Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster thriller film, directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film follows a group of blue-collar deep-core drillers sent by NASA to stop a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It features an ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Owen Wilson, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, William Fichtner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Keith David and Steve Buscemi. Armageddon opened in theaters only two-and-a-half months after a similar impact-based movie, Deep Impact, which starred Robert Duvall and Morgan Freeman. Armageddon fared better at the box office, while astronomers described Deep Impact as being more scientifically accurate. Both films were equally received by film critics. Armageddon was an international box-office success, despite generally mixed reviews from critics. It became the highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide, surpassing the Steven Spielberg war epic Saving Private Ryan.