Twin Films: 7 Times Movies Had the Exact Same Plot

I have a film degree (no, I don’t use it, and yes, my father is slightly irritated that he paid for it), and I learned in school *mumble mumble* years ago that there are only 7 possible plots in story telling. That means basic, a-to-b plots, you understand, though of course there are a million ways to make them your own.

But these film doppelgängers didn’t even bother to try – they’ve got pretty much the exact same plots from start to finish. But I guess that’s when the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes in to play? That, plus the fact that Hollywood likes money. If a movie trend is popular, they’re going to keep cranking those movies out until the horse has died. Twice. (I’m looking at you, George Lucas)

#7. First Daughter/Chasing Liberty


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It’s funny how, in each of these pairings, there is (for me at least) a “better” film. Of these two movies about the President’s teenage daughter going a little off-script in an attempt to live a life of her own, Mandy Moore’s Chasing Liberty is the clear winner. Sorry, Katie Holmes. We’ll always have Dawson’s Creek.

Then again, my opinion didn’t translate to box office results – neither did very well, money-wise.

#6. Madagascar/The Wild


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Dreamworks/Disney drama! This time, Dreamworks came out on top with the far more commercially successful Madagascar. Some have defended The Wild as the superior film, and most acknowledge that there might have been a little corporate espionage at work – Jeffrey Katzenberg left Pixar for Dreamworks shortly before a slew of similar concepts popped up, which led to a very public rift between him and Pixar’s John Lasseter and Steve Jobs.

#5. The Prestige/The Illusionist


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There’s always room for more movies about magic, but these two are bizarrely similar. Plus, they came out within 2 months of each other! That seems more than coincidental to me. I think The Prestige is the better movie (and one of Christopher Nolan’s best), but The Illusionist is quite good, as well. I recommend watching both and making up your own mind.

#4. A Bug’s Life/Antz


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Loosely based on Aesop’s fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, A Bug’s Life (Disney/Pixar) – about an ant who couldn’t quite seem to find his place in an ordered society – was a huge commercial success. Its Dreamworks twin, Antz, totally flopped.

#3. Friends With Benefits/No Strings Attached


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There have been any number of movies made about friends who sleep together for fun and, of course, promise not fall in love, only to find themselves doing just that. Of these two, I preferred Friends With Benefits because a) Timberlake and Kunis were amazing together and b) it was more realistic in terms of modern relationships. No Strings Attached was cute, because Natalie Portman, but slightly annoying, because Ashton Kutcher.

You know what I mean.

#2. Finding Nemo/A Shark’s Tale


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Once again, Pixar wins the day – Finding Nemo is an enduring classic with a big time sequel, while Dreamworks’ Shark Tale has faded into oblivion. In this case, Katzenberg insisted that any similarities were incidental and that the two companies had been in touch in an attempt to avoid stepping on each others’ toes.

#1. White House Down/Olympus Has Fallen


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If I were a member of the first family, two movies about terrorist attacks on the White House being released in the same year would set me on edge. At any rate, Olympus Has Fallen tends to be touted as the better movie (and has a sequel), but neither fared all that well with the critics or at the box office.