin and Amy Madigan starring indie scheduled for release in fall 1999.
For Antz, featuring the voices of Woody Allen and Sharon Stone and a plot about an ant colony below Manhattan's Central Park, Powell created a musical melange of jazz, Latin and classical sounds. Next came Endurance, developed and co-produced by Terrence Malick. In an almost wordless film, Powell's score serves as dialogue, conveying the central character's joy, dignity and struggle.
Adhering to one musical regime is not in Powell's nature. Before moving to Los Angeles, he played for more than 15 years with the Fabulistics, an early Sixties soul band that performed for everyone from Lady Diana to denizens of the local pub.
John Powell lives with his wife Melinda in Marina Del Rey, CA.
|Ice Age: Continental Drift|
|Dr. Seuss' The Lorax|
|Happy Feet Two|
|Kung Fu Panda 2|
|Mars Needs Moms|
|Knight and Day|
|How to Train Your Dragon|
|Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs|
|Kung Fu Panda (cocomposer)|
|Horton Hears a Who|
|P.S. I Love You|
|The Bourne Ultimatum|
|X-Men: The Last Stand|
|Ice Age: The Meltdown|
|Mr. & Mrs. Smith|
|The Bourne Supremacy|
|Agent Cody Banks|
|The Italian Job|
|Two Weeks Notice|
|The Bourne Identity|
|I Am Sam|
|Eye See You|
|Chicken Run (cocomposer)|
|The Road to El Dorado|
|Chill Factor (additional music)|
|Forces of Nature|
|With Friends Like These…|
|High Incident [TV Series]|
|The Wild Heels|
|Stay Lucky [TV Series]|