Another Top 10 Copycat Movies
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey
Talk about déjà vu. For this list, we're looking at more “twin films” that share similar premises or plots and came out around the same time. Our list includes “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013) and “White House Down” (2013), “Hercules” (2014) and “The Legend of Hercules” (2014), “Despicable Me” (2010) and “Megamind” (2010), and more! Who'd you think you were fooling guys?! Which copycat films do YOU find the most similar? Let us know in the comments!
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Script written by Nick Roffey
Another Top 10 Copycat Movies
Another Top 10 Copycat Movies
These movies gave us an uncanny sense of déjà vu. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Copycat Movies.
For this list, we're looking at more “twin films” that share similar premises or plots and came out around the same time. A few of these even had the same endings, so beware: spoilers ahead.
#10: “Flightplan” (2005) and “Red Eye” (2005)
In both these high-altitude thrillers, a heroine on an overnight flight pits wits and fists against a criminal holding a loved one hostage. From this initial premise, the stories diverge in pretty different directions. “Flight Plan” focuses on a mother’s search for her missing daughter, whereas “Red Eye” follows a hotel manager’s efforts to escape a terrorist and protect her father. But both kick off with the death of a family member - Jodie Foster’s character’s husband in “Flightplan,” and Rachel McAdams’ character’s grandmother in “Red Eye.” And both also feature a villain who is not what he first seems.
#9: “Hercules” (2014) and “The Legend of Hercules” (2014)
Hercules has been around for eons. So you’d think we could space out our adaptations a little. But in 2014, Hollywood released two movies about the muscle-bound Greco-Roman hero. While they strike different tones, with “Hercules” the more solemn of the two, both sword-and-sandal epics pare down the supernatural elements, and portray a Hercules who has yet to discover his true power. Both also pit Hercules against a warmongering ruler, and feature a scene in which he draws on superhuman strength to break free of chains. Maybe writing a unique script should have been one of Hercules’ Twelve Labours.
#8: “Chasing Liberty” (2004) and “First Daughter” (2004)
In these romantic comedies, the President's teenage daughter rebels against overprotective secret service agents, and falls for a man who's actually an undercover secret service agent. That’s a pretty specific premise for two movies to share. “Chasing Liberty” has Mandy Moore’s character run off skinny-dipping and bungee jumping on a Eurotrip, while “First Daughter” follows Katie Holmes’ goody-two-shoes counterpart at college in California. But both share similar resolutions, when the girls discover the true identities of the leading men, get mad for a while, and then - well, you can pretty much guess the rest.
#7: “The Raid” (2011) and “Dredd” (2012)
Writer Alex Garland has sworn vehemently that “Dredd” didn’t borrow from “The Raid.” Even so, it’s easy to see why film critics compared the two. Sure, “The Raid” is an Indonesian martial-arts movie, whereas “Dredd” is a British comic book adaptation set in a fascist future state. But “The Raid” is about law enforcement officers fighting their way up a high-rise floor by floor in pursuit of a drug lord. And “Dredd” is about . . . well . . . law enforcement officers fighting their way up a high-rise to kill a drug lord. In both, said miscreant turns residents against the officers, including a rookie cop who rises to the occasion.
#6: “K-9” (1989) and “Turner & Hooch” (1989)
A detective partners up with a troublesome dog, and they bond after an initial clash of personalities. Released just three months apart, these buddy-cop action comedies share the same premise, and some similar sequences . . . including the dog downing booze, seducing a lady friend, and some one-sided shouting matches. The plots strike out in different directions, as Belushi’s loose-cannon detective pursues a drug bust with German Shepherd police dog Jerry Lee, and Tom Hanks’ fastidious character tracks down the criminals who murdered Hooch’s owner. But both climaxes feature classic taking the bullet moments, wherein the canines earn their moniker of man’s best friend.
#5: “Tombstone” (1993) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994)
Originally, Kevin Costner was attached to “Tombstone,” but left to make his own Wyatt Earp movie with “Star Wars” scribe Lawrence Kasdan. His replacement, Kurt Russell, had no little hand in shaping “Tombstone” into a tight, action-packed Western, while Costner and Kasdan’s film became a grandiose, three hour biopic focusing on the legendary lawman’s life from childhood on. During production, their rivalry occasionally became bitter. “Tombstone” had monopolized period clothing, forcing “Wyatt Earp” to import costumes from Europe, while Costner used his influence to limit “Tombstone’s” distribution. Nonetheless, “Tombstone” emerged from the dust triumphant with critics and at the box office, thanks in part to Val Kilmer’s scene-stealing performance as Doc Holliday.
#4: “Madagascar” (2005) and “The Wild” (2006)
A lion and his animal buddies escape New York’s Central Park Zoo and travel by ship to Africa, where they struggle to adapt to the wild. This is the setup for both DreamWorks’ “Madagascar” and Disney’s “The Wild,” made during the height of their rivalry. The catalyst in both computer animated, fish-out-of-water comedies is a zoo animal who longs to experience Mother Nature. “Madagascar” beat “The Wild” to cinemas, and was a hit with both moviegoers and most critics. It may be coincidence, but “The Wild” focused on the relationship between father and cub and prominently featured an active volcano . . . all elements that would find their way into “Madagascar 2.”
#3: “Rough Night” (2017) and “Girls Trip” (2017)
“Rough Night” and “Girls Trip” start with similar setups: some lifelong friends reunite to party it up, resulting in a journey of outrageous shenanigans and self-discovery. The main character of both is an ambitious public figure who falls out with her bestie. But “Rough Night” takes a sudden turn when the plus-sized friend jumps on a stripper and accidentally kills him . . . He turns out to be a wanted criminal, so it’s all okay . . . or something. It’s basically “Very Bad Things,” but with great hair and no consequences. Like that movie, “Rough Night” received mixed reviews, while “Girls Trip” was a success with both critically and financially.
#2: “Despicable Me” (2010) and “Megamind” (2010)
DreamWorks’ “Megamind” arrived right on the heels of “Despicable Me,” a similarly themed computer animated comedy also about a supervillain who becomes a good guy. Admittedly, the villains in question take different paths toward their changes of heart. In “Despicable Me”, Gru’s conscience is pricked by three orphaned children. Megamind, on the other hand, swaps sides to rescue a love interest from a menace he himself has created. But both protagonists become supervillains after being misunderstood as children, both have a Minion, or in Gru’s case, Minions, and both have to save loved ones from even worse villains.
Before we reveal the identity of our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
“Happy Feet” (2006) and “Surf's Up” (2007)
“Capote” (2005) and “Infamous” (2006)
“Churchill” (2017) and “Darkest Hour” (2017)
#1: “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013) and “White House Down” (2013)
Described as “Die Hard” in the White House, these action thrillers came out within mere months of each other. Both are about terrorists taking over the White House and a lone hero who saves the day. In “Olympus Has Fallen,” Mike Banning’s a disgraced Secret Service agent who redeems himself when he rescues the President from North Korean terrorists. In “White House Down,” John Cale is a police officer thought too reckless for the Secret Service, who proves his worth when a paramilitary group captures the President. You say tomato, we say tomato. Both received mediocre reviews, but the lower budget “Olympus Has Fallen” reaped higher returns, and even managed to churn out a sequel.