Targets in disaster movies

If a Sufficiently Large Catastrophic Event (SkyNet becoming self-aware, alien invasion, tsunami, hurricane, flash fire, thermonuclear strike, etc. ) is shown to affect California, you just knoooOOooow we’re going to see the destruction of the Hollywood sign, the L.A. freeways, havok in San Francisco, etc.

If they do the usual montage shots of places around the U.S., you’ll see various Washington monuments and edifices bite the dust, along with Mt. Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty.

All movies seem to hate the Space Needle.

Boulder Dam.

What’s left?

Well, outside the US, you tend to have the Effiel Tower & the Pyramids hit.

Not to mention Big Ben or the Tower Bridge and a suitably colourful section of Tokyo (neon lights are a must).

And it’s not just San Francisco - it has to be the Golden Gate Bridge. The street in front of the Flat Iron building in New York must also be destroyed.

Well, natch. They want a visual indicator of the disaster hitting some well known feature. That creates both a visual locator (tells you where it is) and an emotional reaction (“Oh, gosh, that’s the White House!”) You wouldn’t get the same reaction (and there might be geographic confusion) if it they just showed random buildings – like, if they’re trying to show a global effect, and they show a street scene in Milan, how would you KNOW it was Italy? So, instead, they’ll show the tower of Pisa.

Would you prefer that when they film the destruction of Paris, they show a street scene from downtown LA? That’s been done, too, by filmmakers who figure people won’t notice and are saving on budget.

Speaking of which, have the Opera House or Sydney Harbour bridge ever been high-budgetly destroyed?

Well, in Independence Day, when the big ships were brought down, one narrowly missed the Sydney Opera House. It was shown in the foreground. And in Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome, you see the Opera House in ruins, as it is flown over near the end of the picture.

The top of the Chrysler Building seems to be easily removed in most disaster movies as well.

The Taj Mahal in India and possibly the Kremlin.

I would think that the Great Wall of China is recognizable to everyone, and significant for having protected the countries western border for centuries … until now. (cue music)

erf … “country’s”

Targets in disaster movies? You know I can’t think of ever having seen a single Target get destroyed in a disaster movie. Or even a Walmart. :smiley:

Although with product placement these days …

I’d think the most obvious choice is the one no one wants to talk about. :frowning:

That’s not an option any more, so I’ll add the Empire State Building.

It seems to me that when I produce my disaster movie (Night of Fifty-Foot Kittens) I would film many disaster shots for each market.

A Tabby trashes the Sydney Opera House for Australia. A Siamese slices the airport in Hong Kong. A Persian Blue blows up Government House in India. You get the idea.

Would make for good television ads in each market.

NYC is the place to destroy.

If you can destroy it here, you can destroy it anywhere.

[Sinatra]New York, Ne-ew YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORK!!![/Sinatra]

In every disaster movie I’ve ever seen that had any section set in Britain, Big Ben, London Bridge, and the Tower Of London generally eat it. Usually in that order.

Has Buckingham Palace ever been wiped out in a disaster movie?

What about the Gateway Arch in St. Louis? I’m not sure if it’s ever been a Summer Blockbuster Target, but it seems like it ought to. And while we’re at it, how about destroying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, anyone? Cleveland never gets enough attention.

I don’t think I’ve seen the Sears Tower or the World Trade Center get targetted in a movie. Neither were touched (on screen) in Independence Day, were they?

King Kong used it as his base of operations in the 70’s remake, but he left it relatively unscathed (excepting for stray bullet holes and a big ape-shaped dent in the street in front of it)

The big Castle from the Magic Kingdom? Or the Epcot Ball? (although Disney would likely object, trademarks and all that)

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Vegas strip get totalled either.