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Dueling Movies
This page is a list of similar films that were released at around the same time. Sometimes one film intentionally copied another, sometimes it's part of a wider trend in which that type of film became very popular all of sudden, sometimes it's total coincidence: the creators just had the same idea around the same time.

Occasionally, studios will be forced to war with one another when they simultaneously produce similar movies which are subsequently released within a short time from each other.

One very rare aversion: Warner Bros. bought the rights to The Tower and eight weeks later, 20th Century Fox bought the rights to The Glass Inferno so to avoid having similar films at the box office at the same time, they joined forces and combined the novels into The Towering Inferno!

See also Dueling Products, Dueling Games, and Dueling Shows for proof that this type of competition isn't limited to just films. See also The Mockbuster.

Not to be confused with Dueling-Stars Movie.

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    Action (non-Sci-Fi) 
Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The A-Team The Losers

The Expendables may be a third contender.
Capital-"A" action movies adapted from other mediums about rag tag groups of government agents who come together to clear their name: The former is The Film of the Series. The latter: An adaptation of Andy Diggle and Jock's re-imagining of a classic WWII DC comic as a group of Special Forces operatives during the War on Terror. The Losers basically is The A-Team, there's never been any doubt or denial that it played a major role in its re-imagining, the timing of the film releases are just unfortunate. The A-Team soundly trounced The Losers at the box office, grossing more in its opening weekend than The Losers in its full run, though both received lukewarm reviews. If The Expendables is counted, however, then it's a clean win by knockout.
Machete The Expendables Both films feature outrageous special effects and stunts to tell a barely-there story and feature numerous oldschool actors returning to type of roles that made them famous, gleefully employing the Nostalgia Filter all the while. Machete is a loving homage to over-the-top '70s exploitation films directed by Robert Rodriguez and featuring a star-studded cast; Expendables has the participation of a laundry list of '80s action stars led by Sylvester Stallone (who directed, wrote and plays the lead). The Expendables. Though Machete enjoyed a slight critical edge, the The Expendables had a significantly higher box office gross and made a significantly greater impact on pop culture.
Red Dawn (2012) Tomorrow: When the War Began Foreign armies invade small-town America/Australia, and a group of teenagers take to the hills to fight back guerrilla-style. The first is a remake of the classic 1984 Cold War action movie, updating the villains from the Soviet Union to the People's Republic of China (or North Korea) and moving the action from Colorado to Washington state. The second is an adaptation of the first book of an Australian Young Adult series published in the '90s that, while hugely popular in Australia (to the point of being compared to Harry Potter in cultural influence), never caught on overseas. Tomorrow got better reviews, but Red Dawn (2012) made more money. Neither turned a profit.
Ninja Assassin Ninja Movies about Bad Ass ninjas. Ninja Assassin was produced by the creators of The Matrix and starts Korean pop star Rain, while Ninja was directed by director Isaac Florentine and was a Direct-to-Video release. Ninja Assassin. No contest.
Underworld: Evolution Ultraviolet Comic book movie sans an actual comic (Ultraviolet even starts with fake comics that the film's based on). A vampire war/rebellion led by a shapely Action Girl. It seems that most of Ultraviolet's vampire references (the heroine and her pals are infected with a virus that mimics vampirism; the MacGuffin is a possible cure) were cut out so as to distance itself from Underworld, which led to some audience confusion. Underworld: Evolution did well enough to continue the franchise with at least two more sequels. Ultraviolet, while visually striking, didn't do well enough to start its franchise.
Underworld series Resident Evil series Both series revolve around an Empowered Badass Normal Action Girl protagonist and her struggles against various supernatural foes. They are both known for their highly stylized cinematography. Both franchises moved to 3-D with their respective fourth entries. Oh, and the lead actresses of each franchise (Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich) later married the respective directors of each series' first film (Len Wiseman and Paul W. S. Anderson). Underworld is an Urban Fantasy story about the war between vampires and werewolves, while Resident Evil is a Zombie Apocalypse story adapted from the video game series. Critically, both series tend to be regarded as cinematic junk food, though Underworld wins by a small margin given that the RE films also have a hatedom from fans of the games. Commercially, on the other hand, RE wins hands-down, having grossed over twice as much money as the Underworld films.

The real winner is Screen Gems, which produces both series and makes lots of money from both of them. They have never had to compete with one another at the box office, with each franchise's films usually coming out in alternating years — and even in 2012, the first year that they did, Underworld: Awakening and Resident Evil: Retribution had release dates at different times of the year.
You Only Live Twice Casino Royale (1967) James Bond films. The former is an official Bond film, while the latter is a parody made by the man who held the rights to that particular novel. Bond's production company eventually got the rights to Casino Royale, both novel (which was adapted as the first Daniel Craig Bond) and movie. You Only Live Twice, which had better reviews and box office. Casino Royale is widely considered a train wreck whose only lasting appeal is the Burt Bacharach score and its psychedelia value.
Octopussy Never Say Never Again Again, James Bond films. Much like the above, the former is official, and the latter is a remake of Thunderball, done by the guy who had the rights to said novel. The latter has the return of Sean Connery as 007, who prior to making it said he would never play Bond again — hence the title. Bond's production company eventually got the rights to said movie (its Blu-Ray release is even listed among the official ones!), and halted the production of another remake in the 90's. Both were box office successes, but Octopussy grossed more. However, Never Say Never Again did better critically, thanks in large part to Sean Connery.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Van Helsing Characters from multiple stories team up to save or destroy the world. Jekyll and Hyde feature in both. "LXG"'s team comes from classic, mostly public-domain stories while "Van Helsing"'s monsters are all from Universal Studios. (Fun fact: the original plan for Van Helsing was a direct sequel/prequel to "Bram Stoker's Dracula", but Anthony Hopkins was too old). Both did all right at the box office, but were ravaged by critics, and a sequel to either is highly unlikely.
Iron Eagle Top Gun Two 1986 films about cocky young pilots proving their mettle. The former is about a guy on a secret, unauthorized mission to rescue an Air Force pilot dad trapped behind enemy lines. The latter has its protagonist going through Navy training, encountering love, rivalry, and loss along the way to becoming a hero. Top Gun was a Summer Blockbuster, the biggest hit of its year, and coronated Tom Cruise as a true-blue movie star. It is still fondly remembered today. By comparison Iron Eagle, which came out first, only grossed a few million more than its budget in theaters. That said, perhaps because of the popularity of its dueling movie, it did well enough on video ($11 million in rentals according to the Other Wiki) that it had three B-Movie sequels through 1995. Top Gun wins, but Iron Eagle gets points for making its own small success story.
Dredd The Raid: Redemption Badass super-cops raid high-rise apartment blocks controlled by drug lords in order to bring them to justice. The Raid is an Indonesian martial arts film, while Dredd is a Hollywood action film that marks the second theatrical adaptation of the 2000 AD comic book Judge Dredd after the 1995 film starring Sylvester Stallone. While The Raid came firstnote , rumor has it that the makers of the film borrowed its plot from an early, leaked version of the Dredd script. Both films were acclaimed by both critics and action buffs as capital-A action movies with little in the way of pretension. Box office-wise, while Dredd made more money than The Raid, it was a Box Office Bomb due to its substantially higher budget, with many observers viewing it as an indictment of the idea that internet and Comic-Con buzz alone could power a film to success. Meanwhile, The Raid's meager (£1.1 million) budget gave it a very low bar to clear.
Olympus Has Fallen White House Down 2013 "Die Hard in the White House" movies about a Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler or Channing Tatum) fighting to save the President (Aaron Eckhart or Jamie Foxx) from (mostly) terrorists. Tonally the two films are rather different: OFH goes for drama while WHD can't decide on whether it wants to be a suspense film with humorous elements, or a comedy with suspenseful elements. Eckhart remains a hostage through most of his film, whereas Foxx and Tatum work together in a Wunza Plot. Another key difference is The Plan for taking the White House: OHF does it from outside-in, while WHD does it from inside-out. And finally, WHD is a Roland Emmerich film. Olympus Has Fallen. OHF and WHD got similar reviews (47% for both on Rotten Tomatoes) and opening weekends ($30M vs $25M), but WHD only made a 33% profit (versus about 120%) because its budget was twice the size. OHF also has a sequel in the works, to take place in London during the funeral of one of The Men Of Downing Street, with the majority of its cast to return.
The Last Stand Bullet To The Head

Genre Throwbacks to '80s Rated M for Manly action vehicles, released within a month of one another in winter 2013. The Last Stand stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, was marketed as his big return to leading man status, and is directed by rising Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-woon, while Bullet to the Head stars Sylvester Stallone fresh off the success of The Expendables. Finally, Parker stars Jason Statham and is based on Donald E. Westlake's book series. The Last Stand received somewhat more positive (if still mixed) reviews than Bullet to the Head and Parker, but all three films bombed at the box office. Between the failures of these films and that of Dredd the prior year, many observers concluded that, The Expendables aside, "macho" action movies had lost their allure with moviegoers.
Robin Hood Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991 films retelling the infamous thief of British folklore. Prince of Thieves was a Hollywood project with then-bankable Kevin Costner leading the cast. The other was a low-profile British film with Uma Thurman as Maid Marian and a low-profile cast. The Uma version was released first, but went straight to TV in the States, allegedly to avoid competition with Costner's. Prince of Thieves was a monster hit and the one most remember.
Terminal Velocity Drop Zone Films based around Special Forces skydivers, both released in late 1994. Drop Zone was supposed to be released first, but reshoots ended up delaying it until after Terminal Velocity was released. Both films also starred actors who have experienced personal trouble in later years � Charlie Sheen was the star of Terminal Velocity, while Wesley Snipes was the lead for Drop Zone. Neither of them did particularly well in terms of reviews, but Drop Zone at least broke even on its worldwide box-office and VHS rentals. Terminal Velocity only grossed around two-thirds of what Drop Zone made, while costing even more to produce, making it indisputably the loser.
Jack Reacher Parker Adaptations of a book series featuring Anti-Hero Bad Ass protagonists with a Sherlock Scan and a vendetta against someone who quite recently wronged them. Right out the gate both studios signed on big name actors in the title roles (Tom Cruise and Jason Statham, respectively). Also each hero teams up with an ordinary, hardworking single woman who serves as The Watson. And funnily enough, both movies had their release dates pushed back for innocent (and unrelated) reasons. Going strictly by box office profits, Reacher beat out Parker by a factor of five. Critics met both movies with middle-of-the-road reviews, though, with high forties on Metacritic.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
A Bug's Life Antz The first example of Pixar and DreamWorks really dueling. Featuring ants as their main protagonists, the ant worker hero, who wants to stand out among the millions of other ants, falls for the ant princess, who seems an almost unattainable love interest. The ant hero goes on a long journey to a bug city, which is actually a pile of human garbage. And then he returns and gets the girl. Apart from the ants being protagonists, almost nothing else about the films was the same. A Bug's Life had a very cartoonish design, while Antz had a more realistic design of the insects. Antz had dark humor, dialogue and themes all around, while A Bug's Life was aimed at children. Just the same, thanks to the ants, they were both considered to be ripping each other off. (Fact is, Jeffery Katzenberg, though responsible for getting Toy Story greenlit, had just been booted from Disney, was furious at them, and knew about the next Pixar project; the competition was intentional.) Both films were a success with both audiences and critics, as well as financially, but A Bug's Life won by bringing in $200,000,000 more than Antz thanks to appealing more to kids and better promotion.
Finding Nemo Shark Tale Another Pixar vs. Dreamworks duel, this time with films about underwater creatures. That's about the only similarity. Finding Nemo by a longshot, thanks to it being a critical darling as well as a box office smash. On the other hand, Shark Tale was hit with mixed-to-negative reviews, but was still able to do decently at the box office.
The Great Mouse Detective An American Tail Both animated movies featuring talking mice in the 1800s, released in 1986 within about four months of each other, with The Great Mouse Detective being released first. Not in direct competition, as the films have little in common but the species of their protagonists and the approximate time period. Still, Disney and Don Bluth's animation studio did have their eyes on one another. Before this, no other animation studio had been successful in dethroning Disney in the animated film department, and Spielberg and Bluth were attempting to accomplish just that. Understandably, Disney wasn't too worried... at first. An American Tail became the biggest box office success for an animated film ever for its time, and the first to ever out-perform Disney. Disney re-releasing Lady and the Tramp and Song of the South (!!!) into theaters at the same time in an act of desperation and that did nothing to slow its momentum but The Great Mouse Detective was by no means a box-office bomb; its moderate success helped regain Disney's confidence after a long series of flops. Both movies are just as fondly remembered today, but with The Great Mouse Detective having perhaps a slightly larger fandom.
Oliver & Company All Dogs Go to Heaven Similar to the above, Bluth and Disney faced off again in 1988/1989 with films featuring dogs, little girls, and orphans. Charlie and Dodger look awfully similar, too. All Dogs Go to Heaven, released second, had to compete at the box office (and with the critics) against The Little Mermaid. Both received lukewarm reviews. Oliver & Company vastly outperformed All Dogs Go to Heaven at the box office, but All Dogs Go to Heaven became a hit on VHS and spawned a sequel and a TV series, while Oliver & Company remains one of Disney's least-remembered films.
Titan A.E. Treasure Planet Final Bluth vs. Disney face-off. Fatherless boy tries to solve his daddy issues by going on a space voyage in search of a long-lost treasure, hidden on a Big Dumb Object, with a less-than-stellar crew of galactic Petting Zoo People, one of whom is a Parental Substitute, but proves to be The Mole, using a starmap only he can read. The villain redeems himself in a Take My Hand moment while trying to activate/deactivate the Forgotten Doomsday Device. More specific, you say? OK... Both films were heavily and deliberately marketed to single-parent Gen-X kids. Used Future, Schizo Tech and uplifting Grunge music pops up on occasion. Oh, and one is about Pirates in a Steam Punk Alternate Universe, based on a classic novel. The other is about Space Pirates After the End, based on Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. Both got an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Neither. The two films destroyed each other, with Treasure Planet being unfairly compared to the (poorly-marketed) Titan, nearly killing the entire genre of traditional animation in one of the worst case of Dueling Films ever. Fortunately, both were later Vindicated by Cable.
Madagascar The Wild Both involve zoo animals escaping and going to Africa, one of whom is a lion character who doesn't really want to leave. Both also include a heaping amount of cartoon slapstick and Toilet Humour. It's worth noting that The Wild started production several years before Madagascar, so this might be an example of the above feud, carried on by Pixar's parent company. Madagascar was a huge hit (which spawned its own franchise — two sequels and a TV series), and The Wild not so much.
Ratatouille The Tale of Despereaux An incident involving a rat, some soup, and interactions with humans has wild repercussions. Ratatouille is all about a rodent in the kitchen while Desperaux�s soup-loving rat isn't the protagonist. Despereaux was based on a bestselling children's book and had the flashier voice cast, but Ratatouille won the day and the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
Despicable Me Megamind Animated movies released in the same year about an Evil Genius Villain Protagonist. Despicable Me has also been called Penguin: The Movie due to the main character's visual similarities. Megamind has been referred to as Gallaxhar: The Movie, again, for similar looks. Despicable Me, period. It has gotten both better reviews and almost twice the box office with $543 million in total, and received an only slightly less well-receives sequel, while Megamind bought $321 million and got good-but-not-great reviews (but it has become a Cult Classic and is considered one of Dreamworks' better films).
Open Season Over the Hedge All-Star Cast CGI films about wild vs. tame/cosmopolitan animals. Season deals with a tame bear being introduced to the wild while Hedge deals with wild animals being introduced to the suburbs. Interestingly, both films have bears as the catalyst for their respective plots. Though both films were profitable and Open Season had a sequel in production (though that went straight to DVD), Hedge made more money and was much better critically received.
The Legend of the Titanic Titanic: The Legend Goes On Two So Bad, It's Good animated movies very loosely based on the Titanic disaster, and the movie. The fact that they both seem to consider the tragedy of the Titanic to be a "Legend" is very telling. Both of them include talking animals and happy endings. The Legend Of The Titanic attempts more on the storyline part while Titanic The Legend Goes On attempts to have more characters and subplots. Neither of them got a critical success. Commercial success outside Italy at least was very limited for both of them too. However, The Legend of the Titanic managed to get a sequel.
Alpha and Omega Rio

All three films involve two animals of the same species, opposite genders, and (at least confirmed in the cases of Newt and Alpha) opposite personalities being put together for the purposes of repopulating their species. Alpha and Omega came out in Fall 2010 (and was the final film for its late star, Dennis Hopper), Rio in 2011, and Newt would have come out in 2012. Pixar canceled Newt so that they could avoid this problem, though considering Pixar leaked details on Newt shortly before Blue Sky announced Rio, it's completely possible that the whole project was just intended to induce the other studios into copying it so they wouldn't have to worry about them copying the other movie they were working on. Alpha and Omega (from Lionsgate) is about two wolves (Kate and Humphrey) who are captured and released far from home to increase the wolf population in the area. They work together to get home. Rio (from Blue Sky Studios) is about two birds (Blu and Jewel). Blu thinks he is the Last of His Kind and travels to find Jewel. Newt was about two newts (Newt and Brooke) — he's extremely sheltered, she's tough and street, er, wilderness-smart and they don't like each other — and their need to save their species. Unfortunately, Pixar decided to drop out. Rio is definitely the winner — it brought in five times as much as Alpha and Omega, and had much better reception, while Alpha and Omega is widely considered one of the worst animated films ever made.
Monsters, Inc. Ice Age Two kid-friendly animated comedy/adventure movies, released within 5 months of each other in 2001-2002. In each, a team of odd-looking but lovable-when-you-get-to-know-them creatures endure many hazards as they strive to deliver a cute toddler to safety. Monsters is set in an imaginatively detailed alternate world (Pixar showing its strengths), populated by fanciful "monsters". Ice Age stars actual (if now-extinct) species, residing in prehistoric Earth. Monsters, Inc. won greater critical acclaim (a 95% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and nomination for Best Animated Picture), had a higher box-office take, and had spawned a prequel. But Ice Age is not a distant second; it did respectably in both departments (78% RT rating), and spawned three sequels.
Prep and Landing (TV special) Arthur Christmas Stories sharing a similar concept of Santa Claus and his elves using advanced technology and secret agent techniques to deliver all those toys though soon, one child's Christmas has to be saved. The original special and Arthur Christmas were put in development close to the same time, though as a film, Arthur Christmas took longer. While Prep and Landing focused primarily on the elves and hid the faces of the Clauses, the story of Arthur Christmas focuses on the Claus family relationships. Prep and Landing was successful enough on ABC to receive a follow-up short and a sequel. Arthur Christmas, on the other hand, had trouble at the box-office when faced with The Muppets and Breaking Dawn; however, it was blessed with rave reviews.
ParaNorman Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie Battle of the animated horror movies 2012! Norman sees dead people (and zombies), is in color, and produced by the makers of Coraline while Victor brought his dog back to life, is Deliberately Monochrome, is a remake of director Tim Burton's live-action Short Film, and includes lots of nauseating and gruesome scenes. Transylvania is CGI, set in a hotel for famous monsters, stars Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez (as well as much of Sandler's Production Posse), and is the film debut of Genndy Tartakovsky. Hotel Transylvania garnered the worst reviews of the three but did the best at the box office, while both ParaNorman and Frankenweenie received good-to-great reviews but were seen as disappointments commerciallynote . Frankenweenie had a substantially smaller budget than ParaNorman, though, so it takes silver. And meanwhile, Frankenweenie holds the highest out of the three for the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate.
Recess: School's Out Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius 2001 movies where a group of elementary school kids save the world. Recess: School's Out was based on the Disney TV show and focused on the main six trying to stop a madman from getting rid of summer vacation, while Jimmy Neutron served as a pilot to its Nickelodeon TV series and focused on Jimmy and the rest of the kids in town to save their parents from being killed by aliens. Also, Neutron was in CGI, while Recess had traditional animation. And while Recess didn't have much competition, Neutron was competing with Monsters, Inc. Both movies were loved by critics and did well in the box office, though Neutron had a somewhat larger gross and was nominated for an Oscar (as it wasn't based on a TV show). Neutron followed with a TV series, while Recess followed with its show being Un-Canceled (as the movie was going to serve as the finale) and gaining two sequels (released Direct-to-Video).
The Adventures of Tintin The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientistsnote 

Ice Age: Continental Drift
Animated movies where piracy and sea navigation are important plot points. Tintin and Ice Age are CGI, while Pirates is a stop-motion film by Aardman Animations. In terms of box office, it's Ice Age in first, Tintin in second, and Pirates in last. In terms of critical acclaim, however, the order is flipped — it's Pirates in first, followed by Tintin in a close second, followed by Ice Age in a distant third.
Happy Feet Surf's Up All-CGI Cartoon about penguins doing rather human group activities. Happy Feet, released in late 2006, tells a tale about singing penguins, and one who prefers to dance instead. Surf's Up came in mid 2007 and features penguins surfing. The latter even had some ad posters proclaiming "Our penguins don't sing. They don't dance. They SURF." Happy Feet made more than triple the box office and spawned a (poorly performing) sequel. And while Happy Feet and Surf's Up were about equally successful with critics, Happy Feet won the Best Animated Feature Oscar, while Surf's Up squeaked by with a nomination the next year, but lost to the aforementioned Ratatouille.
Turbo Planes Unlikely, hugely ambitious novice enters a big race. Turbo is about a snail competing against race cars and human drivers; Planes is a spinoff of Cars and features a crop-duster who wants to fly with the pros. Turbo got mixed reviews from critics and failed to make a big profit at the box office. Planes was vice versa; it was thrashed by critics, but was a huge success at the box office.
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie Feature-length anime films based on popular fighting game franchises. Both films premiered in Japan in the summer of 1994. While Street Fighter II as a video game predated the original Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury had two made-for-TV anime specials that preceded The Motion Picture. Both films also feature a shower scene involving their respective heroine (Chun-Li and Mai Shiranui). However, Street Fighter II focused almost exclusively on the game's characters, while Fatal Fury had the heroes facing off against an original group of villains. Both movies were critically acclaimed by their respective fanbase, leaving their lasting appeal to the actual games' longevity. Aside from a brief hiatus in the mid 2000's, Street Fighter is still one of Capcom's cash cow franchises. Fatal Fury, on the other hand, was discontinued after the fighting game boom died out so that SNK could focus almost exclusively on their more popular King of Fighters series, since the company could no longer finance multiple fighting game franchises at the same time.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion Dokidoki Pre Cure the Movie: Mana's Getting Married!!? The Dress of Hope Tied to the Future Theatrical releases of Magical Girl films based on popular TV series that were themselves Dueling Shows, released on October 26. Rebellion is The Movie and acts as a sequel to the original, Precure is strictly a Non-Serial Movie. Precure is Shoujo, while Rebellion is distinctly Seinen, leading to a pronounced difference in tone. Rebellion took this home easily, grossing nearly double Precure's total, netting a foreign release, getting submitted for the Oscars, and sparking a few thousand flamewars. Precure was hardly a failure, but it didn't make nearly as big a splash, even in its own fandom.
Monsters University Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened Family-friendly animated movies about monsters, based on decades-old franchises. Note that this "duel" mostly applied to the Japanese market; Genesect only got a very limited theatrical release in the West. Monsters University, is, well, Pixar. As such, it's a CGI movie directed towards family audiences: children, their parents, and fans who grew up with its prequel, Monsters, Inc., revisiting and building on the characters from said movie. Genesect, on the other hand, is traditionally animated, is the 16th movie in its long-running franchise, and was strictly marketed to children. It revisited its past by featuring Mewtwo, an iconic character from the early movies, but said Mewtwo turned out to be another member of the species rather than the original character. While both were nominal successes, MU won the box office and critics' approval. Genesect ended up becoming the second lowest-grossing Pokémon movie in the series, but is more notable for the Hype Backlash surrounding the Mewtwo character, causing the movie to become quite unpopular with anyone over the age of 9.
The Nut Job The Nut House Heist movie with squirrels who are trying to get nuts. The Nut Job was first announced in January 2011, based on a 2005 short film called Surly Squirrel and fronted by Toonbox, who had never done an animated movie before. Vanguard Animation, creators of Space Chimps and Happily Never After, announced The Nut House nine months later. Vanguard closed in 2012 with Nut House and several other projects still in the pipeline. The Nut Job was released in 2014 and was successful at the box office, but poorly-received by critics.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Orange County Stealing Harvard 2002 films about 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. The public was introduced to Colin Hanks (OC), but was already sick of Tom Green (Harvard).
Cop Out The Other Guys 2010 comedies about mismatched NYPD detectives, one of whom is played by an actor known for action (Bruce Willis and Mark Wahlberg, respectively) and the other of whom is played by a Saturday Night Live alumnus (Tracy Morgan and Will Ferrell, respectively). The former is a much more conventional cop comedy, and due to its Vile Villain, Saccharine Show, suffers from some serious Mood Whiplash, whereas the latter is a combination of a showcase for riffing between its leads and an Author Tract about the finance industry. Cop Out was a critical and commercial failure, and was seen as beneath director Kevin Smith, who was directing someone else's writing for the first (and to date only) time. The Other Guys was well-reviewed and financially successful.
Knock Off Rush Hour Rush Hour was a comedy-action movie teaming martial arts star Jackie Chan with comedian Chris Tucker. Knock Off had a similar set up by teaming Jean-Claude Van Damme with Rob Schneider. While many people have accused Knock Off of being a, uh, knock-off made to capitalize on Rush Hour, it was actually released a month before the better movie. Rush Hour by a mile, which has also gone on to spawn two sequels.
Sex and the City The Women New York-set, Costume Porn- fillednote  Chick Flick about four close older female friends (a romantic, a cynic, a prude, and a slut) band together when relationship troubles loom. The Women is based on a play (which had already had a fondly remembered film adaptation made in 1939); said play is about how ridiculously cruel women are to each other. Another feature of the play/film is that no men are ever seen or even heard in a kind of faux-Gendercide. Both opened to middling reviews, but SATC got the most box office.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop Observe and Report Early-2009 comedies about overweight mall security guards attempting to foil criminals. The former stars Kevin James, and is mostly a silly action-movie parody. The latter stars Seth Rogen, and is a mismarketed Black Comedy about socially dysfunctional people. 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.
Big Vice Versa

Like Father Like Son
A teenager is trapped in the body of an adult. The exact circumstances vary. Big got the Oscar nods and made Tom Hanks a star. It should be noted, however, that the Italian comedy Da grande, about a 9 year old boy turning into an adult, predated Big by one year. Big, by a long shot.
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Big Mommas House Formerly edgy black comedians in fat drag. Nutty Professor II has Eddie Murphy playing multiple characters, while Big Momma's House had Martin Lawrence play a character who dressed up as the titular "Big Momma". The Klumps made more money, but also was the last film in its series. And Big Momma did well enough that "she" had further misadventures in two sequels. Call it a draw.
Ghostbusters Gremlins Both movies are horror-comedies about ghouls threatening a society of humans. Ghostbusters was about three scientists who start a business in catching ghosts and eventually deal with evil gods. Gremlins was about a Mogwai named Gizmo, who, after getting water spilled on him by accident, creates new Mogwais that wreak havoc. On their opening weekend, Ghostbusters came out on top at the box office, and was praised by critics and audiences alike, which led to a cartoon series and a sequel. But Gremlins was no slouch, as it was the runner-up in the first 6 weeks, and it too had a sequel. note 
Killers Knight and Day A hitman and a normal gal who gets caught up in his spy-based hijinks. (The Tourist is rather similar to those films, with the gender roles reversed.)   Knight and Day fared somewhat better as it received relatively decent reviews, and even though it opened to disappointing numbers it made over $200 million, whereas Killers wasn't screened for critics (and those that did see it didn't like it much to say the least) and barely made back its budget.
The Back-Up Plan The Switch (formerly The Baster) Rom-coms about hilarity ensuing after a single woman undergoes artificial insemination. Back-Up is thoroughly a Chick Flick while Switch is more about the effect this has on the male characters. The Switch received slightly better reviews than Back-Up.
The Truman Show EDtv Both films revolve around a guy whose every moves are followed by TV cameras. The Truman Show has its protagonist unaware of the true nature of his life, and revolves around discovering it and attempting to escape. EDtv has its protagonist living in the real world and signing up for the show, and him dealing with the ramifications on his life and loss of privacy. The Truman Show is held in higher esteem due to its greater philosophical depth and dramatic weight and was a far bigger box-office success, but EDtv, while not very well known, is a highly enjoyable comedy which has, in hindsight, proved remarkably prescient.
Funny People The Ugly Truth Comedy films from the people behind Knocked Up, both released in the summer of 2009. Director Judd Apatow and lead actor Seth Rogen made Funny People, whereas lead actress Katherine Heigl was the female lead in The Ugly Truth. In the intervening two years, Heigl had burned her bridges with Apatow and Rogen in a series of rather opinionated interviews. Funny People was better reviewed, but grossed barely a third of what The Ugly Truth managed worldwide.
No Strings Attached Friends with Benefits Rom-coms starring combinations of a member of That '70s Show and Black Swan (Ashton Kutcher & Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis & Justin Timberlake, respectively) wherein the question of "can we have sex and still be friends?" is pondered. The fact that four related actors would go and act in movies coming out at the same time, with identical premises, got a good deal of lampooning. Both films were modestly successful box-office wise (and grossed almost the same amount), though Friends wins with its mostly positive reviews compared to Strings' mixed critical reaction.
K-9 Turner and Hooch "Police officer teamed up with dog" flicks, both released within a few months of each other in 1989. K-9 was released first, and co-starred Jim Belushi and an Alsatian, while Turner and Hooch teamed Tom Hanks with a French mastiff. Oh, and the dog in K-9 survived, but his counterpart in Turner and Hooch was... less lucky. A draw. Turner and Hooch grossed a bit more at the box office, but K-9 got two direct-to-video sequels, while Turner and Hooch only managed a failed TV pilot. Neither film was particularly well reviewed.
Bad Teacher Larry Crowne Female teachers (high school and community college, respectively) engage in bad behavior. Larry Crowne has the star-power of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts (plus an Oprah-bump) while Bad Teacher has ex-lovers Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. Neither film did well with critics, but Bad Teacher has made more money.
Bad Teacher Horrible Bosses Normally bright and chipper actresses play comically sociopathic jerkasses (Cameron Diaz as an gold-digging Apathetic Teacher and Jennifer Aniston as a Memetic Molester, respectively) in raunchy R-rated comedies. The titular Bad Teacher is a nigh-Villain Protagonist, while the sexual harassing dentist in Bosses is just an antagonist. Although both films were very successful at the box-office, critics were more positive towards Horrible Bosses than they were towards Bad Teacher.
Bad Teacher Young Adult 2011 R-rated comedies starring beautiful women with ugly (or at least very immature) personalities. Bad Teacher is a mainstream comedy in the Judd Apatow mold, while Young Adult is more cynical and autobiographical. Bad Teacher received mixed reviews but was a box office smash, while Young Adult largely flew under audiences' radars but has won the affection of critics.
Big Fat Liar Max Keeble's Big Move Two movies released within six months of each other about a kid seeking revenge on an adult or, in Max's case, adults.   Big Fat Liar had a bigger box office gross and is more widely remembered.
Gordy Babe Live action movies that involve talking pigs, both released in 1995. Gordy featured a piglet that changes the lives of the people he meets while searching for his family, while Babe focused on a pig raised by a shepard that wants to become a sheepdog. Babe by a longshot. It's considered one of the greats in terms of family films as well as talking animal films, was a box-office smash hit, and even got several Oscar nominations (one of which-Best Visual Effects-it won), as well as a sequel. Although Gordy was released first (it was completed and even reviewed by one outlet, Movieguide, in 1994) it wasn't very successful critically or commercially. (Neither was a rip-off of the other, contrary to popular belief; the American Gordy was an independent film that, when it was first conceived decades before, was based on the character of Arnold the pig from Green Acres, while the Australian Babe was adapted from a popular children's novel.)
The Muppets Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Long Runner franchise-based family movies where Funny Animal characters interact with humans (portrayed by celebrity actors). Both movies feature various musical numbers. While Alvin 3 mostly relied on Getting Crap Past the Radar and crude humor to appeal to older audiences, and was a sequel to a kids' movie that had already been a big hit, The Muppets relied on nostalgia for Jim Henson's brand of entertainment as seen on The Muppet Show. Also notable is that Alvin 3�s Funny Animals were rendered in CGI (a bigger draw for kids), whereas the ones in The Muppets were... well, Muppets. The Muppets got rave reviews and decent box office returns, but thanks to Breaking Dawn, wasn't able to perform as well as it potentially could have. Alvin 3, on the other hand, was savaged by critics, but made more money than The Muppets. This wasn't the first time that a Chipmunks movie beat out better-reviewed competition from Disney.
Victor/Victoria Tootsie 1982 comedies in which an out-of-work performer resorts to posing as the opposite gender to get a job. Career success comes with romantic challenges due to having to keep up the charade. The former film is about a woman masquerading as a man (selling "himself" as a female impersonator) in 1930s Paris, and is a diegetic musical; the latter has a man masquerading as a woman to land a Soap Opera role in what was then present-day New York City. The movies were released far enough apart (March and December) that they didn't step on each other's toes, and both got great reviews. Tootsie turned out to be the second biggest box-office hit of 1982 and made it to #2 on the AFI's list of the 100 funniest comedies in 2000 (the movie that beat it? Some Like It Hot) — but Victor/Victoria also did well financially, is #76 on that list, and had an unsuccessful Screen-to-Stage Adaptation in 1995. Both movies received a clutch of Academy Award nominations and each won one (Song Score for the former, Supporting Actress for the latter). Everybody came out a winner on this one.
Weird Science Real Genius Teen comedies with science-fiction elements released in 1985. Weird Science had two dorks who create the most beautiful woman to become popular, while Real Genius focuses on the trials of Teen Geniuses as a CIA agent plots to take credit for the protagonist's prize-winning laser. ???
Cars Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby 2006 comedies about arrogant, self-absorbed race car drivers, the former being CGI and the latter being live-action. The former is a Pixar film, the latter has Will Ferrell. Cars had a marginally better RT score and a significantly larger box office draw, and received a sequel, but is today regarded as one of Pixar's lesser efforts. Meanwhile, Talladega Nights is remembered as one of Ferrell's best films.
Parenthood Uncle Buck 1989 films focusing on family that both feature alumni from SCTV (Rick Moranis and John Candy respectively). Coincidentally, they were both released by Universal. The former was a Ron Howard Dramedy and had Moranis as the main character's brother-in-law whose goal is to raise a prodigy, while the latter was a John Hughes comedy and stars Candy as the inept yet well-meaning title character. Both of these movies are well-regarded to this day, but Parenthood had a higher box-office gross.
Scary Movie Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth Parodies of horror films in general, and late '90s slashers (such as Scream) in particular. Shriek wound up going Direct-to-Video after the makers of Scary Movie threatened to sue. While Shriek has a small cult following, Scary Movie is the clear-cut winner, having made several times more money and spawning four sequels of varying quality.
Scary Movie 5

A Haunted House
30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Ghost Team One
Parodies of horror movies, particularly the Paranormal Activity series and other Found Footage Films, released in winter 2013. A Haunted House comes partially from the Wayans Brothers, the writers and stars of the first two Scary Movie films, making it something of a Spiritual Successor to those films. Meanwhile, the only returning alumni for Scary Movie 5 are David Zucker (who has been Kicked Upstairs to Producer this time around) and actor Charlie Sheen, who is playing a different character. Lastly, 30 Nights is a Direct-to-Video film, while Ghost Team One is an indie film premiering at Slamdance. A Haunted House got thrashed by critics but did well at the box office. Scary Movie 5 received even worse reviews and while it made back its budget, it was nowhere near as successful as the previous entry in the series.
Big Daddy Disney�s The Kid & I Am Sam A man must deal with a Bratty Half-Pint in his life. Though there's not much to talk about the plot. There are a few differences (i.e. Lucy from I Am Sam (Dakota Fanning) didn't fall in the Bratty Half-Pint stage in her movie. It was the other way around in that film) All three were badly received from critics, but Big Daddy was the highest-grossing and the most remembered.
The Hot Chick Elf The Idiot Hero wreaks havoc in a city with Costume Porn. Roger Ebert hated The Hot Chick and said that "the people were too stupid to be in a movie". However he liked Elf & got past the thick layer of stupid from that one. Hot Chick was forgettable and its poster was an ugly picture of the main character. Elf had some positivity though, so that's most likely your winner.
Couples Retreat Date Night Stressed out parents get away from their kids.   Couples Retreat was given Periphery Hatedom by critics, yet those same critics prefer Date Night, despite having the same formula as the other movie.
This Is the End The World's End 2013 comedies revolving around a group of survivors living in the apocalypse, from critically acclaimed comedy writers and actors. This is the End is about a group of celebrities Adam Westing during the biblical apocalypse, written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express). The World's End revolves around a group of survivors looking for a pub and becoming humanity's last hope, written by and starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). Both films were critically praised, but This is the End was the victor in terms of money, making $111 million, well beyond its budget. Meanwhile, The World's End made a measly 44 million on its 20 million budget, but was higher-received.
Movie 43 InAPPropriate Comedy Sketch Comedy Anthology Film with as much Vulgar Humor as possible and a few stars embarrassing themselves. The latter is a solo effort by Vince Offer, the former has 13 directors and 18 writers (led by Peter Farrelly, who also co-produced). Both had long production periods: InAPPropriate Comedy got a trailer in 2010 (with the title Underground Comedy 2010, referencing Offer's previous movie), Movie 43 started being shot in 2009. Both were widely panned by critics, but Movie 43 earned $29 million worldwide on a $6 million budget and InAPPropriate Comedy didn't even reach $250,000 domestically.
Happy Gilmore Tin Cup 1996 comedies about a washed-up loser who takes up golfing, and ends up in a championship match against his smug rival. The girl in Tin Cup is the whole reason why Kevin Costner's character starts golfing, while the girl in Happy Gilmore is just a footnote in Adam Sandler's quest to raise money to pay off his grandmother's debts. Also, Happy Gilmore relies a lot more on slapstick. Tin Cup made more at the box office, but Happy Gilmore became a big hit on video and is shown on TV much more often, in a case of Vindicated by Cable.
Private Parts Ringmaster Comedies released in 1997 and 1998 respectively, starring controversial media personalities — namely Howard Stern and Jerry Springer. Private Parts starred and was written by Stern, who appeared As Himself. Springer technically wasn't playing himself (his character was called Jerry Farrelly), though his fictional counterpart and his show were 99% the same as the real-life Jerry Springer Show. Private Parts was critically polarizing (as indeed Stern himself is), but made more than double its budget at the box-office. Ringmaster was hated by both critics and audiences, and while it also made back double its budget, that was still only a quarter of what Private Parts made.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Oceans Eleven The Italian Job Remakes of movies about a crew of thieves pulling off a complicated heist against dangerous enemies.   While both had good reviews, Ocean's Eleven was much more successful and spawned two sequels. The Italian Job�s sequel is still in development hell.
Mulholland Falls (1996) L.A. Confidential (1997) Two neo-noir crime dramas set in 1950s L.A. with an All-Star Cast.   L.A. Confidential wins out in pretty much every department. Mulholland Falls had caricatured acting, was too fixated on costumes and production design and overall wasn't well received by the audience. L.A. Confidential had denser characters, a complex but cogent screenplay, better action and was a commercial success.
The Black Dahlia Hollywoodland Highly stylized period crime pieces, set in Los Angeles and (loosely) based on real-life, high-profile deaths. Released within a week of one another.  The Black Dahlia received more attention before release and had a budget nearly quadruple Hollywoodland�s; however, it received largely negative reviews and bombed at the box office. Hollywoodland was well-reviewed and turned a small profit.
The Girl Next Door An American Crime 2007 crime dramas with a slash of horror based on the real 1965 torture and murder of Sylvia Likens Girl, based on a 1989 novel, fictionalizes the story and moves the setting to the 1950s; Crime stays closer to the facts. Neither really. Despite its more high-profile cast (Ellen Page as Sylvia and Catherine Keener as her torturer), Crime failed to find a theatre distributor and was eventually aired in Showtime in 2008; it received three nominations to TV awards but was generally trashed by critics. If only for that, and because the critics are more divided in its case, Girl wins.
The French Connection Dirty Harry 1971 crime thrillers about a hard-boiled inner city cop who has little regard for the rules, but always gets results. Along the way, he gets into fistfights, gun battles, and car chases, pushing him to the brink of his endurance, amidst his increasingly-strained relationship with his superiors. These two films more-or-less codified the Cowboy Cop genre. The French Connection stars Gene Hackman tracking down a French drug smuggler, while Dirty Harry stars Clint Eastwood hunting a depraved serial killer. The French Connection won at the time due to massive success at the Oscars including Best Picture and a Best Actor win for Hackman, but Dirty Harry has endured more in popular culture thanks to Memetic Mutation.
Death Sentence The Brave One 2007 vigilante movies about previously wimpy people on the hunt for criminals after they kill people close to them. (In Death Sentence Kevin Bacon's son dies. In The Brave One Jodie Foster's husband dies. Fittingly, the latter can be defined as Death Wish but with a woman, while the former is based off a novel written by the writer of Death Wish. Death Sentence was directed by James Wan while The Brave One was directed by Neil Jordan. The former leans more towards Gorn while the latter has the deaths spread out. The Brave One made more money and got better reviews than Death Sentence, but still fell short of it's $70 million budget.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Lambada The Forbidden Dance Projects from the former heads of Cannon Films focused on the lambada dance craze. Lambada was greenlit first in late 1989 for a May 1990 release. Then, The Forbidden Dance was greenlit for a release a month earlier. Eventually, both films ended up moving up and were released on the same day (Lambada had finished filming eleven days before release, The Forbidden Dance was finished a few weeks before). Neither won as both films flopped at the box office. Lambada made a little more money though.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The Day After Threads Made For TV Movies produced in the mid 1980s about the consequences of nuclear war on normal citizens. Day is set in the continental US state of Kansas and Missouri, while Threads takes place in the United Kingdom. Threads was made as a direct response to the American film. Also, while both movies depict a nuclear exchange, Threads was even more realistic than Day in just how horrifying such a scenario would be. Day was aware of this though, ending with a screen text amounting to "What you've just seen was horrible. However, this is only a toned-down depiction. The real consequences would be even worse." They both win. Both films received high critical acclaim, were popular with home audiences, and taught a significant part of the public the realities of nuclear warfare. Day even had an impact on Ronald Reagan to pursue nuclear disarmament; he reportedly broke down in tears after a private showing.
Deep Impact Armageddon Meteor-strike disaster movies. Neither films were imitations of each other per se, but they revolved around different reactions to the same idea, one more dramatic, the other more action-based. Amusingly, in an early screening of Deep Impact, Morgan Freeman is giving a speech in which he reassures his audience that life will go on after the meteor-hit, declaring, "There will be no armageddon." Too many viewers at the screening got the in-joke, however, and the uproarious laughter at what was meant as a dramatic scene induced the director to cut the line from the final print. Although Deep Impact is regarded as the better film, Armageddon wins with better box office and the fact that more people are aware of it 10 years after the fact.
Dantes Peak Volcano Movies about volcanoes! The former is set in a small town, and is very loosely based on the Mt. St. Helens explosion. The latter is set in Los Angeles and is therefore much crazier in scale. As above, not exactly imitations, but these were both released around the same time and dueled each other with very similar plots. The former, incidentally, is considered notable for being one of the few popcorn disaster movies that actually tries for scientific accuracy. Surprisingly, Dante's Peak won, with $6 million more in box office receipts. Volcano gets the consolation prize of being shown on cable much more often. Heck, it's probably on right now somewhere!
Twister Tornado!

Night Of The Twisters
Yes, three films all dealing with tornadoes — Twister being a major Hollywood production, while the other two were made for TV movies. Twister was directed by Jan DeBont (of Speed fame) and co-written by Michael Crichton, while Tornado! was written by John Logan. Night of the Twisters was based on a novel which was Based on a True Story. Pretty much as expected: Hollywood won with Twister grossing over $200 million. The other two pretty much faded into footnotes; however, Night of the Twisters was able to outlast Tornado! thanks to more repeats on television. Twister still gets more showings on TV while the others do not.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Inside Job I Want Your Money Competing documentaries about the ongoing economics crisis, released one week apart in October 2010. While the former places the blame on both capitalism and politics, the latter (a Documentary Of Lies) places all of the blame on Barack Obama (who wasn't even President when it happened). Inside Job was critically acclaimed, became an arthouse hit and won an Oscar, I Want Your Money was critically savaged and only lasted a week in most theatres.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory West of Memphis Documentaries about the West Memphis 3 and the near two decade-long battle to prove their innocence. Purgatory is the final chapter of the Paradise Lost series and is directed by Joe Berlinger, West of Memphis was produced by Peter Jackson and actually has Damien Echols (one of the West Memphis 3) as a producer, making that film more or less a first-person account of the events. Purgatory has been amassing near-unanimous acclaim and received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. West of Memphis has also received near-unanimous acclaim, but has failed to make in on the 2012 Oscar shortlist.
Religulous The God Who Wasn't There Documentaries about atheism and the problems with organized religion. The former gave a comedic, more light-hearted portrayal of its subject, the latter was much more serious. Religulous wins easily, as it had a successful theatrical release and got Bill Maher a spot presenting the Best Documentary Oscar in 2009. The latter meanwhile was self-distributed and its constant online ads years after release turned its director into a joke and a Shameless Self-Promoter.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Naked Lunch Kafka Two 1991 movies that are centered around the works of two renowned but vastly different authors, William S. Burroughs and Franz Kafka respectively. Although the title of Naked Lunch implies otherwise (it is probably Burroughs' most (in)famous novel), neither movie is an adaptation of any single piece of their work, but focus on the themes present in them to create a single allegorical tale of their entire careers, with fictionalized versions of the authors themselves as the protagonist. Naked Lunch was directed by the Canadian Body Horror director David Cronenberg, Kafka by the then-up-and-coming Steven Soderbergh, best known for Oceans Eleven and Traffic. Both movies starred Ian Holm for some reason. Kafka beat Naked Lunch to the punch by being released a little over a month earlier, but Naked Lunch is much more widely remembered nowadays.
127 Hours Soul Surfer Dramatic films about Real Life athletes who lose a limb. Hours, from Danny Boyle, focuses on Aron Ralston, a hiker who is forced to cut off his own arm to save himself after five days of having his arm trapped by a boulder. Surfer, from Sean McNamara (the director of Bratz), focuses on Bethany Hamilton, an evangelical Christian surfer who loses an arm from a shark attack. The main difference between these two films is their intended audience: while Hours aims for a secular/mainstream audience, Surfer is intended for the Christian market. 127 Hours was nominated for six Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Actor for James Franco), and several other awards, but only obtained a modest profit thanks to Fox's mismanagement of the movie. Soul Surfer, on the other hand, received mixed reception from critics. Additionally, while Surfer earned much more than Hours in the United States, it was invisible outside the States, resulting in a lower international box office than Hours. Hours is the victor in this one.
Soul Surfer Dolphin Tale Aquatic-themed inspirational movies about limb-loss that also happen to center around a competition in which the underdog must compete. Soul Surfer has the girl lose her arm while Dolphin Tale has the dolphin lose her tail. Dolphin Tale scored better both critically and commercially.
Dolphin Tale Big Miracle Movies about groups of people saving aquatic creatures. Big Miracle is about a gray whale while Dolphin Tale is centered around...well, a dolphin. While both movies were well received by critics, Dolphin Tale has a higher Rotten Tomatoes score. Also, Dolphin Tale was a box office success, while Big Miracle flopped at the box office.
Melancholia The Tree of Life Both are "big-budget art-house films" that feature dysfunctional family drama alongside epic cosmic events, with the visuals alternating between realistic shots in hand-held camera and gorgeous, elaborate takes of scaleless scenery and events.   The Tree of Life got better reviews, box office, and awards attention, though it was still extremely divisive.
No Country for Old Men There Will Be Blood Auteur films about the dark heart of a highly memorable Villain Protagonist isolated from humanity as he slowly eliminates his enemies in what looks like the desert of West Texas (where both movies were filmed). Bonus Points if you have to remember which film had the correct & apropos title.

"Hint": One is about a middle-aged sociopath, one is about a serial murderer.

Both films were released by the same companies—Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage.
Tied. No Country won more awards at the Oscars of that year, including nabbing Best Picture, while TWBB is on many best-of lists. Lampshaded here.
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery 1492: Conquest of Paradise 1992 was the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus landing in the Americas, and Alexander and Ilya Salkind (producers of the Superman films) originally wanted Ridley Scott to direct a film about Columbus. Scott turned them down, but later began work on what became 1492. Inevitably, the Salkinds sued Scott, but lost because the first proposal for 1492 predated the Salkinds' project. Neither did particularly well; The Discovery grossed a bit more, but 1492 had a better cast and received better reviews.
The Illusionist The Prestige Period movies where very handsome actors play magicians who seem to perform the impossible, both having their wide release in fall 2006. The Prestige was an edgy thriller, The Illusionist a love story with a softer fairy-tale feel. Both. They were equally successful, but for different reasons. Prestige seems to have more fans currently.
Capote Infamous Biopics of Truman Capote during the years he was writing In Cold Blood. Capote came out first, with Philip Seymour Hoffman winning an Oscar for his performance, along with dozens of other awards and nominations for the film. Infamous opened a year later, and was largely ignored save for a satirical Onion article about a slew of new films about Capote coming out. Capote.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Time Traveler's Wife Fantasy/romance adapted from a written source in which an otherwise perfect couple is tested by the man's "chronological disorder". Button is based on a short story where a man "merely" ages backwards while Wife�s protagonist bounces around time in a Trauma Conga Line. Interestingly, both films were produced by Brad Pitt, who also starred in Button. While Wife was a modest hit, Button made tons of money and Oscars for its Uncanny Valley-defying special effects work. Neither film seems to have many fans today, however, and many Wife novel fans can't stand the movie.
Million Dollar Baby Cinderella Man Two emotional and evocative stories involving boxing, released several months apart. Both movies feature underdog stories of fighters trying to succeed where others would have them fail, each with the support of an engaging mentor. One ends happy, while the other one? Not so much.

(The Fighter came out in 2010, a bit late to make weight, but it coulda' been a contender.)
This is a rare case of two excellent movies that happened to be released in the same year, instead of a studio quickly greenlighting a cheap imitation of the first. Both were directed by powerhouse directors (Clint Eastwood and Ron Howard), both with stellar casts and critical acclaim. Poor promotion and a summer release date doomed Cinderella Man at the box-office, while Million Dollar Baby was released during a more opportune time of the year, and was far more successful. Million Dollar Baby took home the Oscar, while Cinderella Man was mostly forgotten by the time the next year's nominations came around. Million Dollar Baby, though really, everyone wins. See both movies.
Prefontaine Without Limits Late '90s biographical films about track-and-field star Steve Prefontaine. Billy Crudup's depiction of the title character in Without Limits is generally better regarded, as is the directing and production; Prefontaine stands mostly on the basis of greater historical accuracy and a standout performance by R. Lee Ermey. Without Limits, although neither was much of a box office or critical success.
Buried 127 Hours Suspenseful films about a man trapped in a very tight place for a very long time. In a funny coincidence, both star actors who were/would later be in comic book movies playing characters with the word green in their names (Green Lantern and Green Goblin, respectively). Buried, about a man who's trapped in a coffin and buried somewhere in Iraq with only a dying cellphone for communication, is fictional, while Hours is based on a Real Life hiker who cut off his own arm to free himself after it was pinned by a boulder. Both had really good reviews, but 127 Hours was tapped as potential Oscar Bait, and was nominated for several awards. Both were considered good in various ways.
Middle Men The Social Network Origin stories about the start of Internet revolutions by rather ordinary men, and the hazards of falling out with one's partners after making a great deal of money. Middle Men is about the development of online porn, while The Social Network is "the Facebook movie." No contest — The Social Network grossed far more, received much better reviews, won three Academy Awards and four Golden Globes, and has been hailed as one of the defining movies of its generation. Middle Men, meanwhile, received mixed reviews, made little money in its limited theatrical release, and vanished from people's minds about as quickly as a thirty-second "free sample".
Crazy Heart Country Strong Troubled country singers (played by Oscar winners who do their own singing) make comebacks while trying to navigate potential new loves and Younger and Hipper rivals. While Crazy Heart's male protagonist is long past his prime, Country Stong's female protagonist is still wildly popular. Crazy Heart earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar; Country Strong... really didn't go that way for Gwyneth Paltrow. Also, in a roundabout way Paltrow's character falls for Bridges' son.
The Blind Side Precious Big-boned, illiterate African American teens from the inner-city find hope and redemption from their teachers and their friends. One goes on to a have a career in the NFL while another dies of AIDS in the sequel novel. Blind Side was based on a true story while Precious is a fictional (but depressingly plausible) novel. Both won Oscars in the actress categories for their characters' mothers (Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Touhy and Mo'Nique as Mary Jones) and an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit managed to combine the two (Blind Side�s lead actor and his evil, abusive (to her sister, not her son) mother).
Braveheart Rob Roy Films featuring legendary Scottish heroes sticking it the evil and fruity English.   While both were criticised for their... liberties with history, Braveheart grossed far higher in the BO and took home the Best Picture Oscar, while Rob Roy barely made back its budget (though it still received good reviews). Rob Roy is now largely forgotten while Braveheart, despite having a good reputation and influence, has had some Hype Backlash and is the punchline of many a Scottish comedian.
Natural Born Killers S.F.W. Movies released in 1994 that satirize the news media's obsession with violence. The main characters in NBK are Villain Protagonists, while the main characters in S.F.W. are the survivors of a hostage situation going through their 15 Minutes of Fame. The latter film is also very, very grunge-y and '90s (its title is an acronym for "So F**king What"), to the point of being an Unintentional Period Piece. Natural Born Killers stands as a classic (albeit a very controversial one) and a landmark of both the decade and Oliver Stone's career, while S.F.W. would mostly be forgotten if not for the fact that it starred a young Reese Witherspoon.
War Of The Buttons The New War Of The Buttons Rival French productions in 2011 based on the exact same source material (the work had just gone into the public domain). However, the "new" one is set during World War II, and its rival during the War of Algeria, so they deal with differing issues (the original novel was set in the peaceful "Belle Epoque"). War Of The Buttons was pitched first and has unknown actors in the cast. The New War Of The Buttons was pitched five months later and has a few name actors (such as Guillaume Canet and Laetitia Casta) in its cast. Both films ended up opening a week apart. War Of The Buttons had the bigger opening but it's too soon to tell.
The Man Who Laughs Laugh Clown Laugh 1928 silent films about tormented clowns and the beautiful young orphan girls they love. There was also a 1924 precursor called He Who Gets Slapped. The Man Who Laughs is better regarded and much better remembered now, in large part because the main character was the inspiration for The Joker.
Lovelace Inferno Competing biopics about the famed porn star Linda Lovelace. Inferno was in development first and originally had Lindsay Lohan attached to star (Malin Akerman has replaced her) while Lovelace will star Amanda Seyfried and is being fast-tracked by Millennium Films to beat Inferno to theatres. Lovelace wins by default, as Inferno fell apart due to budget issues.
Seven Years in Tibet Kundun Biographical films about the 14th Dalai Lama's youth. Seven Years in Tibet is based on a book by Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer, who lived in Tibet from 1944 to 1951, a period covering the end of World War II through the Chinese invasion of 1950. Kundun covers a much longer period of time (1937 through 1959). The Chinese government didn't care for either movie, but both were received positively by critics (Kundun slightly more so than Seven Years.) However, Seven Years was much more financially successful.
Hugo Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close From Entertainment Weekly: All-Star Cast movie about young boy who goes on a journey of discovery after finding a mysterious key left by his dead father and helps an old man. Hugo takes place in Paris in The Thirties (lovingly recreated by Martin Scorsese) while Extremely Loud takes place before and after 9/11 (which Hollywood hasn't yet grasped is no longer The Present Day). Hugo, by a wide critical and award-winning margin.
Emma Emma Prestige adaptations of Jane Austen's last completed novel starring rising stars supported by the best the British repertory had to offer.The McGrath/Paltrow/Northam adaptation was a theatrical release from primarily American creators (the director, studio, and eponymous lead). The Davies/Beckinsale/Strong production was a telefilm from Britain's ITV, springboarding off the success of Davies and producer Sue Birtwistle's previous Pride and Prejudice miniseries. The McGrath/Paltrow/Northam film tends to have a slight edge, due to its friendlier, sweeter timbre. However, both tend to be fondly remembered (except by fans of the other version). When the 2009 BBC miniseries was released, many simply added a third adaptation to their list of favorite Emma adaptations. (As a side note, Austen films tend to be dueling movies given the passion and long memories of the fanbase. The clustering of film and television releases from 1995-1996 and 2005-2009 highlighted this fact.)
The Girl (HBO TV movie) Hitchcock Docudramas about Alfred Hitchcock and the making of The Birds and Psycho, respectively. The Girl came out first, albeit on HBO rather than in theatres, and stars Toby Jones and Sienna Miller in a story about Hitchcock's obsession with Tippi Hedren while on the set of The Birds; Hitchcock stars Anthony Hopkins and is about the relationship between Hitch and his wife, played out over the production of Psycho. Hitchcock was supposed to be shown in 2013 but was moved up to qualify for the Oscars Both movies faced controversy for their portrayals of Hitchcock, but that didn't stop both leads from receiving acclaim for their uncanny performances. Reception-wise, The Girl fared somewhat better with critics.
Argo Zero Dark Thirty Films based on true, top-secret, ridiculous-sounding events that took place in the Middle East. Argo is about a rescue in The Seventies while Zero is about an assassination in The New Tens (spoiler alert: they succeed). Argo wins. This duel is for awards. Argo won best director and film (drama) while Zero won best actress (drama) at the Golden Globes; both were nominated for Oscars for best picture (went to Argo), editing (Argo), and writing (Argo; Zero didn't win its category), but not directing.
Rain Man Dominick and Eugene Films released in the same year about two brothers, one of them with a mental/neural disorder. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man suffers from autism, while in the latter, Tom Hulce (Mozart in Amadeus) played Nicky, a man who is mentally challenged due to severe beatings from his abusive father (the brother in this one is Ray Liotta). Rain Man was obviously the successful one, with glowing reviews and a Best Picture Oscar. You may not have heard about Dominick and Eugene; it was well received by critics (Hulce ended up with a Golden Globe nomination), but comparisons to Rain Man and a screwed-up release (as the producer can attest to you) destroyed its chances of catching most of the public's interest.
Black Mass Untitled Whitey Bulger Project Biopics about infamous Boston gang leader James "Whitey" Bulger (he's the inspiration for Frank Costello). Black Mass will be directed by Barry Levinson and will star Johnny Depp. The Untitled movie will be directed by Ben Affleck and will star Matt Damon In pre-production.
Dangerous Liaisons Valmont Adaptations of the classic novel Les Liaisons dangereuses. Although these movies were released less than a year apart, both were being made around the same time (in fact, the latter movie was being developed long before the former). Dangerous Liaisons was a major studio project with big names, including Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfieffer, and pre-fame Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, and Uma Thurman. Valmont had a less-bankable cast, including then-unknowns Colin Firth and Annette Bening, but it did have director Milo� Forman and leading lady Meg Tilly. Dangerous Liaisons, by a long shot.
Harlow Harlow Sensationalized biopics of 1930s sex symbol Jean Harlow, both released a month apart in 1965. One version was mostly fictional, portraying her as a troubled girl a la Marilyn Monroe. The first version was a big-budget Hollywood film starring 1950s star Caroll Baker as Jean and Angela Lansbury as her mother. The other was a very independent production (shot on videotape) starring Carol Lynley as Harlow and was supposed to feature Judy Garland as Mama (she was replaced by Ginger Rogers). The Hollywood version was rushed into production in order to compete with the video version. Both versions were flops. The Hollywood version was criticized for its script and the video version was criticized for Lynley's performance. The former version is the only one available on video.
The Butler 12 Years a Slave 2013 racially charged historical dramas with an All-Star Cast that follow an African-American man over a long period of his life; both were seen as likely Oscar contenders months before their release The Butler is a fictionalized, somewhat Forrest Gump-like biography of a butler that served in the White House from the Eisenhower to the Reagan administrations and explores the social changes in America from the 1920s to the 2000s; 12 Years a Slave is an adaptation of the 1853 non-fiction book of the same name by Solomon Northup, that recounts his kidnapping and illegal enslavement in 1841. Both were critically acclaimed but 12 Years A Slave garnered more attention in the award season while Butler is seemingly left out in the race. Now that 12 Years has walked with 3 Academy Awards (Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress) it seems to have won. The Butler remains the higher grossing movie, however.
Django Unchained Twelve Years A Slave Intense story of a black man who faces brutality and enslavement in pre-Civil War America while trying to reunite with his wife. Django is very fictional while Twelve Years is Based on a True Story. They also both feature actors from Inglorious Basterds acting the opposite of their characters: Hans Landa is a caring humanitarian Dr. King Schultz while Lt. Archie Hicox is a vile slave owner. Both had great reviews in spite (or because of) the intense subject matter. 12 Years wound up getting 3 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, to Django's 2, so 12 Years might have the upper hand by a bit. Django does have a box-office edge, however.
The Great Gatsby The Wolf of Wall Street In 2013, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as an ambitious young man who experiences a spectacular rise and fall. Gatsby is based on a novel set in The Roaring Twenties while Wolf of Wall Street is Based on a True Story from The Eighties. The Wolf Of Wall Street got good critical reception and earned nominations and wins (on Leonardo DiCaprio's case) during the award season while Great Gatsby got mixed reviews. Gatsby was a bigger box office hit, though.
Flightplan The Forgotten 2004/5 thrillers about a mother whose child/children vanish without a trace, with everyone around her insisting that the child never existed. Flightplan is set entirely on board a plane and about the immediate search for a missing child, while The Forgotten is about the search for evidence of a child the mother believes dead. Of course, just seeing these two movies mentioned together means you can probably guess what the big twist of The Forgotten is. Flightplan made more at the box office and got better reviews.
Striptease Showgirls, Barb Wire 1995/96 female star vehicles marketed entirely around the appeal of seeing then-sex-symbols show some skin. All three received multiple Razzie nominations, including Worst Picture wins for BOTH Showgirls and Striptease. Barb Wire got a Worst Picture nomination too, only losing because Striptease came out the same year. Striptease stars Demi Moore, Showgirls stars Elizabeth Berkley, and Barb Wire stars Pamela Anderson. The first two were seen as direct competition in that they were marketed as semi-respectable dramas, and were often compared by critics. Barb Wire had no such pretensions, being presented as a theatrical soft-core porno, and was treated as such by critics. Showgirls is additionally notable for being the most widely released NC-17 film in history. Striptease made far more money at the box office (around $110 million) than the other two, making it the easy winner here. Showgirls was a notorious box office bomb, grossing only $37 million on a $45 million budget despite a huge marketing campaign. Barb Wire fared even worse, grossing just $3 million worldwide. Based on the movie's infamy, however, Showgirls.
Finding Neverland Neverwas 2004/5 films about children's books and the "reality" that inspired them. Finding Neverland was about the real-life book of Peter Pan while Neverwas was about the eponymous fictional title. Also, Finding Neverland establishes the source of the story straight off, while Neverwas explores it via a seemingly outside character. Neverwas never received much promotion because the studio felt that it would be seen as an attempt to imitate Finding Neverland

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The Dark Crystal Krull Fantasy films from the '80s, each was set in an exotic world ruled by an evil force. A fortress must be penetrated. The Dark Crystal was done by Jim Henson (which meant, of course, animatronic puppets), while Krull was live action. Each have their fans, so let's just say it's a draw and leave it at that.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Dungeons & Dragons High Fantasy in a magical land of elves, goblins and other fantastical creatures based off legendary and sacred nerd franchises. (Both distributed by New Line Cinema.) Lord of the Rings is an extraordinarily realized version of one of the most important and influential books of the twentieth century. On the other hand, Dungeons & Dragons has Tom Baker as the King of the Elves. LOTR by a landslide. In case you couldn't guess.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone (2001) First installments of high-budget film adaptations of popular and beloved fantasy series, with an overlapping viewer demographic, released within a month's difference of each other.   A tie, or, better said, both films win. Both LOTR and HP were incredible box-office hits, grossing about $900 million each, successfully launching their respective film franchises, revolutionizing the use of CGI in movies and greatly raising the prestige of the fantasy genre.
Inkheart Bedtime Stories Some kid brings stories to life. Only superficially similar. Inkheart is a modern-fantasy adventure tale centered around a young teen, while Bedtime Stories is a more lighthearted Adam Sandler vehicle involving much younger children. The "stories come to life" is played for tension and action in the former while it is played for laughs and poignancy in the latter. Neither film was well-liked by critics, but Bedtime Stories pulled in over $100 million in the US alone (and $200 million worldwide), while Inkheart was a flop, earning only $17 million domestically (its worldwide gross of $70 million was barely enough to recoup its budget).
Legend Labyrinth Big-budget, lavish, special effects-heavy fantasies with a youthful hero/heroine and newfound fantastical companions on a quest to face off with a Big Bad and right a terrible wrong. A seductive, Large Ham villain attempts to woo the leading lady. Both films share a cinematographer (Alex Thomson), and their settings might have had more in commonnote  had the makers of the latter not been made aware of the former. While in the U.K. they were Christmas releases for 1985 and '86, respectively, the North American releases were two months apart in the spring/summer of '86. The two movies take The Hero's Journey in different directions. Ridley Scott's Legend is a straightforward Fairy Tale with a Nature Hero saving a Princess Classic and unicorns from a villain who's effectively Satan, with the fate of the world at stake. Jim Henson's Labyrinth is an often-humorous musical take on the Down the Rabbit Hole plot, with the Present Day heroine seeking to rescue the baby brother she wished away into the land of the Goblin King, and the major characters have more complex personalities/development. The former film uses prosthetic makeup for its non-human characters, while the latter uses animatronic puppets instead. Both films were box-office flops in the U.S., the latter only doing a little better than the former with critics, but gained cult followings on the video market. In later years, Legend�s reputation has gone up a bit thanks to a Director's Cut (the U.S. release was significantly shorter and had a completely different score), but Labyrinth has proven popular enough to spawn several memes and an Expanded Universe in graphic novel form. Both have become major cult classics, with Labyrinth having developed its slightly faster.
Photographing Fairies Fairy Tale A True Story 1997 movies somewhat based on the real-life story of the Cottingley Fairies, about two young cousins who allegedly capture real fairies on film and attract the attention of prominent figures of the time such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. Photographing Fairies is more of a mystery with elements of romance and intrigue, while FairyTale is a family fantasy-drama that focuses on the two young cousins at the centre of the real-life incident. Both films In addition to being released not very far apart, both films have almost the same score on IMDb, a 6.3 for FairyTale and a 6.7 for Photographing Fairies.
Jack the Giant Slayer Oz: The Great and Powerful 2013 movies based on classic stories with heavy doses of special effects. Jack the Giant Slayer is based on Jack and the Beanstalk, while Oz the Great and Powerful is based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Both are directed by superhero movie pioneers, Sam Raimi of Oz for the Spider-Man Trilogy and Brian Singer of Jack for X-Men and X-2. Both of those series could be seen as Dueling Movies on their own rights. Jack the Giant Slayer was a box office bomb and received mixed reviews from critics. Oz the Great and Powerful has fairly positive reviews, and was much more successful at the box office.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang The Love Bug Family films about magical vehicles. Both films seem to have the Disney touch. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang even had then-Disney regular Dick Van Dyke and Sherman Brothers songs. But only the latter was made in house at the legendary studio. The former was produced by Albert Broccoli of James Bond fame and was based on a novel by Ian Fleming (also of Bond fame). Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had mixed reviews and modest financial success. The Love Bug was released a few months later and eclipsed the other film and spawned a number of sequels starring the car Herbie. It was assumed that The Love Bug did better than Chitty because it was set in contemporary times but the other was not (unlike Fleming's novel).

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The Sixth Sense (1999, Shyamalan) The Others (2001, Amenábar) Two thriller/horror movies with the same Twist Ending. Though The Sixth Sense was released two years before The Others, Amenábar wrote his script much before The Sixth Sense was released and the pre-production started before the Shyamalan film showed in theatres. The Sixth Sense easily wins in terms of fame and box office turnover, launching Shyamalan's career and putting The Others in its shadow solely because they share a twist ending (and little else). Both movies were equally well received by critics and audience.
The Descent The Cave

The Cavern
Horror movies with similar titles, made in the same year, and all three about a group of cavers who go spelunking, meet something unpleasant, and die.   When it was released in America one year afterward, The Descent ended up becoming known as "Like The Cave, but it doesn't suck." The Cavern is much more obscure than the other two, but definitely the worst of the lot.
Paranormal Activity The Fourth Kind (very loosely)-Based on a True Story films that use videotaped sequences to enhance the realism. Paranormal is a Faux Documentary about demonic spirits, while Fourth is a more conventional film about alien abductions. In terms of the cost-to-earnings ratio, Paranormal is the clear winner, being a $15,000 YouTube series that earned hundreds of millions (and sequels!).
An American Werewolf in London The Howling Two 1981 horror/comedy movies about werewolves. They were the first of their kind to show an "actual" transformation scene of men turning into wolves. The Howling came first by a couple of months and has six sequels, all crappy stuff; AAWIL only has one, An American Werewolf in Paris, which was mediocre at best. American Werewolf is the better remembered of the two, although both are cult classics.
Dark Moon Apollo 18 Found Footage Films about a previously unknown Apollo 18 moon landing, and what the astronauts found there. Dark Moon seems to have been in production longer, but Apollo 18 hit the cinemas first. The results remain to be seen.
Silent Hill The Dark Supernatural horror about a mother searching for her daughter and comes across the identical ghost of a little girl who wants to take her daughter's place. Mother has to search a mysterious "Otherworld" to find her daughter, aided by her husband, who is played by Sean Bean in both. Both films feature religious cults, an Otherworld, missing daughters and a Mama Bear as the main protagonist. In the video game Silent Hil 1, it's a Papa Wolf, but the director thought it the female spin was more believable. Despite being a video-game adaptation, Silent Hill found some success with franchise fans, newcomers and even a few critics, and received a sequel. Of course, they didn't have to do all that well to beat The Dark, which basically no one noticed. (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, for what it's worth, has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)
The Horror Show Shocker Both movies center around serial killers who meet their demise in the electric chair. The killer in question has made supernatural precautions and returns from death to torment those who captured him. Both films were released 1989 with a six month gap between them. Neither faired well in the box office, but Shocker at least made its money back.
Pontypool Dead Air 2009 films about a viral infection that turns people into mindless and violent lunatics, both from the perspective of a DJ stuck inside the recording studio while everything is going to hell. In Pontypool it is language itself that triggers the infection, while in Dead Air the cause is a more conventional terrorist attack. Pontypool has gained better reviews overall.
Rogue Black Water 2007 Australian movies about crocodiles that were based on true stories released within months of one another. Rogue stars Radha Mitchell, Michael Varten and a then-unknown Sam Worthington from Clash of the Titans and Avatar, and was directed by Greg Mclean who directed Wolf Creek. Black Water�s stars are more or less unknown outside of Australia. Both movies faired poorly at the box office, but Rogue has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the CGI crocodile impressed across the board. Black Water was not as well received, and though it utilised footage of real crocodiles, some critics felt this led to a great amount of inconsistency.
The Cabin in the Woods Detention Post-modern, Genre-Busting takes on the horror genre that were released the same weekend. Detention was made by Joseph Kahnnote , opened in limited release, and is chiefly a satire of modern teenage life. Cabin was made by the team of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, got a wide release after spending years sitting on the shelf due to MGM crashing and burning, and is a Deconstructor Fleet for horror movies. Cabin got near-universal praise, made much more money and is already being revered as one of the greats in the genre, while Detention split critics and is likely to wind up a Cult Classic.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer John Carpenter's Vampires Both are dark stories that take place in a world where vampires exist but their existence is not known by the general public. Both feature a "slayer" or a character that is specifically trained by a shady organization to hunt down and kill vampires. Both slayers also manage to put together a team to help them in killing vampires. The movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out six years before Vampires (though the latter was released a year after the premiere of the TV series based off of the former). Due to Executive Meddling the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie ended up being much campier than the horror/comedy that Joss Whedon originally intended. The show is fairly dark, but somewhat idealistic. Vampires is a lot grittier. Buffy takes place in an urban environment, with both the show and series involving the title character protecting a town, while Vampires mostly took place in a rural desert environment. The "slayers" were also two very different characters in each; Buffy Summers was a Valley Girl who was chosen through supernatural means by a secret society, while Jack Crowe was trained from birth by the Vatican and is the perfect example of a Politically Incorrect Hero. Buffy tended to rely on more supernatural means, while Jack Crowe manages to awesomely use conventional weaponry (though both primarily use stakes). Vampires also did not have as strong a female presence. Vampires did okay at the box office, but both were ultimately overshadowed by the TV series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Haunting (1999) House On Haunted Hill 1999 Remakes of classic Haunted House movies, both released within a few months of each other in 1999. Both films were backed by big-name directors Steven Spielberg for The Haunting and Robert Zemeckis for House on Haunted Hill. The two films made about the same level of profit compared to their respective budgets. However, The Haunting was expected to be a summer blockbuster, but only ended up moderately profitable and was critically reviled. House on Haunted Hill did what was expected of it in terms of box office and critical reaction, and got an eventual (if belated) sequel, so on the whole it wins out.
Friday the 13th series A Nightmare on Elm Street series

Halloween series
'80s Slasher Movie series. The earlier Friday and Halloween movies are more straightforward slashers, only becoming explicitly supernatural with later installments. Nightmare, on the other hand, featured a supernatural killer from the start. Also, while Halloween came first of the three, it was only turned into a franchise to capitalize on the success of the other two — before that, it had only two sequels (one of which was In Name Only). Friday vs. Nightmare vs. Halloween may just be the horror equivalent of Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Quality-wise, while the first film in each franchise is revered as a classic, and each has some good sequels, there came a point where each of them Jumping the SharkFriday when it sent Jason to New York (for only a third of the movie) and then turned him into a body surfing demon, Halloween with the Cult of Thorn storyline and the sight of Michael getting humiliated by Busta Rhymes, and Nightmare when it turned Freddy into a comedian with a Power Glove.

Commercially, while Friday had the most sequels before it was remade, the series stands about neck-and-neck with the Nightmare series in terms of box office, with the Halloween films collectively in third. All three films have been remade; the Halloween (2007) remake received a sequel while the other two didn't, but it was also the lowest-grossing of the three remakes. As for the question of "who would win in a fight", that will likely never be settled, even after Freddy vs. Jason.
The Apparition The Possession Two supernatural ghost/demon films released within a week of one another in August 2012. The Apparition has Ashley Greene and is about a parapsychology experiment Gone Horribly Wrong, while The Possession is produced by Sam Raimi and is a Jewish take on Demonic Possession. The Possession by a landslide, though admittedly it had a pretty low bar to clear. While reviews for it were pretty critical, they were still miles better than the single-digit Tomatometer score of The Apparition, which didn't even make back half of its $17 million budget. The Possession made more in its first day than The Apparition did in its entire run.
Scream series I Know What You Did Last Summer series Late '90s slasher movie series created by Kevin Williamson that were rooted in post-modern, genre savvy takes on the horror genre. IKWYDLSnote  was adapted from a novel by Lois Duncan, while Scream had the star power of Wes Craven (the maker of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)) behind it. Scream had a far greater and longer-lasting impact that is still felt in the horror genre, and made a ton more money to boot and had three sequels. IKWYDLS, while also successful, is often seen as a copycat, only got two sequels (one of which went Direct-to-Video), and is today remembered mainly for Jennifer Love Hewitt's tight tank top and for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Dracula (1979) Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) Dracula adaptations that draw upon previous adaptations — Universal's Dracula is based on the same play as their famous 1931 version, and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu is based on the F.W. Murnau version from 1922. Both feature A-list casts and lavish production values. The former was intended as a Summer Blockbuster, while the latter played the arthouse circuit that fall. American International Pictures got in on the vampire hype when they brought out Love at First Bite, a comedy about the Count finding love in The Seventies, three months prior to the former's release. It was a surprise hit and subsequently blamed for the fact that... Dracula only did okay at the box office. Reviews were mixed and though it predates other films and books that romanticize the lead character, it is largely forgotten today. By comparison, Nosferatu got great reviews and appears on the Roger Ebert Great Movies List alongside the film it remade.
Prom Night IV Deliver Us From Evil Happy Hell Night 1992 Slasher Movies which feature a demonically possessed priest who, after awakening from a decades long catatonia, kill people. Both movies feature a scene where a statue of Jesus Christ moves on its own. Deliver Us from Evil is the third and last sequel to Prom Night 1980. Happy Hell Night is a stand-alone film. Draw. Neither movie was very successful on its release, but became cult films later.
The Prowler (a.k.a. Rosemary's Killer) My Bloody Valentine 1981 Slasher Movies which feature a town that is willing to restart a celebration (Valentine's Day in MBV, graduation in The Prowler) openly again after murders were committed on that day several decades ago. The original perpetrator seemingly returns to bloodily remind them why this is a bad idea. The killer in both is clad in an all-concealing outfit (WWII combat gear in the former, miner's outfit in the latter) and is primarily armed with a common tool (pitchfork in the former, pickaxe in the latter). My Bloody Valentine. Both films received an average reception, but it made its relatively budget small budget back over fifteen times at the box-office.
No One Lives You're Next 2013 horror movies about a group of murderers meeting their match when one of their victims turns out to be a killer. The criminals in No One Lives are highway killers with established names and faces. In You're Next, they are home invaders and their identities are concealed with masks. To be determined in regards to finical success and overall reception. Initial critical reaction to You're Next has been positive, while No One Lives was panned.
The Purge You're Next Home invasion thrillers released in summer 2013. The Purge's gimmick is that it's set in a dystopian world where, for one night a year, all crime is legalized. You're Next is a more straightforward film, albeit with a Black Comedy take on the genre. A clear case of Critical Dissonance. You're Next won the praise of those who actually saw it, but flopped at the box office, while The Purge was a hit but was trashed by critics.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) My Soul to Take 2010 horror flicks focusing on supernatural events and a killer targeting teenagers. Wes Craven wrote and directed My Soul to Take, while Elm Street was a remake of Craven's original. While both films were poorly received by critics, Nightmare was the clear winner in terms of box-office take, earning over $135 million, while My Soul to Take failed to make back its budget.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The Pirates of Penzance The Pirate Movie Both are adaptations of the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance released around 1982-1983. The former is a filmed rendition of the then-running Broadway revival with much of the same cast; the latter is a very-loose rendition of the story with a few of the same songs (and some extras) and a generally �80s feel. The Pirate Movie got to theaters first, in the midst of Penzance�s Broadway run, and quickly faded away. Although a box-office bomb itself, the failure of Penzance was caused by Executive Meddling, not lack of interest. The Pirates of Penzance actually enjoyed a long run in one of the 92 theaters that showed it. The Pirates of Penzance, with a higher Rotten Tomatoes score and a Golden Globe nom for Best Actress. The Pirate Movie bombed critically and earned a few Razzie nominations.
U2 3D Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert 3-D concert films from early 2008. The U2 concert was shown at IMAX, while the Hannah Montana concert was shown in digital 3-D only. And one year later came the cheaper Jonas Brothers 3-D concert, which was also shown at IMAX. Hannah Montana had a much bigger box office, but U2 3D was better received by critics.
Can't Stop the Music Xanadu 1980 disco musicals, each with a $20 million budget, that double as non-actor vehicles. Both involve alumni of the 1978 blockbuster Grease: producer Allan Carr and screenwriter Bronte Woodard with the former, and lead actress Olivia Newton-John with the latter. (Carr wanted Newton-John for the female lead in Can't Stop, but it didn't work out.) The former fictionalizes the creation and rise to stardom of the Village People and intertwines it with a romance between an uptight lawyer (Bruce Jenner) and a feisty ex-model (Valerie Perrine). The latter is a fantasy about a Greek Muse (Newton-John) who inspires a struggling artist (Michael Beck) to open a lavish roller disco; complications ensue when she falls in love with him. Can't Stop opened in June, Xanadu in August — either way, they were victims of the "Disco Sucks" backlash. Both received wretched reviews and derailed the film careers of several of their leads. They inspired the very first Golden Raspberry Awards when they ran as a double feature; the former "won" Worst Picture and Screenplay, and the latter Worst Director. But Xanadu barely made back its budget, had a hit soundtrack, became a camp classic via cable, and received an intentionally tongue-in-cheek Screen-to-Stage Adaptation in 2007. Can't Stop the Music only grossed $2 million and sounded the death knell for the Village People's popularity.
Grease Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band From record and film producer Robert Stigwood, via different studios (Paramount and Universal): Two Summer Blockbuster musicals aiming at the teenybopper market with name performers from both the film and music spheres. Both were adapted from stage productions, and both involve key alumni of Saturday Night Fever — lead actor John Travolta in the former, and band The Bee Gees in the latter (getting to act as well as provide tunes). The latter's director, Michael Schultz, turned the former down when it was initially offered to him. The former is a cheery, Camp take on The Fifties; the latter is a fantasy Jukebox Musical based on songs of The Beatles. Stigwood focused on the latter film, as he was sole producer on it (as opposed to co-producer, with Allan Carr, on the former) and it had a budget three times as big, but Grease proved to be the biggest movie of 1978. While it didn't receive glowing reviews, they were much better than what Sgt. Pepper received when it opened the following month. The box office receipts barely covered the budget and many of the performers in the film suffered career setbacks for their association with it.
Rags Let It Shine TV movie about a teen boy who wants to be a singing star but has a disapproving father. Elsewhere, successful African-American female pop star wishes to sing her own music her own way. The two meet up and (presumably) achieve their respective goals. Both are also based off of classic stories. (Cinderella for Rags and Cyrano de Bergerac for Let It Shine. Rags is Nickelodeon and Let It Shine is Disney Channel. Let It Shine, although Rags did pretty decently as well, especially on iTunes.
Footloose Streets of Fire

Purple Rain
3 movies released in 1984 with music as the recurring theme. Footloose was based on true events of a ban on dancing in Nebraska, Streets of Fire was more action-oriented, and Purple Rain was the one with Prince. These movies were released by Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. respectively. Financially, Footloose did better than the other two, but all 3 these movies managed to be Cult Classics in their own right.
The Hollywood Revue Of 1929 (1929, (MGM) The Show Of Shows (1929, Warner Bros.) and Paramount On Parade (1930, Paramount) All three films are plotless revues (musical numbers interspersed with sketches), designed to showcase the studios� contracted stars and demonstrate how far they had come in talkie technology (and how much Technicolor they could afford). By 1929, audiences showed every sign of preferring sound films to silents. Each of these films was its producing studio�s declaration of intent, stating their claim to the future of film. The Hollywood Revue Of 1929 has the highest score on IMDB, but modern viewers should remember that none of these movies survive in the format that audiences originally saw (missing soundtracks, missing color footage, completely lost segments).

    Sword and Sandal 
Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?

Kingdom of Heaven

King Arthur

(all 2004)

Robin Hood (2010);


Demythtified Sword And Sandal (would be) epics inspired by success of Gladiator using cinematography from LOTR and stuttercam from SPR to capture massive battle scenes, seasoned lightly with a single tasteful love scene. The hero employs the ancient sword technique of ramping. Troy and 300 seem doomed to comparison, despite having little in common besides being about Greeks. The Siege in the 2004 flicks fell victim to Seinfeld Fatigue in the wake of a certain '03 film and those Capital One ads. Kingdom was heavily cut up for the theatrical release. 300 wins due to popularity. Troy places thanks to that one fight scene everyone wants to see. Kingdom draws, due to the stellar Director's Cut. King Arthur loses. Robin Hood (2010) is Gladiator with Robin Hood! Centurion gets a leg up for being deliberately cheesy.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Clash of the Titans Two action-adventure movies with very different target audiences (Percy Jackson is based on a YA book series; Clash is a remake of the 1981 movie). Both are very loosely based on Classical Mythology, up to having an overlapping character roster. Which Zeus do you prefer, Sean Bean or Liam Neeson? The sequel for the Percy Jackson movie was announced before the release... and yet languished in Development Hell for a while. (and will come out one year after the sequel to the other one, Wrath of the Titans) Both films received lukewarm reviews, but Clash did much better financially.
Centurion The Eagle Adventure movies set in 2nd Century Roman Britain with the "mysterious disappearance" of the Spanish Ninth Legion as their inspiration. Centurion is an original, Gornasmic chase movie reminiscent of Apocalypto that follows a group of legionaries stranded in enemy territory after their legion is massacred by the Picts. The Eagle is a Darker and Edgier Pragmatic Adaptation of the 1954 classic children historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth, that follows the son of the disgraced general of the Ninth and his Brittonic slave in a mission to recover the Legion's eagle and restore the honor of his family years after the Legion disappeared. Both films received mixed reviews. Centurion, directed by Neil Marshall and starring Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko, was most criticized because of its script, while The Eagle's critics targetted Kevin MacDonald's direction and Channing Tatum's uninspired performance as the lead. Nonetheless, only The Eagle made its budget back, despite costing twice as much as Centurion.
The Legend of Hercules Hercules The Thracian Wars Adaptations of the Hercules myth made for the modern audience. Hecules: The Thracian Wars is based off a graphic novel, while The Legend of Hercules is an original story. TBA.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Pitch Black Supernova Space movies featuring a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits-type crew that must survive a hostile environment and an Ax-Crazy serial killer. Most of the crew are killed. PB was made in Australia and on a budget that the Aussies considered huge, but in America was only middlin'. It featured Vin Diesel and Claudia Black (who was shooting her first scenes in a little-known space show with Muppets at the same time). Supernova, meanwhile, had a huge budget and bigger stars like James Spader. Pitch Black did more with its little than Supernova did with its lot, with a tight storyline and more interesting characters that did not lean on Eye Candy. It eventually spawned a pretty fat franchise with a sequel, an animated tie-in, a video game, etc. Supernova was usually graded as "it supersucks!"
Jurassic Park Carnosaur The latter is basically a low-budget clone of the former, with less philosophy and capitalism and more gore and mad scientists, by Roger Corman, the master of movies several grades lower than B. This example is mostly notable for the fact that the imitator actually got into theaters first, due to a massively quick shooting schedule. Also, Harry Adam Knight, author of the deliberately trashy novel Carnosaur was based on, has gleefully pointed out that one scene in Jurassic Park occurs in his book, but not Michael Crichton's. Jurassic Park held the record for highest grossing film in history for several years, until Titanic broke it.
Dark City

The Matrix
The Thirteenth Floor

Each film centered around reality not being really real and just a simulation in the future, albeit for different reasons and created by different sources. Of course, The Matrix was a huge blockbuster, while Thirteenth Floor was viewed as a copy. It's really not, as the two movies have almost nothing in common. The same applies to eXistenZ, but with a generous helping of Body Horror. The Matrix by a country mile. It re-used the exact same sets and camera angles as the previous Dark City, causing much consternation by fans of the latter film such as Roger Ebert. eXisenZ gets an honorable mention for well received by critics and well liked by fans of director David Cronenberg
Destination Moon (1950)

Destination Moon (1950), unrelated
Rocketship XM Moon was scientifically accurate, featured a script by Robert A. Heinlein, and pretty much kicked off the "space adventure" genre of film; X-M featured sound in space, rockets stopping when the engines cut out, and eventually ended up on MST 3 K. Another case of the ripoff making it into theaters first; Destination Moon was famously advertised as "Two years in the making!", and X-M took advantage of it. Destination Moon (film).

The 2-part Tintin series was more scientifically accurate and prescient than either of them, and eerily similar in plot, but didn't cross the pond.
Independence Day The Arrival Alien Invasion movies released in the summer of 1996. Aside from involving an alien invasion, they are nothing alike. Independence Day was the big-studio action movie with a big budget, big stars, big promotion and churned out an even bigger profit. The Arrival was intended to be more of a thoughtful thriller, with only one brand-name star (Charlie Sheen). It never had a chance. ID4 Can anyone actually remember The Arrival? (Yes! The guy looked like Gordon Freeman!)
Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen Terminator Salvation Both movies are sequels to established sci-fi robot franchises; however, Terminator Salvation departs from the Terminator series' usual formula by mostly concerning itself with giant and/or vehicle-like "non-cyborg" sentient robots, making it closely resemble the Transformers movies. With Transformers, the core fanbase was already steeled to expect a Bay film. On the other hand, Salvation did help establish Sam Worthington as an Epic Movie actor just as he was about to quit to take a long vacation in the desert, so make of what you will of that. Both movies were savaged by critics, but Revenge of the Fallen made more money and seems to have more fans, while Salvation seems to be a Franchise Killer; not only is the Terminator franchise dead for the moment, but their company went under as well following the movie.
Godzilla Gamera Kaiju smash cities and battle other kaiju. The Godzilla series started in the lead in the "Showa" era with more and better films, but the "Heisei" series for both were a marked change. Despite having only a trilogy, Gamera had the better and more successful films overall when it went into a more realistic, Darker and Edgier direction. It dropped it with its own attempt at a third series, leading to a repeat of the Showa status-quo for the Millennium. Godzilla has had much more staying power and is still having movies churned out.
The Abyss Deep Star Six

For some reason, one of those unsolved mysteries of the universe, 1989 saw three submarine sci-fi thrillers. They all feature people trapped in confined spaces, ridiculous aquatic gear, monsters, and tons of water. It's not clear that one is the original and the others imitators, but The Abyss is generally regarded as the best, and the other two ended up soggy (though they're both pretty entertaining in their own right). The Abyss.
Alien: Resurrection Deep Rising A rag-tag bunch of pirates/mercenaries, joined by the protagonist(s) and a number of original crew members (including the human villain, who decides later on that now would be the perfect time to back-stab the survivors) try to escape from the bowels of a ship that's hopelessly infested with a group of extremely lethal predators after the former crew has departed/vanished. Both prominently feature an extended underwater action set-piece at some point. Deep Rising came out in January 1998, Alien: Resurrection in November 1997. The latter had been in gestation far longer than that (pretty much since the release of Alien³ in 1992), but early script versions differ significantly from the movie that ultimately ended up in theatres. Alien: Resurrection was helmed by French director Jean Pierre Jeunet, Deep Rising by Stephen Sommers. Alien: Resurrection was the bigger film by far, with more big-name-stars, a larger budget, and an extensive marketing campaign. It failed to become the financial blockbuster-success that 20th Century Fox had hoped for, however, and is considered a major drop-down in quality from previous installments of the Alien series. Deep Rising, while less successful financially by comparison, has gained a bit of a cult following primarily due to the sheer enjoyability of the movie and its habit of never taking itself seriously.
Mission to Mars Red Planet

Ghosts of Mars
Movies about going to Mars! M2M was 2001-lite, but the other two were B-Movie fare. Mission to Mars was the best received (albeit not especially well-reviewed) and broke even at the box office. Ghosts of Mars was the worst reviewed, though it had the lowest budget and did very well on DVD, making it moderately profitable. Red Planet made a massive loss at the box office, too much for it to have any hope of breaking even on DVD.
Delgo Avatar CGI sci-fi passion-projects about two ethnic groups of separate species fighting each other and how two of the separate species attempt to stop the fighting and fall in love in the process. While both have been in production for years, Delgo did come out first. A lawsuit was even prompted by the makers of Delgo against Avatar. Avatar is currently the top-grossing film of all time. Delgo, meanwhile, is currently the biggest box-office flop in the history of animation. An incredibly mishandled marketing campaign and releasing the film in a handful of theaters in an overcrowded market didn't help. Many guess that the lawsuit is an attempt to somehow recoup Delgo�s budget after its epic failure at the box office or the studio taking jokes made about the two films seriously.
Battle: Los Angeles Skyline Aliens attack Los Angeles. Battle Los Angeles began production first and focuses solely on the military fighting aliens. Skyline began production after (but got released first) and focuses on the military and regular people fighting aliens. Both Skyline and Battle Los Angeles were panned by critics (though the latter not quite as badly). However, audiences reacted much more favorably to Battle Los Angeles, and while Skyline made a profit ($65 million worldwide on a $10 million budget), Battle Los Angeles (costing $100 million) made close to as much in its opening weekend as Skyline made during its entire run. Battle Los Angeles is the clear winner when all is said and done. To say nothing about a lawsuit that occurred between both Sony and effects studio Hydraulxnote  during production of the films.
Skyline The Darkest Hour Independently-produced films about alien invasions in major cities. Skyline is set in Los Angeles, while The Darkest Hour is set in Moscow and was produced by Timur Bekmambetov (of Night Watch and Wanted fame). Both films were ravaged by critics, though Skyline managed to make a lot more money on a much smaller budget than The Darkest Hour, which bombed at the box office.
Inception The Adjustment Bureau


Source Code
Action movies with strong philosophical/Mind Screw elements. Inception was released in 2010 and all of the imitators were previewed/released within the next year. Inception is the most popular among both critics and general audiences; the others got positive reviews as well (especially Source Code, which got 92% in Rotten Tomatoes), but were less commercially succesful).
Runaway The Terminator Both films, released within a month of one another in late 1984, dealt with robotics gone amuck, but to varying degrees. One had robots as household appliances trying to run and the other had robots in the future trying to wipe out the future human leader of La Résistance. Terminator was a B-movie, with non-household names and written/directed by an unknown. Runaway starred Tom Selleck (of Magnum, P.I. fame) and Gene Simmons, and was written and directed by accomplished sci-fi author Michael Crichton. Terminator spawned three sequels and a TV show, plus numerous video games and comic books, along with launching the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, and James Cameron. Aspiring filmmakers, let this be a lesson that your crappy, fever-induced script does have a chance of beating an A-Movie and becoming a multi-million dollar franchise.
Cowboys and Aliens Attack the Block 2011 Genre mash-ups where aliens invade during an American western and a mugging in London, respectively. Both opened on the same day and both have fanboy-fave directors (Jon Favreau and Edgar Wright), but Cowboys and Aliens had a Comic Con presence and an All-Star Cast. Cowboys and Aliens had a wider release but mixed reviews while Attack The Block got a small release and relatively great reviews.
Oblivion After Earth 2013 movies set on post-diaspora and -apocalypse Earths starring A list actors (respectively, Tom Cruise and Will Smith). Oblivion opens a couple months earlier. Oblivion has the hero finding a long-lost La Résistance (or are they?) on earth after it was destroyed by aliens; After Earth has the heroes crashing onto the specifically human-hostile and -free planet (apparently one of many), which has been "quarantined" for so long the hero's son doesn't know its name. Both films' heroes are shown with shiny white spacecraft and neat, clean suits exploring the ruins/wilderness. Oblivion. While Oblivion got mixed reception from the critics, it managed to make more than twice its budget back. After Earth did much worse with both the critics (compare Oblivion's 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating to After Earth's 11%) and the box-office, failing to recoup its $130 million budget.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The Green Hornet Green Lantern

Green Arrow (on hold)
Green-themed superheroes.

It isn't easy being green for would-be third contender, Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max.
One is based on a long-running second-tier (perhaps) DC icon, one is based on a cult TV show. Both had to correct for silly weaknesses (yellow and reliance on Bruce Lee, respectively). Cracked made a chart pointing out how similar the two movies were. In the end, Lantern got thrashed by critics and proved to be a total disaster at the box office for Warner Bros., who had banked on it being their big movie for the summer of 2011. By contrast, Hornet got mixed reviews but made back its budget nearly twice over, so it looks to be the winner.
Sky High Zoom: Academy for Superheroes Kid superheroes learn to use their powers. Very different, if you give Zoom a chance. There's very little substance hung on Zoom�s plot scaffold. Notably, Zoom is one former superhero employed by the military training youngsters, instead of the full-fledged institution implied by the title. Sky High made back over double its budget and earned favorable reviews, while Zoom flopped and earned Tim Allen a Razzie nom.
Iron Man The Dark Knight

(*The Green Hornet)
Two movies that came out the same summer (and one that would have) in which, after traumatic events, wealthy sons become masked super heroes with pimped-out mechanical aids; they also have butlers and/or a leggy Sassy Secretary (well, two out of three) and a really Cool/Weaponized Car. The heroes pose as apathetic playboys who own their own corporations and have a close friend/business partner who is also a minority. Not only were Iron Man and The Dark Knight dueling movies, but they were also dueling between Marvel and DC respectively during their release in 2008. Green Hornet, on the other hand, was pushed back to January 2011 due to the studio converting to 3-D. Both Iron Man and Dark Knight received huge critical acclaim and did great at the box office, but The Dark Knight wins on a slight edge. Iron Man got a sequel sooner, but The Dark Knight did better critically and financially. And that's not to mention The Dark Knight winning the first ever acting Oscar for a Comic Book movie with Heath Ledger winning posthumously for his portrayal of The Joker. However, Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has made over $5 billion. With a "B." Green Hornet, when it finally was released, received mixed reviews and modest box office, which, in all fairness, is probably better than it would have done if it was released on time to compete with the other two.
Thor Green Lantern Superhero movies with the involvement of forces from beyond our world, whether alien or divine. Another Marvel vs. DC duel. Thor got much better reviews, and performed better at the box office.
Defendor Kick-Ass

Three indie superhero movies about average people trying to become gadget-based, low-budget vigilantes and end up having brushes with local organized crime. The major difference definitely falls in the personalities of the superheroes. Kick-Ass is an average nerdy teen, while Defendor is a mentally-disturbed homeless man that has delusions of certain supervillains. Super�s Crimson Bolt suffers similar deranged illusions, but is slightly more stable. Kick-Ass becomes more stylized as it goes along, while the other two have a more realistic look to them. This could be chalked up to budget differences, as Kick-Ass (while low budget by Hollywood standards) cost over ten times as much as either of the other two. Super received mixed reviews and was released only on select arthouse theater screens, limiting its mainstream marketability, but it was a success on VOD. Defendor had a limited release and will likely have a cult status. Kick-Ass was the big winner, a commercial success that received mostly positive reviews (Roger Ebert hated it, but most others were kinder) and made stars out of Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz.
The Avengers The Dark Knight Rises

The Amazing Spider-Man
Superhero films released in 2012 and showcasing some of the biggest characters in Comic Books. The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are the culmination of their respective franchises spanning over several years. The Avengers is the climax of phase one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (phase two launched with Iron Man 3, with more films to come), while The Dark Knight Rises is the definite end of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Saga. The Amazing Spider-Man, meanwhile, is a reboot of the Spider-Man film series, and is part of a separate continuity from the MCU, what with it still being owned by Sony. The Avengers made $1.5 billion at the box office (it's the third-highest-grossing movie of all time) and a higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it the win. Rises is a close second, with $1.1B (7th-highest by gross), a higher rating on Metacritic, and a higher IMDB score. The Amazing Spider-Man was a clear third-place finisher, though it still did well with both critics and audiences.
Mystery Men (1999) The Specials (2000) Semi-deconstructive parodies about loser/inept/oddly-abled underdog superheroes.   Probably Mystery Men because it seems better-known and had that whole Smash Mouth tie-in; both movies have their moments, though.
Iron Man 3 Man of Steel Battle of the ferrous metal themed Superhero Franchises, 2013. Also, DC vs. Marvel, Again Iron Man 3 is the third in its series and features a new director at the helm. Man of Steel is a reboot of the Superman franchise, 27 years after Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavil in the title role. Iron Man 3 was well-received from fans and critics and grossed $1.2 billion in the box office and became the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. Man of Steel is very much Love It or Hate It and grossed over $600 million at the box office. The winner is Iron Man 3.
Iron Man film series The Dark Knight Saga To summarize a few of the above entries, both are superhero franchises by Marvel and DC starring a gadget-using billionaire (Iron Man and Batman, respectively). Both franchises consist of a trilogy with a final installment where the hero ditches all his gadgets and decides to retire, to enjoy a peaceful life with his significant other. Also, although Batman was possibly DC's most famous hero to begin with, Iron Man was mostly a B-lister until his movies elevated him to near-Spider-Man status. Pretty much tied. Every movie in both series has received good to excellent reviews and been a smash hit at the box office.
X-Men: Days of Future Past The Avengers: Age of Ultron Super-powered siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver wreck havoc in separate Marvel universe films. X-Men has the siblings as twins (no word yet if their dad is Magneto) while Avengers has them as an older-sister/younger brother pair who are "metahumans", not 'mutants' . As far as costumes go Avengers Quicksilver is winning amongst fans for his sleek and athletic look while the X-Men version ... isn't (in his defense "sleek and athletic" didn't really exist in The Seventies).

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Saving Private Ryan The Thin Red Line Both films were released in 1998 to rave reviews. Both featured an all-star cast of actors clambering over each other to appear in bit parts; both featured a 30-minute extended bloody assault on a bunker in the first half of the film followed by a long tramp across the countryside punctuated by violence. Both had HBO Spiritual Successor miniseries. SPR was set in Europe, TTRL was set in the Pacific. SPR came out several months ahead and had the natural crowd appeal of Spielberg, while reclusive director Terence Malick spent extra time on TTRL. Veterans groups complained TTRL was insufficiently sympathetic to the Allied cause, while critics complained that the second half of SPR was too mawkish. Saving Private Ryan by far among the general public, while The Thin Red Line is still in heated contention with SPR among critics and film buffs.

Of related series, The Pacific is more often compared to Band of Brothers than TTRL.
Catch-22 M*A*S*H Deconstructive black comedy war movies released in 1970, with not much combat but a surprising amount of blood, starring ensemble casts of screwballs, and most certainly not using earlier wars as stand-ins for Vietnam. If suicide is painless, perhaps that is the answer to the Catch-22. Catch-22, despite an all-star cast, got tepid reviews and flopped. M*A*S*H was a huge success, made Robert Altman famous, inspired an even more successful TV series, and helped usher in the '70s auteur era in general.
Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden Zero Dark Thirty Films released in 2012 about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Seal Team Six was produced by Harvey Weinstein for the National Geographic Channel, directed by the guy who made Turistas, and features a mostly small-name cast. Zero Dark Thirty was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, stars Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, James Gandolfini, and Mark Strong, and is being given a limited release in December 2012 for qualification for the Academy Awards. Seal Team Six got fairly good ratings, but the reviews were mixed. Zero Dark Thirty, while incredibly controversial, still received unanimously good reviews and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Tombstone Wyatt Earp Historical westerns about... Wyatt Earp. Tombstone starred Kurt Russell, while Wyatt Earp starred Kevin Costner. Costner was originally involved with Tombstone but left over disagreements regarding the script, deciding to make his own Earp pic. He even put pressure on studios to refuse distribution of Tombstone, but guess which one made more money in the end... Tombstone proved to be a hit and earned the better reviews, while Wyatt Earp flopped at the box office and got nominated for five Razzies.

    Duels across genres 
Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
Dr. Strangelove Fail-Safe Both films feature the President of the United States collaborating with the Soviet Union to avert imminent nuclear Armageddon. Interestingly, the books were at war too, with Red Alert, the precursor to Strangelove, winning out. When Kubrick heard that Fail Safe was being made into a movie, he tied the production up in legal issues to get Strangelove out first. The tone of the films is entirely different; Strangelove is a Black Comedy, while Fail-Safe is all about the horror. Though both are generally received as classics, Fail-Safe didn't feature Slim Pickens riding a nuclear bomb to annihilation, and that crucial oversight cost it in the long run. Dr. Strangelove wins due to several Academy Award nominations and being regarded as the best satire in cinema history. The two movies share so many plot points that Fail-Safe tends to be Hilarious in Hindsight.
The Road The Book of Eli Both are post-apocalyptic movies about a man safeguarding something he holds dear. The former is trying to survive with his son and the latter is keeping the last Bible on Earth from the Big Bad. Whilst the two movies deal with some similar themes, The Road is a much more methodical and bleak in its approach whilst The Book of Eli placed more emphasis on action and had a more Fallout-esque scenario The Road fared much better critically, but just about broke even money wise. The Book of Eli had a significantly better box-office gross.
Repo! The Genetic Opera Repo Men Both sci-fi films about a massive corporation in a Crapsack World that offers organ transplants to the masses, and who send "repo men" assassins to murder those who can't pay their debts. The former is a musical, while the latter is an action film based on the 2009 novel, Repossession Mambo.

Despite the names, neither film is a sequel to the '84 SF cult classic Repo Man, whose spiritual sequel Repo Chick was released in fall 2009. Confused yet?
Although it has been reported that the concept for Repo Men was conceived in 2003, some two years after the stage version of Repo! debuted, the author's essay at the back of the novel reveals that Repossession Mambo was his first novel, the one he fell in love with but couldn't sell, and had been in parallel development with the screenplay since 2001. Repo! did OK business in a very, very limited release (i.e. 11 screens nationally), and has since become a cult classic. Repo Men's first weekend gross, although easily bigger, did not match its multi-million dollar production and advertising budget. It also has a lower percentage of positive reviews than Repo! on Rotten Tomatoes.
Evita Eva Peron: The True Story Both films are biopics of former Argentinean First Lady Eva Peron, the "Spiritual Leader of the Nation". The former is the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical; the latter is an Argentinian-produced biopic. Eva Peron was put into production by the Argentinian Government to counter the musical's less-than-flattering account of Peron. Both films were released in the U.S. a week apart in December, 1996. Evita ended up getting the most notice (it starred Madonna), including the Academy Award for its song "You Must Love Me."
Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco All Dogs Go To Heaven 2 Movies about dogs in 1996 San Francisco. The Homeward Bound sequel was just the first movie all over again, but in San Francisco, while All Dogs was about Charlie and Itchy retrieving Gabriel's horn. Incidentally, both Chance and Charlie find love. Both movies didn't do so well, but Lost in San Francisco had more staying power and raked in more money.
Avatar Alice in Wonderland Big movies from famously imaginative directors with extensive 3D visual effects about a person who undergoes a physical change (and considerable Clothing Damage) in a dangerous World of Chaos where they're compelled to lead the oppressed animals/residents into battle against a person with a facial deformity and a Dragon. They also get admonished by blue people with glowing spots. Dreams and eyes are a big motif. Avatar has a male protagonist who chooses to stay in the new world after fighting a ship called the Dragon; Alice decides to go back to the real world after fighting an actual dragon but has the option of returning. Both also include nods to The Lord of the Rings: Avatar had the same effects company and Alice had a few shout outs. Both made a lot of money, both would be nominated for special effects awards. Avatar got significantly better reviews, however. Their respective DVD releases are a bit odd: Avatar released a Vanilla Edition while Alice rushed its DVD only a few months after its premier, which annoyed some UK distributors to the point where they didn't bother to play the film at all.
Catfish The Virginity Hit Internet sites (Face Book and YouTube, respectively) are used to chronicle uncomfortable intimate relationships. Catfish is a documentary while Virginity is a regular comedy shot with Jitter Cam. Both have had controversy in that Catfish is suspected of being fake (not helping was the director's next project being the third Paranormal Activity film) and Virginity's ads coincided with (or possibly inspired) two real-life college students filming their roommate's intimate encounter, outing him as gay and causing him to kill himself. Catfish wins this one as its success in limited release far surpasses The Virginity Hit, which had one of the worst nationwide openings. The Virginity Hit had Matt Bennett though, so time will tell.
Shutter Island Inception 2010 Mind Screw thrillers starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a man apart from society who can have difficulty telling dreams from reality and is alternately helped and tormented by his meaningfully-named, mentally troubled wife who he killed. DiCaprio's characters are a bit different. In Shutter Island, he's a man jailed for killing his wife after ignoring her mental illness, which causes her to murder their kids, and he creates a delusion that he's after the man who killed her. In Inception, he's a "dream thief" who tested his theory of implanting ideas on his wife which caused her to think reality wasn't real, killed herself, and framed him for murder so he'd want to join her. Both movies opened to great reviews, but Inception was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
Mirror, Mirror Snow White & the Huntsman 2012 live-action versions of "Snow White". Mirror Mirror is more humorous and family friendly, whereas Snow White and the Huntsman is more of a horror movie. (Incidentally the director of SWATH isn't worried about competition since one is for kids and the other's for adults.) The former has Lily Collins (Touhy) as Snow White and Julia Roberts as the evil queen; the latter has Bella and Thor as the title characters and Eileen Wournos as the evil queen! Disney cancelled their movie, Order of the Seven (which had the dwarves replaced by an international group of martial artists) since they thought a third movie would be overkill to the Snow White story. Both had mixed reviews (Mirror Mirror has a slightly bigger Rotten Tomatoes score), but SWATH grossed more (though its budget was also bigger).
Young Adult The Great Gatsby Delusional thirty-something hopes to restart their life by reconnecting with teen-era lover, despite said lover getting married and having a kid, under a "friend's" disapproving eye. Gatsby's obsession with Daisy spanned an entire world war and is the reason he acquired all that cash while Young Adult's Mavis's obsession with her high school boyfriend Buddy seems to be more of a midlife crisis. Also, Buddy is Happily Married while Daisy... kind of isn't. Young Adult has really great reviews while Gatsby has a potentially great cast with Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy (and it's Baz Luhrmann in 3-D!).
Independence Day Mars Attacks! 1996 Alien Invasion films. The latter is a deliberately cheesy parody of tropes and gimmicks pertaining to a 1950s EdWoodian B-Movie to which the former; being a melodramatic, action-heavy Disaster Movie; plays straight and, at times, takes Up to Eleven. Both films received mixed reviews upon their release with Independence Day getting much bigger fanfare being the year's highest grossing film, while Mars Attacks! barely surpassed its budget by a percent. Despite a lackluster opening, Mars Attacks! has since become a massive cult favorite for its satire of corny sci-fi while Independence Day is mostly viewed as just that.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Lincoln Films about Abraham Lincoln, opening six months apart. One of them is slightly more historically accurate than the other (hint: it's the one directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis). In terms of critical reception, Lincoln won out, as it opened to critical acclaim, with special praise going to Day-Lewis' portrayal of Lincoln, which got him an Oscar for Best Actor, his third. Vampire Hunter, on the other hand, received a more mixed reception.
Coraline (2009) Alice in Wonderland (2010) Both films are Down the Rabbit Hole (one based on the Trope Codifier by Lewis Carroll, the other based on a modern riff by Neil Gaiman) adventures featuring young heroines. Coraline was a stop-motion animation by Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, while Alice was live-action with copious CGI and green-screen and directed by Tim Burton, who worked with Selick on TNBC. Coraline was released a year earlier than Alice so they were not in direct competition. Coraline won critical acclaim and was a successful Sleeper Hit, with a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score, while Alice is, as of July 2012, the eleventh top grossing film of all time, as well as ushering in an era of Darker and Edgier adaptations of classic books and fairy tales like 2012's Snow White & the Huntsman and 2013's Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Dreamscape A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) A madman must be stopped from killing people in their dreams. Said madman uses blades on his fingertips to kill someone at least once. Scripts for both films were written in 1981, and were released in 1984 with three-month gap between them. Elm Street was a supernatural Slasher Movie, whereas Dreamscape used the dream-concept to display a variety of genres. Elm Street�s similarity to Dreamscape is also the reason why Paramount didn't pick it up for distribution. A Nightmare on Elm Street. Critics loved how both movies used their dream-settings, but in the end Elm Street made more money in the box-office and became a pop culture icon.
Carrie (2013 version) Beautiful Creatures Films based on novels about misunderstood teenage girls with supernatural abilities, released in 2013. They were originally slated for release within a month of each other, but Carrie was pushed back to October in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Despite having similar subject matter, the films are in two very different genres. Carrie is a Stephen King horror story in which the eponymous heroine is driven over the edge by bullying, while Beautiful Creatures is a young adult fantasy story about a girl from a family of witches. This also marks the third time that Carrie has been adapted for the screen, the first being Brian De Palma's 1976 horror classic and the second being a Made-for-TV Movie in 2002. While both films received mixed reviews and disappointed at the box office, Carrie wins on account of at least making its money back, while Beautiful Creatures was a Box Office Bomb.
The Exorcist III Repossessed Two films released a month apart from each other, both having something to do with The Exorcist The first example is a straight horror sequel, while the latter is a quasi-sequel/parody of the first movie with Linda Blair getting repossessed, of course, and must be exorcised by Leslie Nielsen. Neither did well, though Exorcist III did a lot better.
Chronicle Project X Two Found Footage Films released in 2012, both made on budgets of $12 million and promoted with Viral Marketing, each starring three relatively unknown teenage leads who come of age�albeit in very different ways. The former is a Genre-Busting sci-fi film where the three teens gain psychic abilities and learn how to use them, while the latter, produced by Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame, is a comedy that centers around the three teens' quest to have the wildest Wild Teen Party ever. While both grossed over $100 million worldwide, recouping their budgets several times over and making sequels almost inevitable, Chronicle made slightly more in its total box office cume, debuted at #1 in the United States despite stiff competition and opening on Super Bowl weekend, and received a Certified Fresh rating on RT, garnering much more critical acclaim than Project X.
Chasing Liberty First Daughter Two films released eight months apart in 2004, both about the daughter of the President of the United States. Both films circles on the first daughter seeking a romance with a seemingly random man, only to reveal that the guy works for the White House in order to keep an eye on the young woman. Neither did particuarly well with critics or at the box office, but Chasing Liberty got a slightly better reception on Rotten Tomatoes with a 19% compared to 8% for First Daughter.
The Conjuring R.I.P.D. Lovecraft Country-set films released on July 19, 2013, whose heroes are required to eliminate malicious spirits. The Conjuring is traditional horror based on a case experienced in 1971 by American paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, R.I.P.D. a visual-effects-driven horror-action-comedy based on a twelve-issue graphic novel by Dark Horse Comics. These two finished as polar opposites. R.I.P.D. grossed only three-fifths of its budget back and has a 13% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Conjuring, on the other hand, has an 87% rating from RT, grossed nearly sixteen times its budget (which was less than a sixth of R.I.P.D.�s), and there are plans to make a sequel.
Dawn of the Dead (2004) Shaun of the Dead Both zombie films based off the work of George A. Romero. The former was a "reimagining" of the 1978 horror classic, and the latter an affectionate comedy homage with some gruesome elements thrown into the mix. Release of Shaun was pushed back a few weeks so as not to contend with the release of Dawn, due to the similar nature of the films. Both did extremely well, with Dawn labeled a worthy remake of a landmark horror film and Shaun jumpstarting the "Cornetto Trilogy" for Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Both were successful at the box office, although Shaun fared better with critics, maintaining a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. George Romero himself saw both movies and sang more praise for Shaun, so it's likely the winner.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Now You See Me Both films on the subject of magic released within a few months from each other. The former is a comedy about rival magicians, while the latter is more of a caper film about magicians that use sleight-of-hand to steal from the audience and outwit the police. Wonderstone was a box-office bomb and critical failure, with most of the praise going to the performances of Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin. Now You See Me was successful at the box-office and with audiences, although it received mixed reviews from critics.

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