Today, we see how Michael Bay poked a little fun at his box office competition in Armageddon.
In Meta-Messages, I explore the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a creator comments on/references the work of another creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their work. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.”
It’s funny, there were two blockbuster films about asteroids threatening to destroy the Earth that came out in 1998, with Deep Impact released in May and Armageddon released in July and yet, Armageddon‘s director Michael Bay really didn’t seem to be all that concerned about Deep Impact.
However, he WAS concerned about a DIFFERENT movie that came out a few weeks after Deep Impact in May 1998, and that was Roland Emmerich’s version of Godzilla, the first American film production starring the famous movie monster.
So Bay took a cheeky little shot at his perceived box office rival by having a little dog chew up a toy Godzilla right before New York City is hit by the first of a series of meteors (the guy selling the Godzilla toys is annihilated while the dog somehow survived)…
Cute bit of trolling.
Bay had good reason to be worried about Godzilla, as it actually opened with a considerably larger weekend box office than Armageddon, but word of mouth was terrible for Godzilla and good for Armageddon, so the asteroid disaster/action film ended up as the biggest-grossing new film of the year at the domestic box office, while even Deep Impact finished ahead of Godzilla (worldwide, though, Godzilla jumped up to #3 overall, but Armageddon remained #1). Note that by “new film,” I, of course, am noting that 1997’s Titanic was actually the highest-grossing domestic film of 1998 period, since it came out right at the end of 1997 and didn’t even really hit its stride until January 1998.
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