Day After Tomorrow Today

Director Roland Emmerich, who destroyed major metropolises by way of alien invaders in Independence Day, is back to wreak more havoc with some help from mother nature and a lot of digital effects. Twentieth Century Fox hopes to put reigning box office champ, Shrek, on ice with today’s release of The Day After Tomorrow.

The Day After Tomorrow promises to be the ultimate disaster flick. Dennis Quaid stars as a climatologist who races against the clock to find a way to save the world from abrupt global warming and the looming threat of a new ice age. Meanwhile, his son, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, struggles to survive New York City as massive tidal waves bash the East Coast. Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum and Sela Ward also star.

Charged with throwing Mother Earth into climatic chaos are the movie magic teams at Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain, Hydraulx, Ring of Fire Studios, Zoic Studios and The Orphanage under visual effects supervisor Karen E. Goulekas (Godzilla, Eight Legged Freaks). Read the June issue of Animation Magazine to learn how they pulled off the extreme weather sequences.

Pundits are predicting a big opening for Day, though it has a tough act to follow in DreamWorks’ Shrek, which opened last week to $129 million. Shrek is still occupying about 1,000 more screens than the latest challenger, ensuring a healthy second week.

Also opening in wide release today are Buena Vista’s family comedy Raising Helen and MGM’s urban laffer Soul Plane. Hitting New York and Los Angeles are Mario Van Peeple’s Baadasssss! and the Mandy Moore teen comedy Saved!.