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2013 to Present


While the film was still in post-production, 20th Century Fox began a massive marketing campaign to help promote the film, beginning with the airing of a dramatic commercial during Super Bowl XXX, for which Fox paid $1.3 million.

The film's subsequent success at the box office resulted in the trend of using Super Bowl air time to kick off the advertising campaign for potential blockbusters.

Fox's Licensing and Merchandising division also entered into co-promotional deals with Apple Inc.

The co-marketing project was dubbed "The Power to Save the World" campaign, in which the company used footage of David using his PowerBook laptop in their print and television advertisements.

Trendmasters entered a merchandising deal with the film's producers to create a line of tie-in toys. In exchange for product placement, Fox also entered into co-promotional deals with Molson Coors Brewing Company and Coca-Cola.

The film was marketed with several taglines, including: "We've always believed we weren't alone. On July 4, we'll wish we were", "Earth. Take a good look. It could be your last", and "Don't make plans for August".

The weekend before the film's release, the Fox Network aired a half-hour special on the film, the first third of which was a spoof news report on the events that happen in the film.

Roger Ebert attributed most of the film's early success to its teaser trailers and marketing campaigns, acknowledging them as "truly brilliant".

The film had its official premiere held at Los Angeles' now-defunct Mann Plaza Theater on June 25, 1996.

It was then screened privately at the White House for President Bill Clinton and his family before receiving a nationwide release in the United States on July 2, 1996, a day earlier than its previously scheduled opening.

After a six-week, $30 million marketing campaign, Independence Day was released on VHS on November 22, 1996.

It became available on DVD on June 27, 2000, and has been re-released on DVD under several different versions with varying supplemental material ever since, including one instance where it was packaged with a lenticular cover.

Often accessible on these versions is a special edition of the film, which features eight minutes of additional footage not seen in the original theatrical release.

Independence Day became available on Blu-ray discs in the United Kingdom on December 24, 2007, and in North America on March 11, 2008. The Blu-ray edition does not include the deleted scenes.

Box Office

Independence Day was the highest-grossing film of 1996. In the United States, Independence Day earned $104.3 million in its first full week, including $96.1 million during its five-day holiday opening, and $50.2 million during its opening weekend.

All three figures broke records set by Jurassic Park three years earlier. That film's sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, claimed all three records when it was released the following year.

Independence Day stayed in the number-one spot for three weeks, and grossed $306,169,268 in the domestic market and $510,800,000 in foreign markets during its theatrical run.

The combined total of $816,969,268 once trailed only the worldwide earnings of Jurassic Park as the highest of all-time.

It has been surpassed by multiple 21st century films since, and currently holds the 42nd highest worldwide gross of all-time for a film.

Hoping to capitalize in the wake of the film's success, several studios released more large-scale disaster films, and the already rising interest in science fiction-related media was further increased by the film's popularity.

A month after the film's release, jewelry designers and marketing consultants reported an increased interest in dolphin-themed jewelry, since the character of Jasmine in the film wears dolphin earrings and is presented with a wedding ring featuring a gold dolphin.

Critical Reaction

Independence Day is ranked as "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with a 60% positive approval rating (34 out of 57 critics gave positive reviews).

It has a score of 59 out of 100 (based on 18 reviews) on Metacritic, which indicates the high end of "mixed or average reviews".

Critics acknowledged the film had "cardboard" and "stereotypical" characters, and weak dialogue.

Yet the shot of the White House's destruction has been declared a milestone in visual effects and one of the most memorable scenes of the 1990s.

In a 2010 poll, the readers of Entertainment Weekly rated it the second-greatest summer film of the previous 20 years, ranking only behind Jurassic Park.

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film his highest rating, declaring it the "apotheosis" of Star Wars.

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+ for living up to its massive hype, adding "charm is the foremost of this epic's contemporary characteristics. The script is witty, knowing, cool."

Eight years later, Entertainment Weekly would rate the film as one of the best disaster films of all-time.

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times felt that the film did an "excellent job conveying the boggling immensity of the extraterrestrial vehicles ... and panic in the streets" and the scenes of the alien attack were "disturbing, unsettling and completely convincing".

However, the film's nationalistic overtones were widely criticized by reviewers outside the U.S.

Movie Review UK described the film as "A mish-mash of elements from a wide variety of alien invasion movies and gung-ho American jingoism."

The speech in which Whitmore states that victory in the coming war would see the entire world henceforth describe July 4 as its Independence Day, was described as "the most jaw-droppingly pompous soliloquy ever delivered in a mainstream Hollywood movie" in a BBC review.

In 2003, readers of the United Kingdom's most popular film magazine, Empire, voted the scene that contained the speech as the "Cheesiest Movie Moment of All-Time".

Conversely, Empire critic Kim Newman gave the film a five-star rating in the magazine's original review of the film.

Several prominent critics expressed disappointment with the quality of the film's special effects.

Newsweek's David Ansen claimed the special effects were of no better caliber than those seen nineteen years earlier in Star Wars.

Todd McCarthy of Variety felt the production's budget-conscious approach resulted in "cheesy" shots that lacked in quality relative to the effects present in films directed by James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.

In his review, Roger Ebert took note of a lack of imagination in the spaceship and creature designs. Gene Siskel expressed the same sentiments in their on-air review of the film.


Detailed Plot and Screenshots

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It then uses its telepathic powers to immobilize the President and fling him to the ground. The military personnel with the President then shoot the alien through the glass, with Major Mitchell stepping through the broken glass and delivering a final head shot.

During the instant that President Whitmore was immobilized, he said he was sharing the thoughts of the alien. He learned that the aliens have done this before.

They attack planets, use up the resources, kill the life forms, then move on. President Whitmore now issues very clear orders to "nuke the bastards." B-2 Spirit bombers are deployed, with the first destroyer targeted one that is hovering over a deserted Houston, TX.

That weapon explodes, but proves ineffective at penetrating the craft's force field and destroys the city instead; as a result, the President orders the remaining bombers called back.

President Whitmore and his daughter are reunited with the First Lady, Marilyn Whitmore at Area 51. Mrs. Whitmore had been on a working trip to Los Angeles and got caught up in the destroyer attack there. Captain Hiller's exotic dancer girlfriend, Jasmine, rescues the First Lady when she comes across the wreckage of the helicopter the First Lady had been attempting to escape in.

Captain Hiller later locates Jasmin, her son Dillon, and the First Lady camped out in the remains of El Toro MCAS and flew them in a helicopter to Area 51.

A doctor tells the President that his wife has uncontrollable internal bleeding. When the President goes in to see her, he says, "The doctors say you're gonna be just fine." She smiles and responds softly, "Liar." She dies not long after that.

On July 4, President Whitmores nerves are understandably frayed, so when Secretary of Defense Nimzicki again barks at him about his decisions and actions, President Whitmore physically pushes him and fires him on the spot.

David Levinson suggests a plan that involves using the newly operable attacker to gain access to the interior of the alien mothership in space in order to introduce a computer virus that will disable the protective shields around the destroyers and attackers.

Once the computer virus took effect, nuclear weapons would be used to destroy the mothership. Hiller volunteers to be pilot the attacker, with Levinson accompanying him to upload the virus.

With satellite communications knocked out, the Americans have used Morse code to coordinate an attack with the remaining forces around the world, timed to occur when the invaders' shields are set to fail.

With not enough military pilots to man all available aircraft, the battle requires several volunteers, including President Whitmore and Russell, who both have previous combat flight experience.

Hiller and Levinson successfully reach the mothership and implant the virus. President Whitmore leads the American jet fighters against the alien destroyer that is approaching Area 51.

Although the aliens now lack shields, the fighters' supply of missiles are quickly exhausted against the colossal craft and its large complement of assault ships.

The underside of the alien craft opens up as its directed energy weapon prepares to fire on the base. Russell possesses the last remaining missile, but his firing mechanism jams; he decides to pilot his aircraft into the alien weapon in a kamikaze attack.

The explosion causes a chain reaction which annihilates the ship. Human resistance forces around the world use the same weak point to destroy the remainder of the alien ships, while the nuclear device planted by Hiller and Levinson destroys the alien mothership soon after the duo escape.

Hiller and Levinson are caught up in the aftereffects of the mothership's explosion, but are able to return to earth unharmed, crash-landing the alien fighter in the desert close to Area 51.

Dry Lake Dessert, minutes later: Several army jeeps race across the arid desert floor. As they whip past we see they are headed towards a gigantic black plume of smoke in the distance. The Jeeps skids to a halt. Jasmine and Constance are the first to leap off the Jeeps.

Steve and David walk towards us, cigars in their mouths. Jasmine races over to him. Constance comes running up to David, hugs him tightly. Behind them Dylan, Patricia, the President and General Grey come walking over. The President and General Grey approach. As they begin to celebrate, they look up to the sky.

Brilliant lights in the skies. The debris from the Mother Ship explosion enters the atmosphere like thousands of shooting stars. It's an incredible sight. The group stares happily at the show in the sky. Steve takes Dylan by the hand. Everyone stares in wonder at the beautiful lights.


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