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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BasicInstinct http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/c2ad90f4b3bdb525582c5071252889a9.jpg]]]]

CoversAlwaysLie taken up by marketing. Copycat Covers tend to naturally occur during the release of more popular and better movies and games, and their aesthetic similarity seems intended to confuse less observant customers. This is especially common with stories that were originally in the public domain (Disney is a major victim of this) but might also be done retroactively long after the knockoff's release.

Copycat covers can usually be spied out by being much lower quality and suspiciously lower in price.

A tactic often employed by TheMockbuster. See also TrendCovers.



* ''Pirates XXX'' was make to bank on the success of ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', by appealing to the crowd who would have liked the Creator/{{Disney}} movies if not for the fact that you couldn't really masturbate to them (unless your tastes were ''really weird''). Then it gets weird -- the director was so proud of his porno[[hottip:*:and needed to recoup costs--it's the most expensive porno of all time]] that he made an R-rated, sex-free version for public viewing.
** ''Flesh Gordon'', similarly, started as a [[ParallelPornTitles porn knockoff]] of ''[[Film/FlashGordonSerial Flash Gordon]]'', but the director was so proud of the special effects that he cut it down to an R and released it in theaters.
* In the US, a studio called Creator/TheAsylum is notorious for releasing [[TheMockbuster mockbusters]] that shamelessly rip off not only the movies themselves, but their posters as well.
** They've been hit with a hefty lawsuit from Fox over ''[[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008 The Day the Earth Stopped]]''. It doesn't help that both titles translate the same way in French.
* ''Film/BatmanTheMovie'' received a DVD cover that looked extremely similar to the ''Film/{{Batman}}'' cover, only with a red Batman logo instead of a yellow one. There's also another one that looks similar to the poster for ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', which doesn't exactly fit the 1966 film's [[{{Camp}} tone.]]
* ''Film/BasicInstinct'' was ripped off by ''Betrayed'', which has also been described as "''Basic Instinct'' [[{{Dissimile}} without sex]]".
* The cover of the ''Series/StrangersWithCandy'' movie is a sleazy parody of the cover of ''Film/MeanGirls''. Justified, as the movie (and the show it's based on) is a [[BlackComedy darkly comic]] parody of {{teen drama}}s and after-school specials.
* Hilariously, the newest DVD releases of ''Film/NearDark'' model their covers after the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' films. Considering ''Film/NearDark'' features the more archetypal scary, violent, and unsexy vampires, Twifans could be in for quite a show if they picked this one up.
* The thriller ''Summer's Blood'', starring Creator/AshleyGreene as a woman being stalked by a family of serial killers, had an alternate poster designed to cash in on the fact that Greene played Alice in ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''. It even received a Copycat ''Title'' in the form of ''Summer's Moon''. Compare [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Poster_of_the_movie_Summer%27s_Blood.jpg the original poster]] to [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2902821120/tt1285010 the (pun intended) revamped one.]] Probably the most interesting part of the change was that the original {{tagline}}, "Abducted by a twisted family, will she become one of them to survive?" was cut down to just "Will she become one of them to survive?" The removal of the context, combined with the new title, the change of the background from day to night, the reference to ''Twilight'', and the already-existing blood around the character's mouth, seems designed to make viewers think that the movie will be about the girl deciding whether to become a vampire, as opposed to a serial killer!
* Creator/TylerPerry's films:
** [[http://www.famousfix.com/post/i-can-do-bad-all-by-myself-14374052 This poster]] for ''I Can Do Bad All by Myself'' was pretty obviously modeled on the one for ''Film/StrawDogs''. This was probably an {{homage}} that people were ''meant'' to notice, though.
** Likewise, ''Boo! A Madea Halloween'' had a whole slew of posters designed to homage classic horror films, such as ''[[http://www.impawards.com/2016/posters/boo_a_madea_halloween.jpg Halloween]]'', ''[[http://cdn1-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/gallery/boo-a-madea-halloween/exorsisterposter.jpg The Exorcist]]'', and ''[[http://cdn.movieweb.com/img.site/PHoB22ugGPlFru_1_l.jpg The Texas Chainsaw Massacre]]''. Again, this was fully intentional.
* Similarly to the above, the [[BMovie B-grade]] zombie film ''Zombeavers'' released [[http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3281022/zombeavers-campaigns-for-oscar-gold-director-understand-the-key-to-horror/ a set]] of posters parodying those for ''Film/AmericanHustle'', ''Film/{{Her}}'', and ''Film/{{Gravity}}'', all with [[SelfDeprecation self-deprecating]] [[OurProductSucks quotes from critics]] attached.
* A recent DVD release of ''Film/TheAdventuresOfSherlockHolmes1939'' featuring Creator/BasilRathbone features [[http://covers.booktopia.com.au/big/9325626005446/the-adventures-of-sherlock-holmes.jpg a cover design]] that is [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eKDCzu5PMFE/TuuIatFySlI/AAAAAAAABoE/pn4VOjJV_zw/s1600/sherlock_holmes_movie_poster-normal.jpg a blatant attempt]] to cash in on the [[Film/SherlockHolmes2009 Robert Downey, Jr. films]].
** Similarly, the cover of ''Film/YoungSherlockHolmes'' was altered for its re-release to resemble the Robert Downey, Jr. films, from [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3885342464/tt0090357?ref_=tt_ov_i this]] to [[http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81seeD3cO-L._SL1500_.jpg this]].
* The VHS cover for ''The Eerie Midnight Horror Show'' is [[http://www.1000misspenthours.com/posters/posterse-g/eeriemidnighthorrorshow.jpg ridiculously similar]] to ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'', down to the title (the movie itself is a ripoff of ''Film/TheExorcist''). WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob even expressed disgust at seeing that the [[http://media.flexiety.com/images/EerieMidnightHorrorShowa8082_f.jpg DVD one]] is nowhere as {{Narm}}y.
* ''Film/TheMarriageChronicles'' is obviously meant to be styled after the ''Film/LoveActually'' cover.
* Under homages, ''Film/MysteryDate'''s DVD release got a cover reminiscent of an Creator/AlfredHitchcock thriller such as ''Film/NorthByNorthWest''.
* [[http://film.thedigitalfix.com/protectedimage.php?image=CoverArt/roommate.jpg_13072011 One cover]] for ''Film/TheRoommate'' is suspiciously similar to [[http://www.moviematrix.de/mov/p/img/panic_room_cover.jpg that of]] ''Film/PanicRoom''.
* The covers for the 2015 straight-to-video film ''God of Thunder'' (a.k.a. ''Dark Universe''). The [[https://extraimago.com/images/2016/06/18/God-of-Thunder-Online.jpg former poster]] is a straight ripoff of ''Film/{{Thor}}'', while for [[https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMjE1ODc2NzQxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDM4ODUwNjE@._V1_UY1200_CR135,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg the latter]], just exchange the man and woman on the cover for Creator/ChanningTatum and Creator/MilaKunis and it's basically the cover for ''Film/JupiterAscending''.
* Deliberately invoked with the poster of ''Film/AmericanReunion'' which mimics the poster of the original ''American Pie'' film [[https://aldomni.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/american-reunion-american-pie-wallpaper.jpg by placing everybody in their original positions]] as a nice tribute.
* The cover of an edition of the horror movie ''Housebound'', which was originally released with [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2608579328/tt3504048?ref_=ttmi_mi_all_pos_12 this poster]], has a new image that obviously channels ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' with a similar white background, font, image of a warped house, etc. Also, [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4009278/mediaviewer/rm3480741376 The poster]] for the 2015 film ''Shut In'' shares many of the same similarities to the ''Cabin in the Woods'' poster.
* The film ''Waste Land'' has a poster that seems based on that of ''Film/SinCity'', with the same font, font color and similar coloring scheme, and the characters are even posing in a way similar to those of ''Sin City''.

* Nabisco's healthier Snackwells line of products came out with green labeling. Shortly thereafter, other companies started mimicked the packaging for their healthier offerings. Fast forward ten years, and now it's considered the standard identification for a lower fat, lower sugar, lower sodium food alternative.
* The packaging for artificial sweeteners plays follow-the-leader with the first product to reach the market. Saccharine is always in pink packages (like Sweet'n'Low), aspartame is blue (like Equal), and sucralose is yellow (like Splenda).
* There are two kinds of store-brand cereals in the US: those that use similarly themed but distinct mascots, which can taste as good as or even better than the premium brands, like Malt-O-Meal... and those that don't even try to hide what they're copying, and whose taste match those efforts, like Super Value Plus.
** Or "Cheery Oats," which are virtually identical to the more popular Cheerios. Given that Cheerios are also made from oats, it's difficult to tell why there hasn't been a lawsuit.
* Decaf coffee carafes in restaurants tend to have orange handles. This is because Sanka, a once-dominant brand of decaffeinated coffee, used orange on its labels and its carafes. Although Sanka is almost a forgotten memory (at least in restaurants,) the mighty orange handle soldiers on.
* Crisps (potato chips) in the UK are generally colour-coded by flavour: red is Ready Salted, green is Cheese & Onion, blue is Salt & Vinegar, pink is Prawn Cocktail, brown is Barbecue Beef (or similar).
** Except for Walkers - the dominant brand - who switch green and blue...

* This is standard industry procedure with books. Whenever a movie or TV adaptation of a book comes out (or of a book on the same topic, or a completely unrelated topic ''by the same author''), a new edition of the book will almost always be printed with a Copycat Cover and a blurb on it somewhere hawking the movie or show.
* An example that's laced with HypocriticalHumor: Nancy Stouffer, of ''Literature/TheLegendOfRahAndTheMuggles'' infamy, claimed that the name and likeness of ''Literature/HarryPotter'' were ripped off from her character "Larry Potter" (whose last name was added later to bolster the evidence for suing J.K. Rowling for plagiarism, as Rowling's lawyers discovered), and re-released the books with the title UncannyValley resident on covers so blatantly ripped off from the Bloomsbury editions of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' novels that [[https://d1w7fb2mkkr3kw.cloudfront.net/assets/images/book/lrg/9781/5898/9781589893009.jpg they have to be seen to be believed.]]
* Pretty much every vampire book published in the last five years has a cover that looks exactly like ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''. Even classic romance stories like ''RomeoAndJuliet'', ''Literature/WutheringHeights'' and ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' have appeared with ''Twilight''-inspired covers at some bookstores.
** Canadian bookstore chains Indigo, Coles, and Chapters (all owned by Indigo Books & Music Inc.) even displayed the Twilight-ified classics together during the marketing for Breaking Dawn.
* Probably to indicate shared elements (a humorous take on a British empire), the ''Literature/SpaceCaptainSmith'' novels have similar covers to the British ''Literature/{{Flashman}}'' covers.
* Odd example in which the two books have the same title and the copied book is fairly obscure. ''The Big Con'' is a book about con artists that inspired ''Film/TheSting'' and has a reissue cover that looks like [[http://www.amazon.com/Big-Story-Confidence-Man/dp/0385495382/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301936820&sr=1-1 this]]. ''The Big Con'' is also the title of a work attacking conservative economic philosophies, which has used [[http://www.progressivebookclub.com/var/pbc/images/cover_the_big_con1.jpg this cover]] and later [[http://di105.shoppingshadow.com/images/di/36/51/5f/4b306d6e335856486e75644547745237497077-149x149-0-0.jpg this one]].
* ''Literature/TheQuantumThief'', a post-Singularity SpaceOpera, was first published in England and was given [[http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Thief-Hannu-Rajaniemi/dp/0765329492/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301937034&sr=1-1 this cover]] for the United States printing, which is very similar in font and design to the covers for books in the [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] series: [[http://www.amazon.com/Surface-Detail-Iain-M-Banks/dp/0316123404/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 compare]].
* Thanks to the huge boost in popularity ''Series/GameOfThrones'' has given to his writing, George R.R. Martin's humorous science fiction novel ''Literature/TufVoyaging'' was reissued, and [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AQy03aqavJc/TyVAAlKaVmI/AAAAAAAAEto/pedqZ8UMVo0/s1600/Tuf%2BVoyaging.jpg one of its covers]] definitely plays off of the Medieval Fantasy setting of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''.
* The cover of at least one edition of "Literature/{{Divergent}}" has a burning brooch (that looks suspiciously like the mockingjay pin from "Lierature/TheHungerGames" set against a dark background. Sure, the series starts with a 16 year old girl facing a traumatically special day in her life, and it's told in first person but... erm... "The Hunger Games" it ain't.
* The 1985 speculative-future-science book ''Life Off Earth'' had nothing to do with the ''Life'' series of wildlife documentaries by Creator/DavidAttenborough beyond the similarity of the title to ''Life On Earth'' ... and [[http://pictures.abebooks.com/BESLEYS/14013204969.jpg a cover]] that deliberately mimics [[http://pictures.abebooks.com/MITZIBRENDA/8178748262.jpg the book adaptation]] of the series, only with the tree frog turned into an alien.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Some copies of the History Channel's ''The 300 Spartans'' have been modified to look like the cover of ''Film/ThreeHundred'' soon after the DVD release. The resemblance continues in the documentary itself, sepia-tones and all. Only perhaps more historically accurate.
* The title card for the {{Creator/MTV}} reality show ''Series/SixteenAndPregnant'' rips off ''Film/{{Juno}}''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Billy the Wizard'', a knockoff of the official ''VideoGame/HarryPotter'' video game. Its sequel, about broomstick racing, is a knockoff of ''HP'''s Quidditch sequel.
* An awful lot of so-called [[ShoddyKnockoffProduct "1000-in-1" ROM-loading video game systems]] mimic the look of consoles current at the time.
* ''Pirates'' was a UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 game released right around the time ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'' came out. Interestingly, the official game for the movie apparently began as an unrelated pirate game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pyst}}'' and its planned sequel ''Driven'' had the excuse of explicitly identifying themselves as parodies, and the developers would probably have won if a lawsuit was filed against them.
* A promotional CGI render Capcom made for ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' shows [[FemmeFatale Ada Wong]] posing similar to the way Anne Parillaud did for the ''Series/LaFemmeNikita'' movie poster. Probably more of an {{homage}} than anything else, though.
* The cover artwork for the original ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' is a blatant trace-over of a promotional still of Michael Biehn in ''Film/TheTerminator''.
* The cover artwork for the NES version of ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' is based on two different promotional stills of Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger from the movie ''Film/{{Predator}}''.
* The cover artwork for ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon Advance'' is based on a promotional still of Creator/BruceLee and Creator/ChuckNorris from ''Film/WayOfTheDragon''.
* [[http://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=flyer&db=videodb&id=4090&image=1 This flyer]] for the Creator/{{Konami}} arcade game ''Majū no Ōkoku'' (released as ''Dark Adventure'' in the United States and ''Devil World'' in other regions) is a blatant copycat of the poster for ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''. Appropriately enough, the game's Franchise/IndianaJones-ripoff protagonist stands in for Creator/HarrisonFord.
* [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/tracing/tracing.htm This article]] from Website/HardcoreGaming101 compiles tons of examples, including a few mentioned above. Video game art directors have rarely seemed to have an issue with plagiarism.
* The cover and title screen of ''VideoGame/PowerBlade'' show what looks a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''.
* The box art of ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' copied Ash's poster pose from ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness''.
* Digimon used to mimic the covers of Pokemon to confuse parents and kids, then they actually became popular.

* ''Theatre/ForbiddenBroadway''[='s=] "Original Cast Recording" had a cover based on the poster art for ''Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong'', though parody is clearly the justification here.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The DVD release of the same-titled WebAnimation which inspired ''Film/UndercoverBrother'' mimicked the derivative film's poster.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Pretty much every [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney movie]] ripoff has one of these.
* A German company named Creator/DingoPictures makes these regularly, with badly animated knockoffs of Disney stories and even ''character designs''. A good number of these were released as [=PlayStation=] 2 [[strike:games]] [[MinigameGame minigame collections]] by the infamous Creator/PhoenixGames.
* Goodtimes Video does this against any entry in the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon based on a PublicDomainCharacter.
* The posters and DVD covers for the ''JimmyNeutron'' and ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' movies both show the same basic art of the protagonist and his friends in the foreground with the film's villain as an EvilOverlooker, with the only major difference being that Jimmy holds a weapon and Arnold doesn't. This was made especially evident when the movies' [=DVDs=] were reissued together as a Double Feature DVD release.
* [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-keLayxDyiP4/UCwnoWstokI/AAAAAAAAFhM/JwF5CKIMmfo/s1600/brave+poster.jpg This]] is, of course, a poster for ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}''. [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fvSKcAk0JwU/UCwmQ5jPHlI/AAAAAAAAFhE/UaanWGqZvSE/s1600/braver+dvd+cover.jpg This]] is the cover to the direct-to-DVD cartoon ''Braver''. Note that the actual cartoon is traditional cel-animation, the lead character wears a pink dress, and ''she isn't even a redhead'', she's blonde. The film was originally released six years earlier as ''A Fairy Tale Christmas'', and [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--uFQGjIrsM0/UCwlP5ZrkrI/AAAAAAAAFg8/Fu9D5qECh6s/s1600/a+fairytale+christmas.jpg this cover]] gives a better idea of what it's actually like.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' has [[http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Marvels-Avengers-Assemble-Assembly-Required/18767 a DVD cover]] that blatantly duplicates the movie poster of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.

* Any number of Chinese cars; Shuanghuan CEO (BMW X5), Great Wall Florid (Scion [=xA=] with Toyota Yaris nose), Huo Yun Electromobile (Smart Fortwo), FAW F5 (Volkswagen Jetta) and so on. This doesn't count licensed clones and [[MarketBasedTitle rebadged cars]] (Daewoo Lacetti/Chevrolet Optra, or Pontiac GTO and Vauxhall (Holden) Monaro), which are a different matter entirely and a long tradition in the auto industry.
** A more crude example of the above was seen in a southern Chinese town: an early-model Mazda MX-5 from which all Mazda decals and identifying marks had been carefully removed and replaced with appropriately-located BMW symbols.
* A sleazy practice among a number of less-reputable for-profit colleges is to rip off the name of a far more respected school in order to trick incoming students into thinking they're affiliated with them. At least one college recruiting envelope said [In large bold print] "Northwestern College of Law" [in small print] "of Lewis & Clark College." There's also a "Berkeley College" that likes to advertise in the New York Tri-State area. More often than not, any degrees offered by these schools are likely to be ADegreeInUseless due to the lack of accreditation. Given that for-profit colleges are [[http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2016/07/why_are_people_so_easily_exploited_by_for_profit_colleges_stealing_america.html a major driving force]] behind the student loan crisis (a massively disproportionate share of American college students with student loan debt got it by attending a for-profit school), these tactics are especially predatory here.
* ''Series/PrivateEye'' has a column about examples of this trope with book covers. One of the most popular covers appears to be a man in a dark coat striding dramatically away from the viewer into a winter scene.
* Instant Immersion, a language-learning software that [[FollowTheLeader apes Rosetta Stone's yellow packaging]]. It's significantly cheaper; however, the contents are... considerably cheaper.