User:ProhibitOnions/List of films with similar themes and release dates

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In the film industry, two or more films with similar plots or themes may be released within a close period of time. Sometimes, this may be coincidental as the result of two studios independently hoping to capitalise on a current trend.

Other times, however, a script will be bought and put into production by one studio, and a competing studio - which may hear about the production through word of mouth, trade papers (such as Variety), or through the internet - will put into production a film with a similar plotline, in an effort to capitalise on its box office potential.


This type of films are sometimes referred as copycat-films,[1][2] and differentiate themselves from similar concepts, like Mockbusters, in the fact that both the orginal and the copycat are often full-budget hollywood productions with theatrical release, while mockbusters are often low budget or low quality direct-to-DVD imitations (like the films produced by The Asylum film studio).


  • Unbroken and Against the Sun - both are films about survivors of a plane crash during WWII.
  • Vice, Ex Machina, Automata and Chappie - 2015 films about robots/androids becoming self aware and dealing with prejudices aimed at artificial intelligence.
  • Hercules (2014) and The Legend of Hercules (2014) - both about the legendary hero Hercules.
  • Cheap Thrills (2013) and Would You Rather (2012) - two horror/thriller films about decadent wealthy people offering struggling working individuals money in exchange for doing disgusting, self-destructive, or immoral actions.
  • The Snow Queen and Frozen - both are animation films based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen
  • The World's End, This Is the End and Rapture-Palooza - all are apocalyptic horror comedy films
  • Olympus Has Fallen (March 2013) & White House Down (June 2013) When you consider that "Olympus" is code name for the White House, even the titles are the same. Both films feature a violent White House takeover and a hero who must defeat the attackers while defending the president. Released 3 months apart.
  • Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked and Hansel & Gretel In 2013, there were three seperate adaptations of the classic Hansel & Gretel fairytale.
  • Oblivion and After Earth Both films are set on a nearly deserted earth in the future. They have even a very similar movie poster.
  • Oblivion and Elysium Both films feature an earth with adverse living conditions and a totalitarian regime, in both films ideal living conditions can be found in a satellite structure orbiting earth (however in Oblivion this turns out to be a deception)
  • Battleship and American Warships - both movies are about an alien invasion attacking and disabling the military defenses on earth and the crew of a 2nd world war ship fighting back. Comparing the trailers both movies use quite similar shots of aliens attacking, while Battleship is a big budget movie using CGI images, American Warships (which was initially called American Battleship) looks like a low budget movie
  • The Awakening (2011 film) and Red Lights (2012 film) - both go on to try to disprove ghosts
  • Frankenweenie and ParaNorman Both films are stop motion-animated horror comedies, dealing with the reanimated dead.
  • Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman Both films are modern versions of the Snow White fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. Judging from the trailers, both make heavy use of CGI imagery.
  • Beautiful Boy and We Need to Talk about Kevin Both films are about parents dealing with the aftermath of their son's campus shooting sprees.
  • Melancholia and Another Earth Both films are about a depressed woman and the arrival of a mysterious planet
  • Kick-Ass and Super Both feature characters who possess no super abilities/powers who embark on vigilante justice under the disguise of homemade costumes and alter egos. Each confronts the difficulties of fighting evil while lacking special abilities, and both are joined, later in their stories, by characters who share similar vigilante motivations.
  • Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached Romantic comedies both featuring 2 friends attempting to have an ongoing sexual relationship, while avoiding a romantic relationship and its accompanying complexities.
  • The Town and Takers Both are crime films from 2010 about a gang of robbers and the FBI pursuing them.
  • Megamind and Despicable Me are CG animated films featuring a super hero & super villain in relationship more akin to high school rivalry than good vs evil. Both films feature the antagonist/super villain as the lead and diminish somewhat the virtues of the superhero's character. Villains from both films, experience catharsis and become better people. Despicable Me features a host of sidekicks referred to as minions. Megamind has a single sidekick named Minion.
  • Knight and Day and Killers Both films are about a spy in a romantic action comedy
  • The Losers and RED Both films are ensemble-cast, comic book properties featuring black ops members.
  • While Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a horror parody and Lincoln is a straightforward biography, both were high-profile films about America's 16th president released mere months apart in 2012 after years of no major films on this subject.
  • Both Grimsby and Hardcore prominently feature action storylines with fight/action sequences filmed from the lead character's point of view.


Magician Ricky Jay served as a technical consultant on both productions and briefly appeared on-screen in The Prestige. Similarly, the 2007 film Magicians also follows two rival stage conjurers. Strangely enough, earlier in 2006 Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson, stars of the film The Prestige, also starred in Woody Allen's Scoop (2005), a film set in the present day and also involving murder and stage magic. Also coincidentally, The Illusionist and Next (2007) (which also features a magician in its title role) both star Jessica Biel.

  • Capote and Infamous, Capote was released in 2005 and Infamous in 2006. Both are independently produced films about Truman Capote writing his book In Cold Blood. [5]
  • Green Street Hooligans (2005) and The Football Factory (2005), both films having a story about the English hooligan community and their meetings to fight after the games. Also in both movies the football club Milwall FC is part of the story, a rivalry against other teams in the F.A. Premier League.
  • Æon Flux (2005) and Ultraviolet (2006), both films are about a dystopian future and share a similar stylized sleek setting. Powerful female leads with distinct hairstyles try and undo the wrongs brought upon humanity by a powerful virus. [6]
  • Madagascar (2005) and The Wild (2006), both featuring zoo animals navigating the terrain of New York City, and later being introduced to their natural habitat. Madagascar was successful financially and critically. The Wild, on the other hand, was a flop and frequently compared to Madagascar, even though it was initially conceived before that film. [7]
  • Sky High (2005) and Zoom (2006), both revolve around special high schools attended by superheroes. The setting is also reminiscent of the X-Men films, and Zoom was released within weeks of X-Men: The Last Stand.[8]
  • The Cave, The Descent, both released theatrically in 2005, and The Cavern (originally entitled WIthIN before Sony Pictures altered the title to bank off the success of The Cave) on DVD in 2006. All three films involve spelunking and terrifying subterranean life that hunts down the principal characters. [9]
  • Elektra (2005) and Catwoman (2004). Two films, both based on female comic book characters (from Marvel and DC, respectively) who have unsteady love/hate relationships with (more popular) anti-heroes. Both characters started out as villainesses, both were resurrected, then had spin-offs and adventures as "good characters". [10]
  • Hotel Rwanda (2004), Shooting Dogs (2005), and Sometimes in April (2005) are all films portraying events that took place during the Rwandan Genocide.
  • Finding Nemo (2003) and Shark Tale (2004) are both CGI animated films in an underwater setting.
  • Garden State (2004) and Elizabethtown (2005), both feature young men who are miserable in their career when they learn of a family member dying. They return home, fall in love with a woman, and grieve for their dead family member. They must decide whether to return to their life or settle down with their new found love. After initially deciding to go back to their lives, they both change their minds and pursue love.[11]
  • Chasing Liberty and First Daughter, released in 2004, both center around the U.S. President's daughter seeking her personal freedom; both met with critical and box office disaster. The film First Daughter was recently mislabeled as Chasing Liberty on the Time Warner Cable Network.[12] Spartan (2004) is also centered around the President's daughter, although in this case, her kidnap by rogue elements.
  • Deus é Brasileiro (God is Brazilian) and Bruce Almighty, both of 2003. Bruce Almighty has a sequel, Evan Almighty (2007).
  • Phone Booth and Liberty Stands Still, released in 2002, each involved a protagonist pinned to a specific location (a phone booth and hot dog vendor cart, respectively) by a sniper trying to impart their target with epiphanies about their flawed lives. [2]
  • Mission to Mars, Red Planet, and Ghosts of Mars were all released in 2000 and 2001, and all have plots that revolve around the planet Mars.
  • The Piano Teacher, released 2001, and Secretary, released 2002, are two controversial films revolving around a female protagonist involved in sado-masochism and self-mutilation, with dysfunctional relationships both to her mother and to the male protagonist, who attempts to rescue her. While The Piano Teacher was a serious drama that ended unresolved, Secretary was a black comedy with a happy ending.
  • Ditto and Il Mare, two South Korean films released in 2000 in which two people living in different years are able to communicate with each other, using a mailbox and ham radio, respectively. Ditto is also similar to the American film Frequency (also released in 2000), in which a man is able to communicate with his late father via ham radio.[13] Il Mare was later remade as the 2006 American film The Lake House.
  • U-571 (2000) and Enigma (2001) are both fictional movies set in World War II about the Germans' Enigma machine.
  • The 2000 Geoffrey Rush film Quills came out the same year as the French film Sade. Both depict aspects of the life of the Marquis de Sade.






The 1946 Bugs Bunny cartoon Rhapsody Rabbit and the 1947 Tom and Jerry cartoon The Cat Concerto both feature a character (Bugs in the first, Tom in the second) trying to play Hungarian Rhapsody on the piano while being thwarted at every turn by a mouse (unnamed in the first, Jerry in the second).


See also[edit]


  • IMDb - release dates, plot summaries, misc. details


External links[edit]