Have you ever been watching a movie and thought to yourself, “Wait a minute, I’ve seen this before” like a form of cinematic deja vu? Well it turns out this is a common phenomenon as movie studios will often race to release movies with similar premises. They’re referred to as “Twin Films” and they’re usually the result of capitalizing on current trends, filmmakers moving to another studio, or straight up thievery.
First Daughter stars Katie Holmes as the President's Daughter who escapes from her Secret Service handlers so she can experience life as a normal teenager and eventually falls in love, while Chasing Liberty stars Mandy Moore as the President's Daughter who escapes from her Secret Service handlers so she can experience life as a normal teenager and eventually falls in love.
In fact, Chasing Liberty's working title was "First Daughter" and both movies were originally scheduled to release on the same day. Both movies failed to make a profit, presumably because the market for movies about the President's Daughter who escapes from her Secret Service handlers so she can experience life as a normal teenager and eventually falls in love is surprisingly small.
The Prestige (which starred Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, and Scarlett Johannson) and The Illusionist (which starred Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti) were actually just two of the three movies released in 2006 about magicians. The third movie, Scoop, also starred Jackman and Johannson because apparently those two just love the shit out of magic.
Released in 2011, Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached are both rom-coms about best friends who start up a casual relationship and eventually fall in love. What we find most interesting about this situation is the fact that Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher starred in competing films about best friends who fall in love and then that exact situation played out in real life.
Madagascar and The Wild are both computer animated films centered around zoo animals who leave New York's Central Park Zoo and are introduced into the wild. While DreamWork's Madagascar has spawned four sequels and spin-offs, Disney's The Wild barely made a profit.
USA Today called The Wild "the most wildly derivative animated movie in ages", but some critics have defended the Disney version calling it the superior film. Mike Sage wrote "don't be mistaking this for a Madagascar rip-off, when it was that sloppy DreamWorks turd that only managed to make it to theaters first because of corporate espionage."
In 2013, Hollywood released two movies about a terrorist attack on the White House, White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen. Despite mixed reviews for both movies, Olympus Has Fallen is generally considered the better film and a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, titled London Has Fallen, is set to release in 2016.
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