26 Years Ago, This $553M Sci-Fi Hit Filmed in 16 Weeks Topped the Charts

26 Years Ago, This $553M Sci-Fi Hit Filmed in 16 Weeks Topped the Charts
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Not Michael Bay’s proudest moment.

Although many people consider the reviews and opinions of critics when looking for a new movie to watch, some still take what they read with a grain of salt. Despite being more knowledgeable and experienced as viewers, movie critics tend to have their own biases, just like other people.

And sometimes, as evidenced by the box office numbers or the wildly varying audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, critics can just get it wrong.

Directed by Michael Baty and starring Bruce Willis, the science fiction disaster movie Armageddon, which managed to top the charts in the year of its release, may be one of the greatest examples of this. Besides, its production has a rather fascinating detail to consider.

The Highest-Grossing Movie of 1998

1998's Armageddon is one of the most controversial sci-fi movies of the 90's, as it has a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and didn't receive many positive reviews when it was released. And while the premise of a team trying to stop an asteroid from colliding with Earth didn't impress critics, it was the post-production that left audiences most unhappy.

In the team's defense, the story behind the production didn't leave them much time to polish the final result. Director Michael Bay recalled the nuances in an interview with the Miami Herald:

“We had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. <...> But the movie did fine,” he said.

To be clear, the movie did much better than just ‘fine’, especially in terms of its commercial success. While it remains controversial critically to this day, Armageddon managed to earn a little over $553 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing film of 1998 worldwide. All this against a budget of $140 million is nothing but a sign of triumph.

26 Years Ago, This $553M Sci-Fi Hit Filmed in 16 Weeks Topped the Charts - image 1

If you manage to look past the somewhat chaotic editing, Armageddon still holds up pretty well. Besides, it brings back the nostalgic feeling of a good old Bruce Willis-led action movie that we all grew up with, so that's an immediate bonus as well.

To go back in time and embark on a journey to save Earth from the massive asteroid, you can rent or buy Armageddon on Prime Video, Vudu, or Apple TV.

Source: Miami Herald