Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rival Movies

Over the years I have noticed a trend of two different movie studios releasing very similar movies that come out within months of each other. It makes me wonder if rival studio heads come together and say "lets see who can make a better movie starring someone who once played James Bond, but in this movie they will play an eccentric art thief who has a romantic interest with the younger woman who is assigned to investigate him". Then in 1999 both Entrapment and The Thomas Crown Affair come out at the same time.

Was it just a coincidence that 1492 and Christopher Columbus both came out in same year? The different movie makers must spy on each other and try to outdo the other. That is why you just happen to have two movies about the fight at the OK Coral released at the same time. Both Tombstone and Wyatt Earp came out in 1993. Maybe they say "I heard another Studio is planning a movie about a volcano. We are going to miss out on the volcano craze if we don't compete". In 1997 Dante's Peak and Volcano are both in theaters at the same time.

Perhaps the rivalry is as simple as getting a short e-mail challenge that says: Lame Mars science Fiction movie due in 7 months! Then in 2000 both Mission to Mars and Red Planet are released. I saw Without Limits in 1998 which is a movie based on the life of long distance runner Steve Prefontaine. When I returned the video I noticed a movie called Prefontaine which was basically the same story that another studio had released the prior year.

What are the odds of having more than one action packed drama released at the same time about a meteor headed towards earth that will wipe out the entire planet? Deep Impact and Armageddon were both in theaters in 1998. How about a gritty epic World War 2 movie with all star casts? Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line also came out in 1998. For the longest time I honestly thought that Antz and A Bug's Life were the same movie. Apparently they are separate animated ant cartoons that both came out in the same year.

In 2006 did you see a suspense/mystery/drama about Magicians in the early 1900's in Europe? I have actually heard cases of people going to the theater and seeing the wrong movie because their friends weren't specific enough about which Magician/period movie they were recommending. The Prestige and The Illusionist were both good movies and even better examples to illustrate this topic.

The saddest form of copying is when a big movie is coming out and another studio throws together a cheap piece of junk movie that goes straight to video with essentially the same name and storyline with hopes that the uninformed or very elderly will not notice the difference at the video store.

If you can think of any other movies let me know by listing them in the comments section. Ideally they should be released within a year of each other. Also sequels obviously wouldn't count. I know there are many more out there, so let me know the next time you see another example of this.

9 comments:

Chaka said...

I just saw Echelon Conspiracy and it sucked. It was pretty much the same concept behind Eagle Eye. Rogue government computer taking over and framing a young kid. They both came out within a year of each other.

Chaka said...

Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet

Tom said...

The Expendables, A-Team, Killers, and Red all had similar plots and were all released in 2010.

Tom said...

The Book of Eli and the Road are both about post apocalyptic America and people who have to travel across the country and avoid gangs of dangerous people along the way. They both came out within months of each other.

Tom said...

Season of the Witch and Black Death appear to be the identical movie. The only difference is Sean Bean has the lead in one and Nicholas Cage in the other. They even have the same hair style. I'm glad to see so many people besides myself participating in the comments!

Tom said...

Battle Los Angeles and Skyline both came out around the same time and involve L.A. being invaded by aliens

Tom said...

No Strings Attached appears to be the same plot as Friends with Benefits but with different actors. Both released within 6 months of each other.

Tom said...

Thor came out a couple months ago. I saw Netflix has a movie called Thor Almighty which was also released this year. It is a low budget sad attempt to cash in on the success of the first one.

Tom said...

Observe and Report and Paul Blart- Mall Cop Both came out in 2009.

 
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