The Famous Movie Monuments That Keep Getting Destroyed

When Hollywood makes a film about worldwide disaster, a lot of the same landmarks keep popping up. Maybe its their iconic nature, maybe it's because they look good being blown apart in CGI or miniature. Either way, these six landmarks are more than likely going to be in the next worldwide disaster picture you get to watch.


Fandango compiled this list showing some of what we've come to know as "Iconic Landmarks Destroyed In Movies." While the information isn't a complete record of the total times each site has been used in the movies, it does contains a good sampling of films -- both classic and modern -- to make its point effectively.

Looking at the graphic, we can see some interesting patterns of behavior. For instance, out of the four White House demolitions included in the sampling in front of us, three out of the four were in Roland Emmerich films. Whether Emmerich is that derivative of a filmmaker, or if he's secretly crafting a cinematic treatise against American Exeptionalism in politics, we'll never know. But what we do know is that the man loves to wreck the hell out of famous sites to see, which also granted him the title of the most featured director in Fandango's list.

While The White House might be quite the popular target over the ages, the Chrysler Building seems to have fallen out of favor with the more modern filmmakers of the world. Sure, it had not only one, but two fake asteroids take it out both in Armageddon and Deep Impact, it really hasn't had all that much attention in films like 2012 or even The Day After Tomorrow, which was set square in the midst of New York City. Let that be a lesson to those of you who like to keep using the Statue Of Liberty in your disaster films, as there may come a day that you'll even skip that location in your cinematic orgy of destruction.

Speaking of Lady Liberty, as well as previously mentioned disaster auteur Roland Emmerich, did you know that he left the Statue intact in The Day After Tomorrow, and with specific reason? As it turns out, the man who loves to make stuff go boom wanted to pay tribute to the resilience of America and New York City after 9/11, and as such made the scientifically inaccurate decision to leave that grand gift from France standing in the midst of a gigantic flood that overtakes the entire city. Considering half of the list's landmarks contain at least one entry from Emmerich's filmography, it's an interesting outlier in the man's otherwise "disastrous" career.

Keeping the six sites of Fandango's random sampling in mind, maybe it's about time Hollywood start to destroy locations on a more local level. Why not take out some more corner coffee shops the next time aliens come to town? Why can't Dave And Busters suffer the wrath of a 9.8 earthquake? And in the name of Spielberg, why hasn't Connecticut gotten its own time to shine in a disaster? It's time to spread the disastrous wealth, Hollywood, lest the rest of the world get jealous of our destructive selves.

Maybe San Andreas will be the first film to break Hollywood out of its disastrous cycle of repetitive disaster. Let us know if it does, should you venture to see it this weekend.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.