Watching the Independence Day fake news broadcasts will get you excited to watch the movie all over again. The faux news broadcast aired on live television ahead of the movie’s release in a move that would make Orson Welles proud. But, the seeds were planted well before the news special came together. The studio started with a crazy expensive Super Bowl ad in 1996, and then paired with Apple to further promote, using star Jeff Goldblum in their commercials.
While the Super Bowl ad and Apple commercials did a lot to raise awareness for Independence Day, it was the 30-minute special that sealed the deal. The first ten minutes of the special, which aired on Fox the weekend before the movie hit theaters, is a complete fake news broadcast about aliens taking over the world and destroying the White House. In the days before the internet was in every household, this was an innovative way to promote an upcoming summer blockbuster that took influence from Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds.
In some markets, Independence Day opened on July 2nd, which is when the story starts. The reasoning behind this was also because the demand for the movie was so high, thanks in part to the stellar job the studio did promoting it. When the dust finally settled, it earned over $817 million globally, becoming the highest grossing movie of 1996, beating out Twister and Mission: Impossible. It was the second highest grossing movie of all time until the following year when The Lost World took that honor.
Independence Day took influences from all over the place and ended up setting the standard for blockbusters, which Marvel Studios still uses to this day. Everything from the top notch special effects, diverse casting, and marketing campaign are the industry standard at the moment. Plus, watching the world get destroyed and then saved was like a thrilling amusement park ride at the time. People still watch the movie during every 4th of July holiday. Even President Donald Trump is a fan of the movie, as he proved when retweeting a video of his face pasted over Bill Pullman’s in the famous presidential speech.
Watching the Independence Day news broadcast should bring a lot of people back to where they were when the movie was about to hit theaters. And for people who weren’t around at the time, it will be an interesting look at entertainment history, while going on to show that a lot of people were influenced by the size and scope of the project. All of the cross-marketing used to promote Independence Day is still used and has yet to be as trailblazing as this was. You can check out the fake news broadcast, followed by cast and crew interviews, above, thanks to the Mitch198272 YouTube channel.