Dante's Peak - February 7, 1997
Volcano - April 25, 1997
Movies about natural disasters are always popular territory for filmmakers, so it was no surprise when two different studios developed big-budget movies about volcanoes. Dante's Peak, starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton, tells the story of a volcano going off in a small Washington mountain town. Volcano, starring Anne Heche and Tommy Lee Jones, focuses on an underground volcano erupting in Los Angeles following an earthquake.
While both movies were passable entertainment, Dante's Peak did better business at the box office, earning $178 million against a $116 million budget. Volcano cost less ($90 million) but also had a lower gross ($122 million). Critically speaking, Dante's Peak was a flop, earning a 29% fresh rating while Volcano was marginally better, earning a 44% rating.
As much fun as it is to watch Tommy Lee Jones doing his grumpy man-in-charge routine, Dante's Peak takes the edge for being a bigger box office hit and for being a fun (albeit mindless) popcorn flick.
Winner = Dante's Peak.