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Dueling Movies
"We keep going back to the theme of movies being released in twos: Deep Impact and Armageddon, Volcano and Dantes Peak, etc. Well, when your doppelganger of a movie being released opposite you is The Matrix, then you are in deep sh*t."
Miles Antwiler on The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

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-Adventure (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; however, The A-Team had an underwhelming run of its own, which illustrates how badly The Losers flopped. 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

Parker
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.
The November Man The Equalizer 2014 films that are adaptions of a preceding series (a book series for the former and a television series for the latter) that center around a former government agent who has gone into retirement but finds himself put back into action. Major components involving him facing off against corrupt Russians and defending a young woman. TBA

    Crime 
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. 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.

    Dance 
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.

    Disaster 
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. Hollywood won with Twister grossing over $200 million. The other two 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.

    Documentary 
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.

    Fantasy 
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).
The Jungle Book (Disney 2015) The Jungle Book (Warner Bros., date unannounced) Live-action/CGI versions of Kipling's classic novel. Disney's version will have a lot of hurdles to overcome in the Unfortunate Implications department (interestingly the article doesn't mention Disney already did a live-action version of The Jungle Book in 1994, although that one was more based on the book while this one's going to be based on the animated musical... like the other live-action film Disney did four years later). The only info on the Warner Bros. version in that article is that Andy Serkis will be playing... someone (or possibly everyone). Disney's planning to increase the number of female characters, possibly having Scarlett Johanssen voicing Kaa.

    Musical/Concert 
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 of 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 studios 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?
Troy

King Arthur

Film/Alexander

(all 2004)
Kingdom of Heaven

300

Robin Hood (2010);

Centurion

(respectively)
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. Same with King Arthur and The Last Legion as both are films set during the decline of the Roman Empire, connect the legends of King Arthur to Rome, and feature a group of warriors tasked with transporting a boy of great importance to safety. 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. Film/Alexander2004 loses out as well, even though some of its director's cut versions have received marginally better feedback. Robin Hood (2010) is Gladiator with Robin Hood! 'TheLastLegion loses as well. 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 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 Adaptations of the Hercules myth made for the modern audience. The Legend of Hercules has an original story and stars Kellan Lutz. The other Hercules is based on a comic miniseries and stars Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. The Legend of Hercules was a critical and commercial failure. In its first weekend, Hercules already earned more at the box office than The Legend of Hercules and although reviews were mixed, it still did noticeably better with critics.
Noah Exodus: Gods and Kings Big budget - and controversial - epics based on stories from The Bible by highly respected filmmakers (The former has Darren Aronofsky while the latter is by Ridley Scott). Noah has gone for more of a fantasy angle while Exodus is much more grounded. Funnily enough, the latter's lead was suppose to be in the former but dropped out. TBA.
Ben Hur Spartacus Both are Golden Age Hollywood era epics that center around a great hero who stands up to and faces the might of the Roman Empire. Kirk Douglas desperately desired the role of Judah Ben-Hur that ultimately went to Charlton Heston, and though offered the role as the film's chief antagonist Messala he declined. Shortly after, Edward Lewis, a vice president in Douglas's film company, Bryna Productions, had Douglas read Howard Fast's novel, Spartacus, which had a related theme—an individual who challenges the might of the Roman Empire—and Douglas was impressed enough to purchase an option on the book from Fast with his own financing. Universal Studios eventually agreed to finance the film after Douglas persuaded Olivier, Laughton, and Ustinov to act in it. At the end of the day both films came out within a year of each other, and given all that backstory were in essence born to be rivals. This one looks close enough that some may consider it be a draw, but if one had to choose it would lean more towards Ben-Hur. Both films are nowadays considered classics. Being adored by critics and audiences alike. And both making AFI's Top 10 Film Epics list at the #2 and #4 spots respectively. Ben-Hur at the time had a higher box office gross and did bigger at the Oscars. Though Spartacus won 4 at the awards in the ceremony the year after, Ben-Hur" holds the record with Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for the most awards won at 11 including Best Picture. Though Spartacus'' started out with a more mixed reception, very likely due to the political climate of the time, it has gone on to have its reputation become much greater than stature. Coming to have a slightly higher critical reception that its counterpart, at least if Rotten Tomatoes is to be taken into account.
Black Death Season of the Witch Two films released within a year of each other, the former in late 2010 and the latter in early 2011. Both are action/adventure/horror films take place during the Dark Ages as the Black Plague is in full force. Both films are about how a company led by a knight is tasked by the Church to go to a far off village in order to essentially to tackle/investigate potential witchcraft. Director Christopher Smith himself rewrote the latter half of the script to Black Death in order to present the supernatural forces at play in a more ambiguous fashion. On the other hand Season of the Witch lays it all out in the open so to speak. Black Death wins by a country mile. Season of the Witch received near unanimous negative reviews from critics and also a generally bad reception with audiences. On the other hand Black Death received generally positive marks from critics though a divided reception with audiences.
King Arthur The Last Legion Both are Post-Gladiator Roman Era epics that came out within a few years of each other take place during the decline of the Roman Empire, with them either having abandoned Britannia or are in the process of doing so. Both center around a band of heroes, led by a veteran Roman commander, who are set on a mission to escort a boy of important status to safety. They have to face a powerful "barbarian" force, culminating in a final battle at Hadrian's Wall. Both films also firmly link the King Arthur mythology to Rome. Both films have their fans among general audiences, but neither did particularly well with critics. However King Arthur still did better on that front and made eight times as much at the box office. Ultimately doing modestly well, whilst The Last Legion did not manage to recoup its budget.
Kingdom of Heaven Arn: The Knight Templar Both are Medieval epic films centering a young man who is disgraced in some way and subsequently goes on a journey to the Holy Land where he becomes a knight and participates in the Crusades.   

    Superhero 
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 Zooms 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 $7 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

Super
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. Supers 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. While both movies managed to split the fanbase in two Iron Man 3 was much more well-received by critics and grossed $1.2 billion in the box office, becoming the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. Man Of Steel grossed over $600 million at the box office, so they were both successful. However, Iron Man 3 wins.
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. The Dark Knight Saga wins as it is widely considered by many to be the greatest superhero series of all time, with all three films (particularly the second one) receiving critical acclaim (however, with the third one being considered not exactly great). While the first and third Iron Man films also received acclaim, the second one was significantly less praised.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past It's 2012 all over again as Marvel Comics movies by three different studios (Disney, Sony and Fox respectively) compete for the 2014 summer box-office crown. Winter Soldier is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and follows Captain America and his allies after the events of 2012's The Avengers. ASM2, meanwhile, is a direct sequel to 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. DOFP follows from 2011's X-Men: First Class, which was praised for putting the franchise back on track, and follows characters from the original trilogy (including main character Wolverine) in a time-travel plot. Notably, the character Quicksilver appears both in DOFP and in The Stinger of Winter Soldier, in two separate incarnations. Both Winter Soldier and DOFP have received excellent reviews, while ASM2 got mixed reviews. In terms of box office, while it's a close race for all three, DOFP ranks first and Winter Soldier is a close second, with ASM2 as a slightly more distant third.
Guardians of the Galaxy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) 2014, Round Two. Also, both movies revolve around some rather weird concepts (one has a trigger-happy talking raccoon and a sort-of-talking tree; the other is about ninja mutant turtle teenagers). Turtles is the big-screen reboot of a franchise that's been around for thirty years, while Guardians is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but otherwise relative newcomers; with their comic book barely older than the MCU itself.note  Both took turns being the highest-grossing movie and both immediately on release got green-lit for sequels in a few years. However, Guardians got got much better reviews and a larger gross overall, becoming the biggest movie of the year on both counts.
Dick Tracy
The Rocketeer

The Shadow

ThePhantom

Superhero films following up on the success of Tim Burton's Batman. Each similarly using a 1930's/40's retro/noir aesthetic and pulp feel. All based on a classic/established hero. All being released within only a few years of each other in 1990, 1991, 1994, and 1996 respectively. However it is notable that Dick Tracy is an exception in how it was in development before Batman came out even though it was released later. However it is notable that they did try to copy the success of Burton's film's marketing campaign.Three of the characters were based upon actual pulp fiction from the era they are set it. The exception being The Rocketeer which was created in the 1980's as a throwback to such stories. Dick Tracy and The Rocketeer both did general well with critics, the former doing marginally better in that category. The Shadow and The Phantom both received mixed-to-negative reviews from that group. Whilst Dick Tracy made the most money at the box office it still wasn't considered a groundbreaking success but ultimately was the only one that didn't lose out. Largely due to how much they spent on the aggressive advertising campaign for the film. The other three films either flopped or bombed financially. All four being quickly forgotten by the mass audience. However each film has managed to gain and sustain a strong cult following.
The Dark Knight Rises
Skyfall

Iron Man 3

All of three of them are the third installments in their line of films, that center around a popular hero that is known for not having superpowers but using his skills, wits and technology in order to get by and combat his foes. All three of these stories have the hero torn down to his lowest and have to rise again from the ashes in order to combat a foe deeply rooted in his past. All three films were released within a year of each other between July 2012 and May 2013.  All of them were huge successes. Each breaking a billion at the box office and getting glowing reviews from critics. As well as attaining popularity with audiences. Financially the order goes Iron Man 3 > Skyfall > The Dark Knight Rises. Critically however it would go Skyfall > The Dark Knight Rises > Iron Man 3. Dark Knight Rises and Iron Man 3 though have to varying degrees gotten more flack from fans than Skyfall online, particularly the latter for its treatment of a major character from the classic mythos.
[1] Captain America 3 Installments to popular superhero franchises that reportedly are both going to feature a pair of their company's most well known characters, one who is a patriotic tried and true Boy Scout type and the other a wealthy man without superpowers but has his wits and a lot of money, who are supposedly going head to head against each other. Both scheduled for release in 2016.From the sounds of things Batman v Superman will be taking a great deal of influence from the seminal Frank Miller Batman story The Dark Knight Returns whilst the word going around is that Captain America 3 will take a great deal of the Civil War Marvel crossover event. TBA

    War 
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.
Lost Command The Battle of Algiers Films about the Algerian War for Independence. Both movies were produced in 1966, though Command beat Algiers to American theaters by over a year. Two films about the same subject could hardly be more different. Lost Command draws on Jean Larteguy's novel The Centurions, about Frnech paratroopers fighting in Vietnam and Algeria. It's unreservedly pro-French, albeit with a token War Is Hell message added. Battle of Algiers is a docudrama produced by Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo and sponsored by the Algerian government. Though intended as Algerian propaganda, it provides a relatively even-handed treatment of the conflict. Lost Command was a modest box office success but earned terrible reviews and is largely forgotten. Battle of Algiers received almost universal acclaim, and today is considered an all-time classic.

    Western 
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.


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