Whether out of convenience or laziness or a deeply-felt animosity for their hometown, filmmakers love fake-destroying Los Angeles.
It just looks so right with flames leaping up every 20 blocks or so. Deadspin's The Concourse blog has done the very important statistical work on Hollywood’s on-screen destruction of American cities and found Los Angeles has been totaled only slightly less than New York (and that's counting “Gotham” and not counting outlying areas of Southern California).
Starting with the spooky aliens of War of the Worlds in 1953, Los Angeles has been assaulted by giants, mutant ants, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanos, ice, global warming, dirty bombs, errant superheroes, zombies, ancient Mayan prophesies, meteors, and, finally, sharknados.
Below is every filmic destruction by type of attack. Enjoy.
War of the Colossal Beast, 1958
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, 1958 (Tarzana)
Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, 2010
Tidal Wave: No Escape, 1997
The Day After Tomorrow, 2004
The Great Los Angeles Earthquake, 1990
10.5: Apocalypse, 2006
This is the End, 2013
San Andreas, 2015
Night of the Comet, 1984
Gangs of the Dead, 2006
Silent Night, Zombie Night, 2009
Panic in Year Zero!, 1962
Miracle Mile, 1988
Right at Your Door, 2006
War of the Worlds, 1953
Independence Day, 1996
Battle: Los Angeles, 2011
The Apocalypse, 2007
Meteor Apocalypse, 2009
- Map: How Hollywood Has Destroyed America [The Concourse]
- Destroying LA [Curbed LA]