The Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson-led flick was based on the real life story of Benjamin Mee, a freelance journalist, who, after his wife died, decided to change his life and purchase a zoo. However -- as the movie explains -- it wasn't as easy as it appears.
Mee first took over the dilapidated zoo in Devon, West England, in 2006, selling his 5-bedroom family home to make the purchase. The zoo has proved very, very expensive. Even at the beginning of this month, he didn't have enough money for small purchases.
"It's absolutely hand-to-mouth the whole time because the banks aren't lending anything," Mee told The Guardian. "What comes through the door is all there is."
When the film first went into production, Mee received nearly $400,000 but, in spite of that large sum, the zoo faced bankruptcy in 2009. Now, with "We Bought A Zoo" hitting English theaters this Friday, Mee is more hopeful about his future.
"[The film] gave us the hope to continue," Mee said. "There's still a big hole to crawl out of but I'm confident we can get this place supporting itself."
[via The Guardian]