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These are the American cities Hollywood loves to destroy

Preparing for the zombie apocalypse is passé. So why not start making major life decisions based on a different set of arbitrary fictional criteria? Deadspin’s The Concourse has even created a map that will help you get started.


The map is a visual representation of more than 189 films in which an American city is destroyed by an apocalyptic event. To be considered, a film had to have a scene where a city is actually threatened with disaster—no post-apocalyptic dystopias allowed. Films about a small group of people under attack were also disqualified. The remaining movies  were divided into several loose categories: monster attacks, creature attacks, climatic events, geologic events, infections (i.e. zombies and plagues), mankind (i.e. nuclear war and terrorism), alien attacks, and superhero battles, with “Sharknado” as the punchline.

The results heavily favor big coastal cities— New York City predictably tops the list with 35 onscreen disasters, just edging out Los Angeles’ 34. But pretty much every state in the Union is represented, with a few exceptions: for example, West Virginia, a state that recently experienced a real life natural disaster, didn’t make the list.

The list is far from exhaustive (the “infection” section seems particularly incomplete), but it does make one thing clear. If you want to make sure you’re safe from any sort of fabricated danger, move to the upper Midwest. North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Kansas have all been spared from onscreen mayhem…so far. Your move, Hollywood.

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