Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hollywood's Latest Twinsies: 'Olympus Has Fallen' and 'White House Down'

The dueling Steve Jobs movies aren't the only upcoming film projects with similar topics. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, "Olympus Has Fallen" (which opened last weekend) and "White House Down" (due this summer) are both about terrorists taking over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The situation creates headaches for the people marketing the two films — made worse by the fact that any poster showing the White House in peril is reminiscent of a third movie, "Independence Day." (That's perhaps why "White House Down" chose to tout a different Washington landmark.)

When I last explored the phenomenon of twinsie movies in January, I determined that the second film to be released is usually worse.

But that doesn't mean it makes less money, as the Hollywood Reporter points out:
In 1996, Disney's Armageddon fared better than Deep Impact (each was about an asteroid headed for Earth). Both were box-office hits. Paramount's Deep Impact, opening May 8, earned $349.5 million worldwide; Armageddon, opening less than two months later on July 1, grossed $553.7 million globally. 
In 2011, sex romps No Strings Attached, released in January, and Friends With Benefits, released in July, both grossed $145 million, a respectable sum. And last year, Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman earned $396.6 million worldwide, more than double the $166.2 million grossed by fellow Snow White pic Mirror Mirror, despite the fact that it opened second.
Believe it or not, we're not done with same-topic movies this year. Tom Cruise's "Oblivion" (due in April) and Will Smith's "After Earth" (coming out in June) are both action films about a postapocalyptic Earth that's been abandoned by humans.

If only they didn't face such a crowded marquee at the multiplex.