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  • We have two animated films that follow the life of an ant,

  • two disaster films where the worlds both need saving from comets and asteroids,

  • two White Houses in danger, friends with benefits, magicians,

  • Churchill, pigs, Capote, and the list goes on and on.

  • Do you ever wonder why some films seem to come in twos?

  • This phenomenon is called "twin films".

  • It's when two films with similar plots from two different production companies are released around the same time.

  • And they've been happening since the beginning of Hollywood.

  • From "Gone with the Wind" and "Jezebel", both about Southern women in the mid-1800s vying for men they couldn't have,

  • to "Oscar Wilde" and "The Trials Of Oscar Wilde", which were not only both released in 1960, but both premiered in the last week in May.

  • And then there was "Harlow" and the other film also named "Harlow", which didn't even bother to come up with different names for the films about actress Jean Harlow.

  • And this was just the start to what would eventually become an extremely common occurrence throughout cinematic history.

  • As is with most twin films, one of them usually does really well at the box office, while the other one doesn't.

  • Take "Top Gun" and "Iron Eagle" for example.

  • Both were released in 1986.

  • But "Top Gun" beat out "Iron Eagle" by a landslide, despite "Iron Eagle" being released first.

  • In 2012, "Mirror Mirror" couldn't compete with "Snow White and the Huntsman".

  • With "Taken" and "Stolen", their similarities ended after having the same plot and being released in the same year.

  • One of them tanked at the box office, while the other ones soared and is still being quoted today.

  • But what I do have are a very particular set of skills.

  • But if there's no guaranteed success, then why do twin films happen?

  • Well, sometimes it's just plain coincidence.

  • Two scripts about the same thing just happen to pop up on desks of two different studios around the same time.

  • Take the 2015 film "Marguerite", which was based on socialite Florence Foster Jenkins.

  • The director found out about the competing film titled "Florence Foster Jenkins", starring Meryl Streep, one month before he started filming, and he knew his film was done.

  • The latter was widely praised during the awards season that year.

  • But, in other cases, some films might be inspired by the same event or tragedy around the same time.

  • After the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011, two screenwriters began developing films around his life and death.

  • "Jobs", starring Ashton Kutcher, was released first in 2013 as a bit of a flop.

  • While the other film, "Steve Jobs", took its time during the writing and development stages and was finally released in 2015 to great success.

  • And five years after the tragedy of 9/11, 2006 saw the release of "United 93", "Flight 93", and Nicolas Cage's "World Trade Center",

  • all inspired by the events of 9/11 and all released within months of each other.

  • Other times though, it's far from coincidence.

  • A studio might hear of another studio having a great idea, love it, steal it, and try to make it better and faster.

  • While not everybody has come out and admitted thatbecause who's gonna admit to plagiarism?

  • These films have enough evidence to support the drama that supposedly played out underneath the surface.

  • "Antz" versus "A Bug's Life".

  • In 1988, Disney pitched a story about army ants, which would later become "A Bug's Life".

  • But after a feud with Disney's CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg left the company, took the story, and brought it to DreamWorks.

  • And so, "Antz" was born.

  • The speculation on the story being stolen had gotten so big that a Disney executive had called Katzenberg himself to ask him if it was true.

  • And Katzenberg confirmed it.

  • There are even rumors that Katzenberg bribed Disney to slow down the production of "A Bug's Life".

  • And if he did, they would halt the production of "Antz".

  • Well, it looks like that didn't exactly work out in his favor.

  • "Mowgli" versus "The Jungle Book".

  • We recently saw the release of "Mowgli", the live-action "Jungle Book" film on Netflix.

  • It felt all too familiar, because in 2016, we saw the release of a different live-action "Jungle Book" film titled, well, "The Jungle Book".

  • The Warner Brothers film "Mowgli" had actually started production first in 2012, and was scheduled to be released in October of 2016.

  • And shortly afterwards, Walt Disney Pictures happen to also announce that they were making a live-action adaptation of the story,

  • but that they would be releasing the film in April of 2016, conveniently before "Mowgli" was set to be released.

  • "Mowgli" ended up pushing their release date to October 2018, claiming it was due to special effects problems.

  • But it's a good thing they did because "The Jungle Book" went on to make almost one billion dollars at the box office.

  • But it's not always so competitive in the world of twin films.

  • In 2009, there were two comedy mall cop films to hit the theaters.

  • "Observe and Report" and "Paul Blart Mall-Cop".

  • Seth Rogen actually even said in an interview to "GQ" that he knew about the filming of "Paul Blart" the whole time,

  • and that the two films would actually consult each other on productions so that they didn't step on each other's toes.

  • Twin films are happening all around us, and they're not exactly stopping anytime soon.

  • Most recently, we saw the release of a fyre fest documentary on Hulu, just days before Netflix was set to release their own.

  • So, what are your favorite twin films?

  • Thank you for watching. Please be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel.

  • And don't forget to ring the little bell below, that way, you're notified for whenever we post new videos.

We have two animated films that follow the life of an ant,

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Why Are Identical Movies Released at the Same Time? - Cheddar Explains

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    April Lu posted on 2022/04/27
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