26 oddly similar pairs of movies that came out around the same time

Similar-sounding films were set for release around the same time

Superhero showdown
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" pit the legendary Dark Knight against the Man of Steel in March, and now we have another big superhero showdown in "Captain America: Civil War."

While the two films should be markedly different — Warner Bros.' film will use "BvS" to introduce members of its Avengers-like team to audiences — both show the government calling for superhero regulation against the Avengers and Superman, respectively.

Both films also have a villain pulling the strings to force the heroes against one another.
Lex Luthor, meet Zemo. Zemo, Lex.

The marketing campaigns also make the two films appear striking to those who aren't huge comic fans. Both pit two superheroes against each other and ask fans who will emerge victorious in a giant brawl. One Redditor humorously pointed out that you could call "Civil War" "Captain America v Iron Man: Dawn of Spider-Man."

This isn't the first time two similar-sounding films were set for release around the same time, and it certainly won't be the last. Often called "twin" films, Forbes contributor Mark Hughes said in a 2011 Quora post that while sometimes the release of two similar films is just coincidence, it could be to piggyback off a competitor's potentially successful — or already successful — project.

1993/1994: "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp" are centered around Western lawman Wyatt Earp.

Box Office
"Wyatt Earp": $25 million
"Tombstone": $56.5 million
Neither film did overwhelmingly great at the box office. "Tombstone," starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, edged out the Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid film from Warner Bros.

1997: "Dante's Peak" and "Volcano" revolve around the cast outrunning erupting volcanoes.

Box Office
"Dante's Peak": $178 million
"Volcano": $122.8 million
Fox got a little excited with its over-the-top posters for "Volcano." The film did nowhere near as well as Pierce Brosnan's volcano epic in the states, but the Los Angeles-centered movie picked up overseas.

1998: Earth was nearly destroyed in "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact."

Box Office
"Armageddon": $553.7 million
"Deep Impact": $349.5 million
Bruce Willis saves the world from an asteroid in the first film, while Robert Duvall tries to stop a massive comet from colliding with the planet.

1998: "Antz" and "A Bug's Life" follow life from an ant's point of view.

Box Office
"Antz": $171.8 million
"A Bug's Life": $363.4 million
Even animated distributors can't avoid releasing similar films. Disney and Pixar's bug film went up against Sylvester Stallone's ant crew and took him down.

1998/1999: "The Truman Show" and "EDtv" follow men whose lives are being filmed 24/7.

Box Office
"The Truman Show": $264 million
"EDtv": $35.2 million
Both films revolve around reality shows. The main difference is that Ed (Matthew McConaughey) agrees to have his life filmed while Jim Carrey's character, Truman, doesn't know he's being filmed on "The Truman Show." "The Truman Show" was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Director.

2000: "Mission to Mars" and "Red Planet" follow explorations to the planet that go awry.

Box Office
"Mission to Mars": $111 million
"Red Planet": $33.5 million
Even the marketing for both films looked indistinguishable, but Val Kilmer's film tanked compared to the Mars film with Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins.

2002: "Phone Booth" and "Liberty Stands Still" hold the main characters hostage at one point for the film's entirety.

Box Office
"Phone Booth": $97.8 million
"Liberty Stands Still": $595,000*
Colin Farrell locked himself in a phone booth for the duration of the first film while being held at gunpoint. In the latter, Linda Fiorentino locks herself to a hot dog vendor's cart filled with explosives for the movie. Both must stay on phones or they'll die.
*The film was released in the US on DVD.

2003/2004: A year after Disney's beloved "Finding Nemo" came to theaters, Will Smith tried to charm audiences as a fish in "Shark Tale."

Box Office
"Finding Nemo": $921.7 million
"Shark Tale": $367.3 million
"Nemo" made more than double the DreamWorks picture and will receive a sequel this June.

2004: "Chasing Liberty" and "First Daughter" follow the lives of the president's daughter.

Box Office
"Chasing Liberty": $12.3 million
"First Daughter": $10.6 million
Neither film starring Mandy Moore or Katie Holmes did well in theaters.

2005/2006: "The Cave" and "The Descent" take us on scary journeys deep below the earth's surface.

Box Office
"The Cave": $33.3 million
"The Descent": $57 million
Both horror films follow caving expeditions that go horribly wrong. They debuted in August 2005 and 2006.

2005/2006: "Madagascar" had little competition from Disney's "The Wild" about animals getting loose from the zoo.

Box Office
"The Wild": $102.3 million
"Madagascar": $532.7 million
The addition of the lovable, misguided penguins helped "Madagascar" soar at theaters. You may not even recall Disney's film, which debuted nearly a year later. The "Madagascar" franchise has grossed over $2.2 billion worldwide and spawned a spin-off TV series.

2005/2006: "Capote" and "Infamous" are about the story of Truman Capote.

Box Office
"Capote": $49.2 million
"Infamous": $2.6 million (released in only 179 theaters)
Both films explore Truman Capote's life while researching the book "In Cold Blood" and his ensuing relationship with Perry Smith.

2006: "The Prestige" and "The Illusionist" captivated us with magic.

Box Office
"The Prestige": $109.7 million
"The Illusionist": $87.9 million
Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman's film about the competition between two magicians narrowly edged out Edward Norton's about using magic solely for love at theaters.

2006: "World Trade Center" and "United 93" tell the story of 9/11 from different perspectives.

Box Office
"World Trade Center": $163 million
"United 93": $76.3 million
"Flight 93" was a similar TV film to "United 93" that also aired the same year.

2006: "The Black Dahlia" and "Hollywoodland" follow unsolved murders based on true stories.

Box Office
"The Black Dahlia": $49.3 million
"Hollywoodland": $16.8 million
Josh Hartnett's film about the murder of Elizabeth Short did better in theaters than Ben Affleck's on the death of "Superman" actor George Reeves.

2006/2007: Only one penguin film could come out on top between "Happy Feet" and "Surf's Up."

Box Office
"Happy Feet": $384.3 million
"Surf's Up": $149 million
"Happy Feet" did well enough in theaters to warrant a sequel in 2011.

2009: Hollywood became obsessed with security, giving us "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "Observe and Report."

Box Office
"Paul Blart: Mall Cop": $183.3 million
"Observe and Report": $27 million
Kevin James' take on a security cop fared much better than Seth Rogen's try at theaters. A sequel to the film was released in 2015, which didn't perform as well.

2009: "2012" and "Knowing" follow events leading to the end of the world.

Box Office
"2012": $769.7 million
"Knowing": $183.6 million
In "2012," we see Earth crumble before our eyes alongside Jackson Curtis (John Cusack). "Knowing" sees John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) trying to prevent the end of the world from happening.

2010/2011: "The Fighter" and "Warrior" are about brothers fighting in tournaments.

Box Office
"The Fighter": $129.2 million
"Warrior": $23 million
Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg starred in David O. Russell's film about boxer Micky Ward in December 2010. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton played brothers less than a year later who sign up for a mixed-martial-arts tournament.

2011: "Friends with Benefits" and "No Strings Attached" explored sexual relationships between friends.

Box Office
"Friends with Benefits": $149.5 million
"No Strings Attached": $147.8 million
"No Strings Attached" was originally going to be called "Friends with Benefits" after its original working title, "F--- Buddies," wasn't ever going to get cleared by the Motion Picture Association of America. But Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis' film already had that title.

2012: Two versions of the same princess tale starring Kristen Stewart and Julia Roberts debuted: "Snow White & the Huntsman" and "Mirror, Mirror."

Box Office
"Snow White & the Huntsman": $396.6 million
"Mirror, Mirror": $166.2 million
"Snow White & the Huntsman" had the star power of Kristen Stewart coming off of the "Twilight" films, giving her film the advantage with the younger demographic. "Mirror, Mirror" depended too heavily on marketing the familiar face of Julia Roberts and not its younger stars, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer.

2012/2013: "A Hijacking" and "Captain Phillips" portrayed the 2009 hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates.

Box Office
"Captain Phillips": $218 million
"A Hijacking": $60,180
Foreign-language film "A Hijacking" showed a Danish cargo ship being hijacked. "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks, follows an American ship overrun by Somali pirates.

2013: Channing Tatum's "White House Down" came out three months after the similar "Olympus Has Fallen."

Box Office
"Olympus Has Fallen": $161 million
"White House Down": $205 million
The big difference here is that FilmDistrict paid only an estimated $70 million for Gerard Butler's thriller, while Sony and Columbia Pictures launched the Channing Tatum flick at an estimated cost of $150 million. Butler's film ended up being more cost effective in the end, warranting a sequel.

2013/2015: "Jobs" and "Steve Jobs" followed the life of the former Apple CEO.

Box Office
"Jobs": $35.9 million
"Steve Jobs": $34 million
Ashton Kutcher's take on Steve Jobs was critically panned in 2013. Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet earned Academy Award nominations for their roles in Danny Boyle's 2015 film. Neither was a big box-office smash.

2016: "Batman v Superman" and "Captain America: Civil War" will pit legendary superheroes against each other in big brawls.

Not only are the posters for both superhero films similar — the "Civil War" poster looks like a giant zoom-in of the "Batman v Superman" one — but the marketing campaigns for both superhero showdowns feel remarkably the same.

Warner Bros. has been using the hashtag #WhoWillWin to get fans to root for Batman or Superman, while Marvel has been asking fans to align with #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan ahead of the film's May 6 release.

2016/2017: Disney and Warner Bros. will release live-action versions of "The Jungle Book."

Both films have huge casts. Disney's "The Jungle Book" — which came out in April and is pictured above — stars Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Christopher Walken.

Warner Bros.' live-action adaptation, "Jungle Book: Origins," will star the voice talents of Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, and motion-capture king Andy Serkis.

This will kick off the start of several back-to-back live-action fairy-tale showdowns between the two studios. Both also plan to release "Beauty and the Beast" films.


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