Friday, May 25, 2012

Movie Deja Vu

Source: IMDb & Box Office Mojo

While so many movies are pumped out to the masses we're bound to see some deju vu. Hollywood has never been a stranger to piggybacking off a "successful" formula either. It's blatantly obvious they are running out of ideas, much less good ideas. Some would question: "Why are they doing "said" movie when it's already been done?" Take for example, Snow White. Do we really need another Snow White movie, let alone two in the same year? When this occurs it usually comes down to two things: Which one will fare better at the box office, and which one will be the fan favorite? (In most cases, these two questions are one in the same)

More times than not, the second movie tends to make more money. However, in the event that it doesn't, it's (usually) dubbed the fan favorite anyway, making the second film (usually) the better one regardless of profit. Take a look at a list of deja vu movies below and see for yourself. Remember, these films only consist of same-year-release-date, with extremely (operative word being extremely) similar plots lines.

(Note: I based this off domestic gross only, as some movies do not have the international gross listed)

Top Gun vs. Iron Eagle
Plot: Young hotshots with incredible, innate fighter pilot skills. Top Gun is the obvious winner here, while Iron Eagle... well... does anyone even remember this movie?
Iron Eagle
Release Date: January 17, 1986
*Top Gun*
Release Date: May 16, 1986
Gross: $176,786,701

K-9 vs. Turner & Hooch
Plot: A police officer teams up with dog. Turner & Hooch grossed a bit more at the box office, but K-9 got two direct-to-video sequels, while Turner & Hooch only managed a failed TV pilot. Neither film were particularly well reviewed.
Release Date: April 28, 1989
Gross: $43,247,647
*Turner & Hooch*
Release Date: July 28, 1989
Gross: $71,079,915

Leviathan vs. The Abyss
Plot: A group of people on an underwater mission encounter dangerous, unidentified creatures that put their lives in serious peril, changing their mission to survive! Not only is The Abyss a great movie, but it helped launch James Cameron's career, while no one has even heard of Leviathan.
Release Date: March 17, 1989
Gross: $15,704,614
*The Abyss*
Release Date: August 11, 1989
Gross: $54,222,310

Terminal Velocity vs. Drop Zone
Plot: Special Forces skydivers. Drop Zone was supposed to be released first, but re-shoots ended up delaying it until after Terminal Velocity was released. Intentional? hmmm...
Terminal Velocity
Release Date: September 23, 1994
Gross: $16,487,349
*Drop Zone*
Release Date: December 9, 1994
Gross: $28,735,315

Gordy vs. Babe
Plot: Live action movies that involve talking pigs. I'm sure Gordy was seen by one or two people, while Babe was seen by all. It's considered one of the greatest family films ever made (and certainly the best-ever with talking animals). It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
Release Date: May 12, 1995
Gross: $3,941,146
Release Date: August 4, 1995
Gross: $63,658,910

Dante's Peak vs. Volcano
Plot: Volcano eruptions. The former being the surprising winner, taking home more cash-flow than the latter. This is one of the few examples that disputes my deja vu theory. Regardless, Volcano is still the fan favorite.
*Dante's Peak*
Release Date: February 7, 1997
Gross: $67,127,760
Volcano (fan favorite)
Release Date: April 25, 1997
Gross: $49,323,468

Antz vs. A Bug's Life
Plot: Featuring ants as their main protagonists. Both films were a success with both audiences and critics, as well as financially, however, A Bugs Life clearly takes the cake.
Release Date: October 2, 1998
Gross: $90,757,863
*A Bugs Life*
Release Date: November 20, 1998
Gross: $162,798,565

Deep Impact vs. Armageddon
Plot: A meteor headed for Earth. Both films revolved around different reactions to the same idea - one more dramatic, the other more action-based. Armageddon made more money, but scientists say Deep Impact was much more accurate.
Deep Impact
Release Date: May 8, 1998
Gross: $140,464,664
Release Date: July 1, 1998
Gross: $201,578,182

Supernova vs. Pitch Black
Plot: Space movies about a motley crew of misfits that must survive a hostile environment and an Ax Crazy serial killer. Pitch Black did more with its plot than Supernova did and it eventually spawned a pretty fat franchise with a sequel and a video game, while Supernova pretty much... super-sucked.
Release Date: January 14, 2000
Gross: $14,230,455
*Pitch Black*
Release Date: February 18, 2000
Gross: $39,240,659

Mission to Mars vs. Red Planet
Plot: Movies about going to Mars! Here's another example where the first movie made more money than the second. However, overall, both films were major money losers for their studios, but Red still manages to have a larger fan-base today.
*Mission to Mars*
Release Date: March 10, 2000
Gross: $60,883,407
Red Planet (fan favorite)
Release Date: November 10, 2000
Gross: $17,480,890

Orange County vs. Stealing Harvard
Plot: Two guys finagling their way into the good graces of a prestigious university. Neither did well at the box office, but Orange County is considered better and has a better following today.
*Orange County*
Release Date: January 11, 2002
Gross: $41,076,018
Stealing Harvard
Release Date: September 13, 2002
Gross: $14,036,406

Chasing Liberty vs. First Daughter
Plot: Both rom-coms about a First Daughter who falls in love with a seemingly ordinary young man, only to discover that he's actually an undercover Secret Service. Could these two films have a more similar plot-line? Both tie for lameness.
*Chasing Liberty*
Release Date: January 9, 2004
Gross: $12,195,626
First Daughter
Release Date: September 24, 2004
Gross: $9,055,921

The Illusionist vs. The Prestige
Plot: Period movies where very handsome actors play magicians who seem to perform the impossible. Both were successful, but Prestige seems to have more fans currently.
The Illusionist
Release Date: September 1, 2006
Gross: $39,868,642
*The Prestige*
Release Date: October 20, 2006
Gross: $53,089,891

Paul Blart: Mall Cop vs. Observe and Report
Plot: Both comedies about overweight mall security guards attempting to stop criminals. Mall Cop was a runaway box office smash, but critics weren't too fond of it. Observe did modestly at the box office and got mixed reviews, but is perceived as the better film.
*Paul Blart: Mall Cop*
Release Date: January 16, 2009
Gross: $146,336,178
Observe and Report (fan favorite)
Release Date: April 10, 2009
Gross: $24,007,324

The Back-up Plan vs. The Switch
Plot: Cheesy rom-coms about a single woman who undergoes artificial insemination. Although, Switch received slightly better reviews than Back-Up, both opened to disappointing numbers - shocker.
*The Back Up Plan*
Release Date: April 23, 2010
Gross: $37,490,007
The Switch (fan favorite)
Release Date: August 20, 2010
Gross: $27,779,426

Killers vs. Knight and Day
Plot: A hit-man and a normal gal who gets caught up in his spy-based dilemma. Knight and Day fared somewhat better as it received relatively decent reviews, whereas Killers wasn't screened for critics and barely made back its budget
Release Date: June 4, 2010
Gross: $47,059,963
*Knight and Day*
Release Date: June 23, 2010
Gross: $76,423,035

No Strings Attached vs. Friends with Benefits
Plot: A been there done that rom-com posing the same question "can casual sex exist without emotion creeping in?" Both films were modestly successful box-office wise, but Friends still wins with its mostly positive reviews compared to Strings' mixed critical reaction. And if we're going off total gross (international as well as domestic), Friends wins by a couple million, so....
*No Strings Attached*
Release Date: January 21, 2011
Gross: $70,662,220
Friends with Benefits (fan favorite)
Release Date: July 22, 2011
Gross: $55,802,754

The Tree of Life vs. Melancholia
Plot: "Big-budget art-house films" that feature dysfunctional family drama alongside epic cosmic events. Melancholia got better reviews and public praise, while The Tree of Life had better PR and received more awards.
*The Tree of Life*
Release Date: May 27, 2011
Gross: $13,303,319
Melancholia (fan favorite)
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Gross: $3,030,848

Mirror Mirror vs. Snow White and the Huntsman
Plot: Live-action versions of "Snow White." Mirror Mirror is more humorous and family friendly, whereas Snow White and the Huntsman is a darker, more Lord of the Rings stylized version.
Mirror Mirror
Release Date: March 30, 2012
Gross: as of May 25, 2012 = $61,671,689
Snow White & the Huntsman (fan favorite?...)
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Gross: ??

If history has taught us anything SWATH will be our box office winner. Stay tuned...

Who is your Queen?
you see Snow White and the Huntsman in theaters?


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