- Steven McIntosh
- BBC Entertainment Journalist
Sometimes a story is so good that you have to tell it twice.
This seems to be particularly true in Hollywood, whose history is littered with examples of “twin movies”: two productions that not only they are on the same topic, but sometimes they are released almost at the same time.
“An Extraordinary Journey” hit the charts in February. Starring Colin Firth, it is about the adventure of Donald Crowhurst, a boater who joined an expedition to travel the world in 1968.
The story was so special that two different directors, James Marsh y Simon RumleyThey thought it was worth making a movie, each one on their own.
StudioCanal, which already had the Colin Firth film in the making, avoided an awkward situation by buying the rights to the other as well.
But in fact this situation is not so unique. Unlike, surprisingly it happens very frequently.
Keith Simanton, senior film editor at IMDb, says the twin films they are often taken for a true coincidence.
“I bet if you went out right now you could find two, three or more scripts that are more or less the same and that have not been done,” Simanton tells the BBC.
There are also times when two filmmakers come together to create a joint idea the one they were both working on. But then disagreements occur.
Actors Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell were hired to make “Two useless on patrol”.
However, in the end the film starred Bruce Willis and Tracy Monran, so Wahlberg and Farrell went to another studio, with a different script, and filmed something similar: “Spare cops”.
According to Simanton, one of the most frequent reasons for the twin film phenomenon is what he calls “the first to go to market”.
“For example, a studio knows that Dwayne Johnson is making a movie about Hercules, and they say, ‘Hey, we have the rights to this other script for another Hercules movie, and the legend of Hercules is in the public domain.’ Wouldn’t it be great if we could get ours out before them?‘”.
Ironically, being the last to reach the market with an idea is sometimes the best option, as happened with “I would like to be great” in the 1980s, which was later released “Viceversa”, “From such father such son”, and “18 again,” recalls Simanton.
They all talked about age-change issues, but Tom Hanks’s “I’d Like to Be Big” grossed more than the others, about $ 100 million.
“Theoretically, ‘I would like to be great’ shouldn’t have won that much. There were three others who came out earlier with almost the same idea, but the last one was the best.“, Add.
Here are other examples of the “twin movies” that mysteriously emerged one after the other.
“Attack on the White House” and “The Fall of the White House”
Argument:thrillers Action on Threats to the Security of the US President Due to Terrorist Attacks at the White House.
Protagonists: Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart in “Attack on the White House”; Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in “The Fall of the White House.”
Premiere: “Attack on the White House”, March 2013; “The Fall of the White House”, June 2013.
Ticket office: US $ 170 million for “Attack on the White House”; $ 205 million for “The Fall of the White House.”
Curiosities: Although “The Fall of the White House” was more successful at the box office, “Attack on the White House” was the one that managed to continue with two sequels. Butler and Eckhart reprized their roles in “London Under Fire” in 2016, and also for Angel Has Fallen which will be released in 2019.
“Friends with rights” and “Friends with benefits”
Argument: Two friends, both single, agree to have casual relationships without the complications of a formal courtship; then it gets complicated.
Premiere: “Friends with rights”, January 2011; “Friends with Benefits”, July 2011.
Protagonists: Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in “Friends with Rights”; Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits.”
Ticket office: Unbelievably, they both had almost the same box office gross – about $ 149 million.
Curiosities: the actresses of the two films appeared together in “The Black Swan” a year earlier.
“Hormiguitaz” and “Bugs: a miniature adventure”
Argument: Animated children’s movies that focus on the lives and ecosystems of tiny insects.
Protagonists: in English, “Hormiguitaz” had the voices of Woody Allen and Sharon Stone; “Bugs” had Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Premiere: “Hormiguitaz”, October 1998, “Bugs”, November 1998.
Ticket office: US $ 171 million for “Hormiguitaz”; US $ 363 million for “Bugs”.
Curiosities: lPixar executives Steve Jobs and John Lasseter accused DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg of stealing their idea. Katzenberg denied the allegations, but brought the premiere of “Hormiguitaz” forward by six months. Although both were successful, “Bichos” won more than double that of its rival.
“Madame Marguerite” y “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Argument: a lady of high society who imagines a successful singer embarking on a musical career. Sadly she is deaf. Both, one in French and one in English, are based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944).
Protagonists: Catherine Frot and Andre Marcon in “Madame Marguerite”; Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in “Florence Foster Jenkins”.
Premiere: “Madame Marguerite”, September 2015; “Florence Foster Jenkins”, May 2016.
Ticket office: US $ 497,000 for “Madame Marguerite”; $ 49 million for “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Curiosities: “One month before the filming of Marguerite, I found out that Florence Foster Jenkins existed. For me, it was terrible, “said French writer and director Xavier Giannoli.
“Deep Impact” and “Armageddon”
Argument: a comet / asteroid is heading towards Earth at an alarming rate, threatening the existence of the human race.
Protagonists: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni and Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact”; Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck in “Armageddon.”
Premiere: “Deep impact”, May 1998; “Armageddon”, July 1998.
Ticket office: US $ 349 million for “Deep Impact”; $ 553 million for “Armageddon.”
Curiosities: an episode of Friends, one of the most watched series of that time, made a reference to this movie duel: “Which was ‘Deep Shock’ and which was ‘Armageddon’?” Chandler asks Monica as she tries to sleep.
“‘Deep Impact’ was the one that had Robert Duvall (actor). ‘Armageddon’ is what you’ll get if you wake me up.”
“Capote” and “Infame”
Argument: both portrayed how Truman Capote wrote “In Cold Blood” from an investigation into the murder of a Kansas family with his childhood friend, the writer Harper Lee.
Protagonists: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener in “Capote”; Toby Jones and Sandra Bullock in “Infamous.”
Premiere: “Capote”, February 2006; “Infamous”, October 2006.
Ticket office: US $ 49 million for “Capote”; $ 2.6 million for “Infamous.”
Curiosities: “Good news! I finished my script,” writer Douglas McGrath told producer Bingham Ray by phone in 2003. “I know,” Ray replied. It turns out that the producer had another script about the same period in Capote’s life.
“Dante’s Peak” and “Volcano”
Argument: the eruption of a volcano threatens the lives of the nearby inhabitants.
Protagonists: Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton in “Dante’s Peak”; Tommy Lee Jones and Don Cheadle in “Volcano.”
Premiere: “The peak of Dante”, February 1997; “Volcano”, April 1997.
Ticket office: $ 178 million for “Dante’s Peak”; US $ 122 million for “Volcano”.
Curiosities: Pierce Brosnan’s character shares the last name with Timothy Dalton, the actor who passed the baton to Brosnan to play James Bond.
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