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John Marston

Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998)

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both movies about giant space rocks about to hit Earth. Both movies didn't just release in the same year, but the same summer. Deep Impact on May 8. 1998 and Armageddon on July 1, 1998

 

 

apparently Deep Impact was developed first and Disney conceived Armageddon as a counter picture 

 

 

 

Interestingly, both did pretty well. Deep Impact made 140m which adjusts to 259m and 349m worldwide. Armageddon made 201m which adjusts to 371.7m and 554m worldwide making it the highest grossing film of 1998. 

 

 

 

 

Armageddon though had a disappointing opening weekend.  Likely because Deep Impact stole some of its thunder.

 

 

Quote

 

The crater left by Armageddon over the weekend was not as destructive as the industry was braced for. With an astronomical budget of $140M plus one of Hollywood's loudest and most expensive advertising campaigns estimated to be about $50M, Disney needed more megatons of firepower from their tentpole pic. Armageddon represented the last "sure-thing mega-blockbuster" of the summer season and the odds-on-favorite to win the summer box office crown. It will not reach $200M domestically but has a shot at $150M. However, Bruce Willis is still one of the biggest draws overseas. Together, The Fifth Element and Die Hard 3 grossed over $550M in international markets representing over 70% of each's worldwide cume. Disney will need that muscle to break even on this costly project. The asteroid struck South Korea, New Zealand, and Columbia over the weekend and will impact much of Europe over the next two weeks as the World Cup concludes.

 

Armageddon's $36.1M gives it the third-biggest weekend gross for the holiday frame behind last year's Men in Black and 1996's Independence Day. The Bruce Willis rock pic could not come close to matching the two previous holiday blockbusters as MIB managed three-day and five-day grosses of $51.1M/$79.3M while ID4 reached $50.2M/$85M. Maybe if Bruce and the boys battled some aliens on the asteroid more moviegoers would have turned up.

It now seems apparent that Paramount's Deep Impact took its toll on Armageddon. Many ticket buyers were not interested in seeing another meteor-heads-for-Earth disaster movie just weeks after the first one. Deep Impact, still the highest-grossing new release of the year with $137.2M, can attribute much of its success to its early release date. Opening on May 8th in a dead marketplace, it racked up over $75M before the next big event film, Godzilla, hit theaters 12 days later.

 

Armageddon's performance over the next two weeks will tell whether the dueling comet flicks will follow the patterns set by competing volcano and Wyatt Earp films of the recent past where the first one to reach the consumer ended up grossing more. Last year, Dante's Peak arrived in February collecting $67.2M and was followed by the weaker April film Volcano which grossed $47.5M. A few years back, Tombstone rang up $55.9M while Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp collected just $25.1M a few months later. In 1992, a similar fate fell upon August's Christopher Columbus and October's 1492.

Whether they realize it or not, moviegoers sent an important message to the motion picture studios. Big-budget event pictures, crammed with special effects and heavily promoted to no end, will not guarantee a huge audience turnout. The two most hyped films of the summer, Godzilla and Armageddon, failed to generate the level of interest expected. Last summer's loudest releases were The Lost World and Batman & Robin. Although the dinosequel smashed every record in the book during its opening weekend, it plummeted in the following weeks and ended with $229.1M thanks mostly to its frontloaded run. The Dynamic Duo had a strong opening but instantly died leaving Warners with just $107.3M for a film which cost about $175M to produce and market. Can a motion picture have too much hype? The answer seems to be yes. Maybe Hollywood will turn the volume down when it comes to hype or else they will continue to get burned.

 

 

http://www.boxofficeguru.com/070698.htm

 

It legged its way to success. 

 

Bay said Armageddon would have done even more if Deep Impact hadn't ate into some of their business. I can believe that. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Marston
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1 hour ago, John Marston said:

Bay said Armageddon would have done even more if Deep Impact hadn't ate into some of their business. I can believe that. 

 

 

Good comparison!

 

FWIW, i recall rooting for Armageddon to win the box office battle, as I was a Disney fan back then. But, when I saw both films in the theater that summer, I came away MUCH more impressed with Deep Impact. Armageddon was just what you'd thought it would be with Bay directing Willis and Affleck - big, dumb, loud, obvious, strutting, contrived, and most of all, clunky. A C- movie. Plus, I hated, and still hate, that Diane Warren/Aerosmith song that was played endlessly on the radio.

 

In contrast, I regard Deep Impact as one of the more underrated films of the past 20 years.  Its tone was much more modest and 'realistic', if the latter term can apply to a big-budget disaster film. In particular, Morgan Freeman's President conveyed an emotional calmness that recognized the doom of the situation while calling on the nation and world to maintain our dignity in the face of catastrophe. And the film had a considerable focus on human relations more generally.

 

No lie: The scene near the end where Leoni shares a moment with her father on an old family beach spot before the huge meteor tidal wave washes them away resonates with me every time i see it. This is IMO a solid B to B+ film.

 

 

And I disagree with Bay - the films were released far enough apart that if DI impacted on ARM, it wasn't directly, because DI had finished its run before ARM was released. FWIW, ARM was the #1 film globally that year, but finished at #2 DOM, behind Saving Private Ryan.

 

Edited by SteveJaros
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4 minutes ago, SteveJaros said:

 

Good comparison!

 

FWIW, i recall rooting for Armageddon to win the box office battle, as I was a Disney fan back then. But, when I saw both films in the theater that summer, I came away MUCH more impressed with Deep Impact. Armageddon was just what you'd thought it would be with Bay directing Willis and Affleck - big, dumb, loud, obvious, strutting, contrived, and most of all, clunky. A C- movie. Plus, I hated, and still hate, that Diane Warren/Aerosmith song that was played endlessly on the radio.

 

In contrast, I regard Deep Impact as one of the more underrated films of the past 20 years.  Its tone was much more modest and 'realistic', if the latter term can apply to a big-budget disaster film. In particular, Morgan Freeman's President conveyed an emotional calmness that recognized the doom of the situation while calling on the nation and world to maintain our dignity in the face of catastrophe. And the film had a considerable focus on human relations more generally.

 

No lie: The scene near the end where the blonde girl shares a moment with her father on an old family beach spot before the huge meteor tidal wave washes them away resonates with me every time i see it. This is IMO a solid B to B+ film.

 

 

And I disagree with Bay - the films were released far enough apart that if DI impacted on ARM, it wasn't directly, because DI had finished its run before ARM was released. FWIW, ARM was the #1 film globally that year, but finished at #2 DOM, behind Saving Private Ryan.

 

 

 

well it's more like he said many people probably didn't want to see two similar movies so they skipped one of them. I can see DI also benefiting it it was the only one released that summer. Also I believe Armageddon was actually the top grossing domestically and then SPR got an Oscar season re release which pushed it over it. 

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In general the idea of DI was much better - how do people , society and governments deal with the incoming apocalypse?

 

Only problem being: it would have only worked, had they had the guts to actually let the world go under and focus much more on the individuals and really, well, deal with those issues.

 

As it is now you have so many people die for nothing because they did not get away from the coasts quickly enough.

Edited by ShouldIBeHere
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I thought the first part of Deep Impact with the conspiracy is brilliantly done. Thinking she was on to some big story about a cabinet secretary having an affair. 

 

 

It becomes a bit more standard once the conspiracy is revealed. 

Edited by DeeCee
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Deep Impact is a legitimate good movie, but it begs for a truly epic treatment showing the progression of society as the countdown to apocalypse ticks closer and closer.

 

It's kinda unrealistic that everything is calm and orderly until about 24 hours to go.

 

A good vehicle for exploring that would be a miniseries based on the Last Policeman trilogy.

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Deep Impact is just a half-decent movie for me and because it strives for a more and "realistic" and somber tone, it looks more serious. But it's just as stupid as Armageddon. Only it doesn't have oil diggers strolling around the moon, space dementia and that inescapable song you couldn't stand after the billionth time you heard it back in '98. Bay wins.

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There's a reason why Armageddon did better than Deep Impact.  It's a better movie.

 

It obviously resonated......you know what?  Forget it.  We've been through this 1000X here.  I don't want to get into another Michael Bay slug fest.  

 

I thought this was supposed to be a thread to talk about the box office runs, not how much you hate a movie.  

 

There was an article written in Premiere Magazine in the summer of 98 where they went on to say that Armageddon ended up saving the summer.  It was the only big budgeted tent pole that actually did well.  Yes, it did start out very innocuously with a 36 million dollar opening weekend and then through WOM it just kept going.  A 5.5 multiplier was enough to get it over 200 million and it made 550 WW.  It was a huge success and before that film came out, the summer had a few good hits but was mostly a disappointing summer box office wise.  Godzilla disappointed, Mulan did as well.  Will Smith's Enemy of the State did okay, but not terrific, Lethal Weapon 4 was 140 million in budget and it made less than that at the domestic box office.  And so on.  Armageddon came along and did what it was supposed to do.  I think the romance part of the story appealed to people but it was also very well written (there were uncredited writing additions as well as the listed writers).  JJ Abrams did some touch ups as well and Michael Bay did what he does best.  

 

Armageddon did very well and it might have benefited from being a large scale romance with a disaster looming kind of film, coming out so soon after Titanic was basically wrapping up its run.

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On 2/21/2017 at 0:28 PM, John Marston said:

 

 

well it's more like he said many people probably didn't want to see two similar movies so they skipped one of them. I can see DI also benefiting it it was the only one released that summer. Also I believe Armageddon was actually the top grossing domestically and then SPR got an Oscar season re release which pushed it over it. 

 

I think that's correct, good catch there. Armageddon did make more money during 1998 than did SPR, it didn't surpass ARM until spring of 1999.

 

Then again, if the issue is what movie made the most money DOM during 1998, Titanic blew both of them out of the water. 

Edited by SteveJaros
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I just had a look at each weekend in 1998 from Deep Impact's opening through to Armageddon's run.  It really was a mediocre summer.  Although ostensibly about the same subject I think both movies were able to co-exist in the same summer because they were actually quite different.  

 

Don't forget Armageddon opened on a Wednesday so it's multiplier is more like 4-4.5 whereas Deep Impact had a regular opening and a multiplier of 3.4.

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I actually think some of the earth bound destruction in Deep Impact is a touch better.   But I like Armageddon better overall.   But it's strange when Harry Stamper is saying his good byes I get these little flecks of dust in my eye.

Edited by DAR
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4 hours ago, Jiffy said:

Armageddon's impressive multiplier has always been somewhat inexplicable to me. 

 

I've never understood why some people can't understand that just because a film doesn't appeal to you that it shouldn't appeal to others.  

 

3 hours ago, DAR said:

I actually think some of the earth bound destruction in Deep Impact is a touch better.   But I like Armageddon better overall.   But it's strange when Harry Stamper is saying his good byes I get these little flecks of dust in my eye.

 

"That's not a salesman, that's your daddy."  Turns me to mush every time.

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6 hours ago, baumer said:

There's a reason why Armageddon did better than Deep Impact.  It's a better movie.

 

It obviously resonated......you know what?  Forget it.  We've been through this 1000X here.  I don't want to get into another Michael Bay slug fest.  

 

I thought this was supposed to be a thread to talk about the box office runs, not how much you hate a movie.  

 

There was an article written in Premiere Magazine in the summer of 98 where they went on to say that Armageddon ended up saving the summer.  It was the only big budgeted tent pole that actually did well.  Yes, it did start out very innocuously with a 36 million dollar opening weekend and then through WOM it just kept going.  A 5.5 multiplier was enough to get it over 200 million and it made 550 WW.  It was a huge success and before that film came out, the summer had a few good hits but was mostly a disappointing summer box office wise.  Godzilla disappointed, Mulan did as well.  Will Smith's Enemy of the State did okay, but not terrific, Lethal Weapon 4 was 140 million in budget and it made less than that at the domestic box office.  And so on.  Armageddon came along and did what it was supposed to do.  I think the romance part of the story appealed to people but it was also very well written (there were uncredited writing additions as well as the listed writers).  JJ Abrams did some touch ups as well and Michael Bay did what he does best.  

 

Armageddon did very well and it might have benefited from being a large scale romance with a disaster looming kind of film, coming out so soon after Titanic was basically wrapping up its run.

Oh lord, now THERE is a movie that deserves its own thread. :lol: What a gloriously epic fail.

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Armageddon actually made considerably less at the box office than the 4th of July openers in the two preceding years, and it did so with a significantly higher budget ($140 million vs. Independence Day's $75 million and Men in Black's $90 million), so it's not hard to see where the edge of disappointment in the Box Office Guru write-up comes from. Overall, its run was solid, but not eye-popping.

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