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Hollywood thrives on apocalyptic themes.

You walk into a movie theater, away from reality, craving an escape from the drudgery of traffic jams, work, bills, and other elements that make one thankful movies exist. It's America's great escape, the one and a half hour adventure, mystery, drama, or comedy that gets one through those times of questioning and frustration.

So why as of late has Hollywood been consumed with movies focusing on apocalyptic themes?

It's simple: dollars, kid, dollars.

The figures speak for themselves; loud and obnoxiously, here are a few films that have revealed to us the  crumbling of our beloved planet.

2012: Directed by Roland Emmerich (a filmmaker whose sole focus seems to be world destruction) creates yet again a formulaic account of the end of earth as we know it. Starring John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, and Thandie Newton, the characters are dull, and merely carry the lazily written material toward the next eye-popping view of visual effects.

Since its release date on November 13, 2009, 2012 has grossed a jaw-dropping domestic total of: $164,105,051; foreign ticket sales, $595,563,289 have pushed the film over its budget of 200 million.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=2012.htm

With numbers like this it's hard to entice Hollywood execs to curb destruction, and focus on inspiration. Although there were a few wonderful exceptions in films like Blindside which grosssed a staggering $221,209,265.

Nevertheless we are still intrigued by the fantastical thought of the end of the world.

One film in particular, the harrowing and slightly misguided, The Road, ($7,493,250) adapted from the highly acclaimed novel by Cormac McCarthy, drew lesser numbers due to a limited release. It's not clear what the budget terms were, but one factor may have been The Road was simply too cerebral for fantasy film fans craving more of a thrill. It was indeed a smart move on the part of  Weinstein/Dimension to release this film to a few markets, considering the remarkable success of Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds.

On tap now is the highly anticipated Book of Eli. Starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman; Eli, a post apocalyptic look at one man's journey across America as he fights to protect the book that holds the secrets to saving humankind, appears to have the makings of a well-balanced film. Directed by the Hughes Brothers, whose best work was undoubtedly the 1993 film Menace to Society, may take what has become an overused theme in Hollywood. We can only hope. thebookofeli.warnerbros.com/

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