TaoPath - It feels like there is a certain contingency of the population that enjoys making money/manipulating people on their most primal emotions. In this case, it can be fear of the unknown or something more powerful than humans.
I've seen the same types of movies about 2012, end of the world by natural disaster, meteor, nuclear holocaust, being taken over by machines, you name it. And people are attracted to the level of consciousness that they are expressing at. For example, many times I've seen a movie that I really liked, that had something profound to say, only to see that the critics trashed it. But then a very gritty, gnarly, "in the streets" movie comes out that shows people struggling and barely making it, and the critics love it. It seems the worse someone is struggling, the critics love it. Perhaps that's how they feel about their lives - they want someone to feel pain because they feel so much pain. This happens all around us with our friends/loved ones/co-workers.
And the way I see it, if there is an upside to that, is that it lets people feel some fear that might otherwise stay below the surface, like talking in group therapy about one person's issues that creates a trigger for us. Otherwise, movies like that tend to be more about making money and less about reality.