Thor and Captain America defending Manhattan.
At some point during the climactic battle scene in Marvel's "The Avengers," many a viewer became distracted from the drama for a few seconds by the following realization: Wow… Manhattan is getting destroyed.
Just how much damage would an Avenger-style throw-down cost the Big Apple? The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Kinetic Analysis Corp., a leading disaster-cost prediction and assessment firm, and had them draw up an estimate.
By employing computer models used for predicting the destruction of nuclear weapons, the firm assessed the physical damage of the alien invasion as between $60 billion and $70 billion, plus an additional $90 billion for economic and cleanup costs. Thus the total price tag would approach $160 billion.
The most costly fictional destruction was to Grand Central Station, New York's busy train and subway terminal.
"The extensive damage to Grand Central Terminal could prove highly disruptive, depending on the subsurface damage to the subway system," firm representatives noted. "Although such damage is unlikely, as the 9/11 events showed, collapsing buildings can cause significant damage to subsurface infrastructure such as gas, communications and electrical systems. Detailed site surveys will be required to assess the state of the subterranean infrastructure."
For context, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks cost $83 billion, Hurricane Katrina cost $90 billion, and the tsunami in Japan last year cost $122 billion.