There are so many unoriginal Hollywood movies nowadays that sometimes it can be difficult to tell them apart. There's a twin-film phenomenon, when competing studios release eerily similar films within a short period of time, often leading to some hilarious results, and making a mockery of originality. Everyone could see that at least one of A Bugs Life and Antz were unoriginal since they covered similar ground and were released so close together, but then it gets worse. What about those tricksters who released their rip-offs years later, or in a different country from the original? Many of those knock-offs were presented to viewers as new and original, without ever attributing any credit to the original influence.
You would think that the early bird gets the worm, that the first of the films, the original, is the most successful, but that’s not always the case. The films on this list are unoriginal but still did exceedingly well in the box-office, especially compared to their predecessors (or source material, whatever you want to call it). Perhaps there’s a message here... Perhaps our parents were wrong about stealing all along. Sometimes kids, if you plan it just right, “borrowing” ideas and calling them your own can make you rich; a message that is sponsored by Hollywood.
Here are 13 movies that blatantly ripped off other movies making many rich, some people sad, and giving others a feeling of déjà vu.
13 Alien & It! The Terror from Beyond Space
12 Fatal Attraction & Play Misty for Me
11 The Others & The Innocents
10 The Island & Parts: The Clonus Horror
It isn’t hard to spot the similarities between these two films, The Island (2005) and Parts: The Clonus Horror (1979). They are, after all, virtually the exact same movie, but the newer one has way more explosions. Can you guess who directed it? Hint: it rhymes with Smichael Blay. The similarities are so striking that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the manuscript was submitted as Parts: The Clonus Horror The Island. Regardless, there was a lawsuit, an out-of-court, 7-figure settlement to sweep it under the rug, and everyone left happy, except for the movie-goers who expected a better movie.
9 Eragon & Star Wars
A princess smuggles precious information from evil headquarters and sends it to an orphaned farm boy that lives with his uncle. After his uncle is killed, the boy, with the help of an old man that has ties to the good guys, sets off on a journey for revenge. Along the way, the old man teaches the boy how to harness his mystical abilities before being drawn to the evil headquarters, where they save the princess. Ultimately, the old man dies in a heroic battle with the enemy, leading to a final, high-flying confrontation in which the boy defeats the enemy and all is well. It might shock you to learn that this is the plot of Eragon (2006). They might as well have called it Star Battles or Sun Wars.
8 The Fast and the Furious & Point Break
7 Lion King & Kimba the White Lion
6 Cars & Doc Hollywood
5 Toy Story 3 & The Brave Little Toaster
4 Avatar & Pocahontas
3 A Fistful of Dollars & Yojimbo
2 Home Alone & Code Père Noël/Game Over
1 The Force Awakens & A New Hope
Strictly because this is an ongoing discussion, I chose to include it, but not because I agree with it. In fact, I strongly disagree that last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a rip-off of 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, and here’s why. There are central elements to the plot of Star Wars that are a given, elements that have become familiar to viewers. If J.J. Abrams strayed from this path, Star Wars fans would have risen up and burned his house down, whether they admit it or not.
What The Force Awakens did (and surely will continue to do with the other sequels) is intentionally set up mirroring sequences but, this time around, they added in changes and differences, some subtle and some striking, granting new perspectives of a recognizable scene. It allows familiar audiences to make interpretive shortcuts and thematic connections, while newcomers are given the same awe-inspiring experience that many of us got when we first saw the originals. When they arise, these connective tissues tickle the fanboys…and fangirls…fanpeople when things stay similar, but they mislead, surprise and intrigue us all when they change. The reason people are still talking about the parentage of Rey is because the skeleton of Star Wars has remained the same. We are waiting for the other shoe to drop because we know there are two shoes.
Many of the similarities can even be explained within the context of the film. Why is Kylo Ren so similar to Darth Vader and Rey so similar to Luke? Well these are the universe’s primary influences. There is clearly some major emulating happening on both sides. Why is Moz so similar to Yoda? Well, they’re absolutely nothing alike. That’s just racist. Why is this all so shocking? History repeats itself all the time in real life, why is it so crazy that it’s happening in Star Wars?
Sources: IMDB; ScreenRant
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