Even when a movie is original, it isn’t an entirely new idea per say. By now, just about every story has been told and the works of yesteryear inspire the ones of today. It isn’t out of the question for some movies to bear similarities to others, but there are times when Hollywood really scratches the bottom of the barrel. There are numerous instances of studios releasing “twin” films, which are projects with nearly identical setups that come out just months apart from each other. It happens more often than you’d think. Here are 10 twin movies suspiciously released at the same time.
Jobs and Steve Jobs
With both based on the life of tech icon Steve Jobs, there were obvious parallels between Jobs and Steve Jobs. The proximity of their release dates was the stranger fact. Following Jobs’ death in 2011, there was a race to get a biopic off the ground. The Ashton Kutcher starring Jobs was the first in theaters, but was a critical dud. Two years later, Michael Fassbender teamed up with Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for a different take – one that was far better received, yet bombed at the box office. Fassbender was nominated for an Oscar, but neither left much of an impact when it was all said and done.
No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits
Even the most devout cinephile can’t keep these two straight. Released in 2011, No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits both featured a couple of attractive people agreeing to engage in a casual sex-based relationship, only to fall in love later on. They were even both called Friends With Benefits when they started production. To avoid a further mix-up, Paramount changed the name of their project, and both ended up becoming hits at the box office. They may not have reinvented the rom-com wheel, but there are worse ways to spend a date night.
Gordy and Babe
There was a boom in talking pig films in the mid-1990s. Gordy and Babe were both released just months apart from each other. The former was about a pig trying to find his family after they were taken away to be slaughtered. Though it reached theaters first, it was no match for Babe, which was one of the five Best Picture nominees of that year. It even won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, breaking new ground in talking animal pictures. Making it even more incredible is that it’s from the mind of Mad Max creator George Miller, so he showed impressive range with this film.
The Equalizer and John Wick
2014 saw two throwback action vehicles find success critically and at the box office. Starring Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves, the Equalizer and John Wick revolve around ex-hitmen who come out of retirement to settle a personal vendetta against the Russian mob. The motivations were different, but the comparisons were obvious. In a weird coincidence, the sequels to both are scheduled for release in 2017, so these two blossoming franchises are going to duel again next year. If it’s anything like the first round, fans won’t be complaining and thoroughly enjoy the ride. It’s hard to go wrong with either of these actors in a leading role.
Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War
After years of superhero films being fun escapism for fans, 2016 decided to double down on the guilt and emotional toll metahumans face on a daily basis. Launching the new DCEU, Batman V Superman pitted the two iconic heroes together in a philosophical battle to determine which brand of justice was more appropriate. Months later, Marvel released Captain America: Civil War, which saw the Avengers split into two factions and debate over the subject of superhero accountability. Both had very different critical and box office performances, but they tackled similar, thought-provoking concepts to deconstruct their genres. It was interesting, but we’re looking forward to the fun again.