As a culture, we really love to see the city of New York destroyed in blockbuster movies. Sure, the city looks great on camera, with its sprawling streets, mighty skyscrapers, and iconic landmarks. We all have some attachment to the city and sees its strength as well as its beauty. So why all the destruction porn around New York? Why are there so many movies where New York gets destroyed?
This city is shellacked on film more than any other. It's like NYC is a built-in spoiler: if the film you're watching is set in New York and isn't a romantic comedy (Sex in the City 2 is a different kind of disaster film), then by the third act there will be massive destruction! Whether it's flooding, alien invasion, riots, monster rampages, or whatever else might be wrong that day, it's going to end in massive damage to the Big Apple.We decided to take a look at our 20 favorite times the city was used as a cinematic disaster playground with this list of times New York was destroyed in films. Vote up your favorite examples of Manhattan madness below!
Mother Nature, The Day After Tomorrow
Even the combined might of young Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid can't save NYC from mother nature. The city is first flooded (global warming y'all, but seriously.. it's a problem) and then frozen over with the onset of a new ice age. If you're a tourist, bring a sweater and be prepared to flee from CGI wolves.
Alien Invasion, The Avengers
A portal in space opens up above the Big Apple and NYC gets trashed during the melee between alien invaders and superheroes. Midtown, where a lot of the heavy hitting takes place, is especially devestated. Earth's Mightiest Heroes do end up saving the city from a nuclear attack from our own side and total annihilation from the Chitauri, but a sizable amount of damage ($160 billion according to Hollywood Reporter) stacks up along the way.
Alien Flame Ray, Independence Day
Aliens came down and took out some serious American landmarks. We all remember what they did to Washington DC... oh the poor White House. But they also demolish huge portions of NYC too. The Empire State Building is completely laser-sploded and so many cars get flown through the air like giant building bullets.
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Ghostbusters
New Yorkers are a jaded lot who've seen everything, but what comes stomping through Manhattan in this '80s classic would turn anyone white. The Marshmallow Man smashes his way through Columbus Circle and Central Park West. Even his destruction causes all manner of gross gooey ex-sentient marshmallow to blanket a big chunk of the city.