A joint collective effort to commit to the film's production was made by the film studios of 20th Century Fox, Moritz Original and Shuler Donner/Donner Productions. It was commercially distributed by 20th Century Fox. Volcano explores civil viewpoints, such as awareness, evacuation and crisis prevention. Although the film used extensive special effects, it failed to receive any award nominations from mainstream motion picture organizations for its production merits.
Volcano premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on April 25, 1997 grossing $49,323,468 in domestic ticket receipts. It earned an additional $73,500,000 in business through international release to top out at a combined $122,823,468 in gross revenue. Taking into account its $90,000,000 budget, the film was technically considered a moderate financial success after its theatrical run. It was however, met with mixed critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas. The Region 1 Code widescreen edition of the film featuring special features was released on DVD in the United States on March 9, 1999.