|The Day After Tomorrow|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roland Emmerich|
|Produced by||Roland Emmerich
|Written by||Roland Emmerich
|Music by||Harald Kloser|
|Editing by||David Brenner|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||124 minutes|
The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American/Canadian science fiction disaster film co-written, directed, and produced by Roland Emmerich. The film depicts catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling and leads to a new ice age. The film was made in Toronto and Montreal and is the highest-grossing Hollywood film to be made in Canada (if adjusted for inflation).
Originally planned for release in the summer of 2003, The Day After Tomorrow premiered in Mexico City on May 17, 2004 and was released worldwide from May 26 to May 28 except in South Korea and Japan, where it was released June 4–5, respectively.
Jack Hall is a paleoclimatologist on an expedition in Antarctica with colleagues Frank and Jason. They are drilling for ice core samples on the Larsen Ice Shelf for the NOAA when the shelf breaks off and Jack almost falls to his death.
Later on, in New Delhi, India, Jack presents his findings on global warming at a United Nations conference, where diplomats and Vice President of the United States Raymond Becker are unconvinced by Jack's findings. However, Professor Terry Rapson of the Hedland Climate Research Centre in Scotland believes in Jack's theories. Several buoys in the North Atlantic simultaneously show a massive drop in the ocean temperature, and Rapson concludes that melting polar ice is disrupting the North Atlantic current. He contacts Jack, whose paleoclimatological weather model shows how climate changes caused the first Ice Age. His team, along with NASA's meteorologist Janet Tokada, builds a forecast model with their combined data. Later on, multiple Tornadoes strike Los Angeles due to the increasing wind surge in Southern California.
Across the world, violent weather causes mass destruction. U.S. President Blake authorizes the FAA to suspend all air traffic due to severe turbulence. At the International Space Station (ISS) three astronauts see a huge storm system spanning the northern hemisphere, delaying their return home. The situation worsens when the latter develops into three massive hurricane-like super storms with eyes holding extremely cold air that instantly freezes anything it comes in contact with.
The weather becomes increasingly violent with intense winds and rains, causing the traffic-jammed Manhattan streets to become flooded knee-deep in a mix of rainwater, saltwater, and sewage. Jack's son Sam, who is in New York City on a school trip, calls his father, promising to be on the next train home, but the subways and Grand Central Terminal are closed by flooding. As the storm worsens a massive storm surge hits Manhattan. Sam and his friends seek shelter in the New York Public Library, but not before his friend Laura gets injured.
President Blake orders the evacuation of the southern states, causing almost all of the refugees to head to Mexico. Jack and his team set out for Manhattan to find his son. Their truck crashes into another vehicle just past Philadelphia, so the group continues on snowshoes. During the journey, Frank falls through the glass roof of a snow-covered shopping mall. As Jason and Jack try to pull him up, the glass under them continues to crack and Frank sacrifices himself by cutting the rope. Meanwhile in Mexico, Vice President Raymond Becker hears from the Secretary of State that President Blake's motorcade was caught in one of the super storms before he could make it to Mexico.
The small group that remains burns books to stay alive and breaks the vending machine for food. Laura appears to have a cold, so Sam comforts her and later confesses his feelings for her. Soon afterward, the group find out that Laura is afflicted with blood poisoning from the cut on her leg being infected by the sewage-tainted water, so Sam and two others search for penicillin in a derelict Russian cargo ship that drifted inland, and are attacked by starving wolves that have escaped from the local zoo. The eye of the super storm begins to pass over the city. The three barely get back to the library.
During the deep freeze, Jack and Jason take shelter in an abandoned Wendy's restaurant, then resume their journey. They discover the library buried in snow, but find Sam's group alive. They radio this in and the President orders UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters flown into New York. President Becker orders search and rescue teams to look for other survivors as he gives his first address to the nation. The movie concludes with the astronauts looking down at Earth from the Space Station, showing most of the northern hemisphere covered in ice and snow, with one of the astronauts calling it "the clearest atmosphere [he's] ever seen."
- Dennis Quaid as Professor Jack Hall
- Jake Gyllenhaal as Sam Hall
- Emmy Rossum as Laura Chapman
- Ian Holm as Professor Terry Rapson
- Sela Ward as Dr. Lucy Hall
- Christopher Britton as Vorsteen
- Arjay Smith as Brian Parks
- Dash Mihok as Jason Evans
- Jay O. Sanders as Frank Harris
- Sasha Roiz as Parker
- Austin Nichols as J.D.
- Adrian Lester as Simon
- Tamlyn Tomita as Janet Tokada
- Glenn Plummer as Luther
- Perry King as President Blake
- Kenneth Welsh as Vice President (later President) Raymond Becker
- Amy Sloan as Elsa
- Sheila McCarthy as Judith
- Nestor Serrano as Gomez
The film was inspired by The Coming Global Superstorm, a book co-authored by Coast to Coast AM talk radio host Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. Strieber also wrote the film's novelization. The book "The Sixth Winter" written by Douglas Orgill and John Gribbin and published in 1979, follows a similar theme. So does the novel Ice!, by Arnold Federbush, published in 1978.
Shortly before and during the release of the film, members of environmental and political advocacy groups distributed pamphlets to moviegoers describing what they believed to be the possible effects of global warming. Although the film depicts some effects of global warming predicted by scientists, such as rising sea levels, more destructive storms, and disruption of ocean currents and weather patterns, it depicts these events happening much more rapidly and severely than is considered scientifically plausible, and the theory that a "superstorm" will create rapid worldwide climate change does not appear in the scientific literature. When the film was playing in theaters, much criticism was directed at U.S. politicians concerning their rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and climate change. The film's scientific adviser was Dr. Michael Molitor, a leading climate change consultant who worked as a negotiator on the Kyoto Protocol.
Over its four-day Memorial Day opening, the film grossed $85,807,341; however, it still ranked #2 for the weekend, behind Shrek 2's $95,578,365 4-day tally, however The Day After Tomorrow led the per-theater average chart with a four-day average of $25,053, compared to Shrek 2's four-day average of $22,633. At the end of its box office run, the film grossed $186,740,799 domestically and $542,771,772 worldwide.
The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally. It is the sixth-highest grossing film not to be #1 in the United States (behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Alvin and the Chipmunks and its sequel, Sherlock Holmes, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), but worldwide, it is third behind only Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Casino Royale.
The Day After Tomorrow generated mixed reviews from both the science and entertainment communities. The online entertainment guide, Rotten Tomatoes, rated the film at 45%, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's general consensus states that it was "A ludicrous popcorn flick filled with clunky dialogues, but spectacular visuals save it from being a total disaster." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, praised the film's special effects, giving the film three stars out of four. Environmental activist and The Guardian columnist George Monbiot called The Day After Tomorrow "a great movie and lousy science."
In a USA Today editorial by Patrick J. Michaels, a Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and global warming skeptic, Michaels called the film "propaganda," noting, "As a scientist, I bristle when lies dressed up as 'science' are used to influence political discourse." In a Space Daily editorial by Joseph Gutheinz, a college instructor and retired NASA Office of Inspector General, Senior Special Agent, Gutheinz called the film "a cheap thrill ride, which many weak-minded people will jump on and stay on for the rest of their lives."
Paleoclimatologist William Hyde of Duke University was asked on Usenet whether he would be seeing the film; he responded that he would not unless someone were to offer him $100. Other readers of the newsgroup took this as a challenge, and (despite Hyde's protests) raised the necessary funds. Hyde's review criticized the film's portrayal of weather phenomena that stopped at national borders, and finished by saying that it was "to climate science as Frankenstein is to heart transplant surgery", as quoted in New Scientist.
In 2008, Yahoo! Movies listed The Day After Tomorrow as one of Top 10 Scientifically Inaccurate Movies. The film was criticized for depicting several different meteorological phenomena occurring over the course of hours, instead of the possible time frame of several decades or centuries.
Awards and nominations
|Saturn Awards||Best Science Fiction Film||Nominated|
|Best Special Effects||Karen E. Goulekas, Neil Corbould, Greg Strause and Remo Balcells||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||Best Visual Effects||Won|
|Best Single Visual Effect||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Action Sequence||"The destruction of Los Angeles"||Won|
|Best Breakthrough Performance||Emmy Rossum||Nominated|
|Irish Film & Television Awards||Best International Actor||Jake Gyllenhaal||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Action Film||Nominated|
|Environmental Media Awards||Best Film||Won|
|BMI Film Awards||Best Music||Harald Kloser||Won|
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing - Effects & Foley||Mark P. Stoeckinger, Larry Kemp, Glenn T. Morgan, Alan Rankin, Michael Kamper, Ann Scibelli, Randy Kelley, Harry Cohen, Bob Beher and Craig S. Jaeger||Nominated|
There was some controversy regarding the casting of Kenneth Welsh as the Vice-President of the United States due to his striking physical resemblance to then Vice-President Dick Cheney. Roland Emmerich later confirmed that he deliberately chose Welsh for that very reason. Emmerich stated that the characters of the President and Vice-President in the film were intended to be a not-so-subtle criticism of the environmental policies of the Presidency of George W. Bush. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the film.
In response to accusations of insensitivity by including scenes of New York City being devastated less than three years after the September 11 attacks, Emmerich claims that it was necessary to depict the event as a means to showcase the increased unity people now have when facing a disaster, because of 9/11.
A number of scientists were critical of the scientific aspects of the film:
- Daniel P. Schrag, a paleoclimatologist and professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, expressed both support and concern about the film, stating that "On the one hand, I'm glad that there's a big-budget movie about something as critical as climate change. On the other, I'm concerned that people will see these over-the-top effects and think the whole thing is a joke... We are indeed experimenting with the Earth in a way that hasn't been done for millions of years. But you're not going to see another ice age – at least not like that."
- Marshall Shepherd, a research meteorologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center expressed similar sentiments, stating that "I'm heartened that there's a movie addressing real climate issues. But as for the science of the movie, I'd give it a D minus or an F. And I'd be concerned if the movie was made to advance a political agenda."
- Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at the University of Victoria said, "It's The Towering Inferno of climate science movies, but I'm not losing any sleep over a new ice age, because it's impossible."
The Day After Tomorrow was first released on DVD in North America on October 12, 2004, in both widescreen and full screen versions. It also had a limited VHS release with a full screen format. A 2-disc "collector's edition" containing production featurettes, two documentaries (a "behind-the-scenes" and another called "The Forces of Destiny"), storyboards and concept sketches was released on May 24, 2005.
The film was released in high-definition video on Blu-ray Disc in North America on October 2, 2007, and in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2008, in full 1080p with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio track but with few bonus features.
The film made $110 million in DVD sales, bringing its total film gross to $652,771,772.
- Historical events
- 1993 Storm of the Century, a large cyclonic storm that occurred on March 12–13, 1993, on the East Coast of North America
- Books and literature
- The Coming Global Superstorm, a book on which the movie is based
- Fifty Degrees Below, a Kim Stanley Robinson novel in which greenhouse warming similarly disrupts the Gulf Stream; the rate of cooling is somewhat less exaggerated
- Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, a non-fiction book
- Time of the Great Freeze, a novel by Robert Silverberg about a second Ice Age
- The World in Winter, a 1962 book by John Christopher about the beginning of a new ice age
- Ice, a 1998 film with a similar premise starring Grant Show, Udo Kier, and Eva La Rue
- "The Midnight Sun," an episode of The Twilight Zone in which Earth is rapidly heating
- Superstorm, a 2007 BBC miniseries
- "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", an episode of South Park that parodies the film
- The Day After Tomorrow (2004). Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "The Day After Tomorrow". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Monbiot, George. (May 14, 2004). "A hard rain's a-gonna fall". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Patrick J. Michaels. "'Day After Tomorrow': A lot of hot air". USAToday.com. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Richard Gutheinz Jr., Joseph (May 27, 2004). "There Will Be A Day After Tomorrow". SpaceDaily.com. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "The Day After Tomorrow". Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- "Top 10 Scientifically Inaccurate Movies". Yahoo! Movies (July 23, 2008). Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "Disaster Flick Exaggerates Speed of Ice Age". ScienceDaily.com (May 13, 2004). Retrieved April 16, 2011
- Bowles, Scott (May 26, 2004). "'The Day After Tomorrow' heats up a political debate". USAToday.com. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
- Gilchrist, Todd (May, 2004). "The Day After Tomorrow: An Interview with Roland Emmerich". BlackFilm.com. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
- Robert Epstein, Daniel. "Roland Emmerich of The Day After Tomorrow (20th Century Fox) Interview". UGO.com. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
- Chau, Thomas (May 27, 2004). "INTERVIEW: Director Roland Emmerich on "The Day After Tomorrow"". Cinema Confidential. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
- "Lee's Movie Info - DVD Sales Chart - 2004 Full Year". Lee'sMovieInfo.net. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "Ice (1998)". IMDb. Amazon.com. Retrieved July 11, 2012.