In most cases, when a movie studio hears that another studio is working on a movie with similar premise, it sparks a heated competition, with both studios racing to get their movie in theaters first. Especially now that blockbuster movies typically have budgets in the hundreds of millions and the difference between success and failure could hinder on the audiences perceived originality of the subject matter.
While it’s not uncommon for movies to share similar themes, sometimes the subject matter is so similar that it appears as though one of the movies is a blatant ripoff of the other. This is especially apparent when two movies with very similar premises are released close together and need to compete for an audience that will likely choose to see only one or the other in theaters. When that happens, what you’ve got on your hands is a cinematic duel with the victor largely determined by ticket sales.
Read on to find out who the winners were to some of Hollywood’s biggest box office bouts.
12. Armageddon vs. Deep Impact
Both of these 1998 movies helped to revive the disaster film genre in the late 90s. Each of them are about an asteroid/comet on a collision course with Earth and the brave shuttle crews who try to avert the catastrophe. Deep Impact was the first to hit theaters and offered audiences a cerebral, human-centric drama with some fairly accurate science behind it. Armageddon was a Michael Bay movie that relied heavily on explosions and CGI to sell tickets. Both movies were successful, with Deep Impact being popular with critics as well as audiences. But Armageddon became the second highest grossing film of 1998 despite being mocked by critics for it’s overly cheesy dialogue and highly dubious scientific claims. NASA even likes to use the film for competitions in which employees are tasked with spotting all the instances of scientific error (there are over 130, in case you were wondering). So while critics would surely argue that Deep Impact is the better movie, many people, whether they admit it or not, still have a soft spot for Armageddon.