Ex Machina is a low budget, independent British film which was funded by Film Four and DNA films with a budget of $15 million. It is neither culturally or regionally specific and has parts of both in the film. It made $36.9 million at the box office worldwide (managing to gross $3.8 million in the UK and over $25.4 million in the USA), despite the film only originally being released on four screens in the US, which shows that the film has made a substantial profit. Ex Machina has a thoughtful style of sci-fi thriller whereas mainstream audiences appeal to the big blockbusters such as the Avengers and The Hunger Games, this shows the dominance of the US studios. The film won a Jury Prize at the 2015 Gerardmer Film Festival. The film's lead actress, Alicia Vikander, was nominated for a Best Actress award at the Empire Awards.
Pre Production began from an the foundation which Alex Garland evolved from when he was a child, after he had done some basic coding and experimentation on a computer his parents had bought him and which he sometimes felt had a mind of its own. His later ideas came from years of discussions he had been having with a friend with, who claimed machines could never become sentient. This lead to Garland writing down this idea and coming back to it at a later stage in his life. The film is scientific and incorporates a lot of knowledge about the future of our current word in reality and what it could potentially look like in the future, in terms of robots and science which could be developed, this sparked the interest and excitement of many scientists who found they could relate to the film, which increased the audience appeal.
The production of the film took place over four weeks in 2013 at Pinewood Studios in London and two weeks at Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldalen, Norway. Most of the shots which were taken were all rather long meaning it was easier for it all to bed edited together in post production. It was filmed in digital at 4K resolution. Ex Machina was shot like ordinary live action using no special effects,green screens or tracking markers, all the effects were later edited on during post-production. To create Eva the robot they filmed both scenes with the actress Alicia Vikander presence and scenes without her they so they could edit in the robotical features in the AI's body. In total the film took 800 VFX shots, of which 350 or near to that were robot shots, this shows that the large proportion of the film only uses post-production CGI to create the robot.
The success of Ex Machina at the box office was influenced massively by people's perception, but as the director was Alex Garland people were drawn to see what innovative visionary story he has created. Another big part of the success comes down to audience connecting with the material. and automatically self-promoting it giving Ex Machina extra Kudos and a sense of status.