Hollywood is known for its cyclical and repetitive nature, and sometimes movie studios have the unfortunate luck of releasing similarly themed movies at the same time. 2013 is no different: it will go down as another year featuring two movies with similar plots being released within months of each other: the recent Olympus Has Fallen and this summer’s White House Down.

Of course, this has happened before…

1. Armageddon vs. Deep Impact (1998)

The most popular among the bunch, these meteor-themed movies took on different approaches to global disasters. While Michael Bay’s Armageddon was testosterone-filled actioner with big names and big explosions, something for the Spike TV crowd, Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact appealed to a more emotionally-driven crowd, focusing on familial melodramas and Kleenex-ready intimacies, something for the Lifetime crowd. WINNER: A tie.

2. Antz vs. A Bug’s Life (1998)

Pixar’s Life clearly stole the show 15 years ago when it introduced a bunch of lovable insects and creepy-crawlies to moviegoers six weeks after Antz failed to woo audiences despite the vocal talents of Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, and Jennifer Lopez. WINNER: A Bug’s Life

3. The Haunting vs. House on Haunted Hill (1999)


Both of these haunted house remakes disappointed critics and audiences alike. The Haunting, starring Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, turned out to be a silly ride (from the director of Speed, no less), loaded with hokey effects and a PG-13 sensibility that did nothing for fans of the horror genre. House, on the other hand, was a straight-up, R-rated gorefest with Taye Diggs and Famke Janssen trapped in a cathedral-like building rigged with some ghastly tricks. WINNER: House on Haunted Hill

4. Dante’s Peak vs. Volcano (1997)

Dante’s Peak, starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton, was a flash-in-the-box-office-pan about a volcanologist who moves his family to a seemingly idyllic town where a seemingly dormant mountain threatens to blow. Volcano, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche (what a pairing!), was an unabashed disaster flick about Los Angeles turning into a hotbed of molten lava. Bonus points for the tagline, “The Coast Is Toast.” WINNER: Volcano

5. Capote vs. Infamous (2005)

Technically, Infamous came out the year after Capote, but it had originally been planned to be released earlier. And after watching Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar-winning performance as famed writer Truman Capote in the latter, the movie studio shuffled the other biopic down the pipeline. What a shame: while Capote was quite the masterpiece, the underappreciated and ignored Infamous proved to be just as impressive, featuring a cast with names like Sandra Bullock, Toby Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Jeff Daniels, Sigourney Weaver, and Isabella Rossellini. WINNER: Capote

6. Flightplan vs. Red Eye (2005)


One is a Jodie Foster nailbiter about a mother desperately searching for her missing daughter aboard a jumbo jet, and the other is a Wes Craven-directed potboiler about a young woman (post-Mean Girls Rachel McAdams) having a creepy encounter with a passenger (Cillian Murphy) who’ll do anything to get what he wants. WINNER: Red Eye (sorry Jodie)

7. Sex and the City vs. The Women (2008)

There was a highly estrogenic box office in the summer of ’08 when Carrie Bradshaw & Co. reunited on the big screen. However, during the following fall, Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and a slew of female costars couldn’t repeat that success with the remake of the classic 1939 film. WINNER: Sex and the City

8. Deep Star Six vs. Leviathan vs. The Abyss (1989) 

Deep Star Six was brought to you by the guy who gave us the original Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham), and Leviathan starred Robocop‘s Peter Weller and the chick who played Evil-Lyn in Masters of the Universe (the sultry-voiced Meg Foster). Both dealt with some nasty alien life forms terrorizing underwater crews on the ocean floor. Both bombed at the box office. However, it was James Cameron’s The Abyss that thrilled audiences with its solid script and groundbreaking effects — therefore, WINNER.

9. Mirror Mirror vs. Snow White and the Huntman (2012)

Or as some film bloggers call it: The Year Charlize Theron’s Evil Queen slayed Julia Roberts’s Evil Queen at the box office. WINNER: Snow White and the Huntsman

10. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter vs. Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln movies

Having read the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, I devoured Vampire Hunter with relish and enjoyed the hell out of Benjamin Walker’s kickass performance and the film’s unapologetic revisionist take on American history. As for Spielberg’s Oscar-baiting biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field? It was what I expected from an Oscar-baiting biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field. WINNER: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Hiko Mitsuzuka (@TheFirstEcho)