2012 is a disaster film, directed by Roland Emmerich and released in 2009. The film stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton and Woody Harrelson. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures. Filming began in August 2008 in Vancouver.
The film briefly references Mayanism, the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and the 2012 phenomenon in its portrayal of cataclysmic events unfolding in the year 2012. Because of solar flare bombardment the Earth’s core begins heating up at an unprecedented rate, eventually causing crustal displacement. This results in an onslaught of Doomsday event scenarios plunging the world into chaos. Ranging from Los Angeles falling into the Pacific Ocean,
the eruption of the Yellowstone National Park caldera, cataclysmic earthquakes wreaking havoc around the globe, and Megatsunamis surging across the Earth. The film centers around an ensemble cast of characters as they narrowly escape multiple catastrophes in an effort to reach ships in the Himalayas, along with scientists and governments of the world who are attempting to save as many lives as they can before the disasters ensue.
The film was promoted in a marketing campaign by a fictional organization, the “Institute for Human Continuity”; this entailed a fictitious book written by Jackson Curtis entitled Farewell Atlantis, and streaming media, blog updates and radio broadcasts from the apocalyptic zealot Charlie Frost at his website entitled This Is The End. This campaign was subjected to numerous criticisms, and was regarded as a form of viral marketing.
The film received mixed to negative reviews but topped the international box office in its first weekend with $225 million. It ultimately grossed $759 million world-wide becoming Roland Emmerich’s 2nd highest grossing film behind Independence Day.