We’ve all seen the coincidences, or fallen prey to their confusion. You may have been in a movie theaters in the 90s and seen posters for Antz AND A Bug’s Life, or the infamous Dante’s Peak and Volcano. It’s even happened more recently with the likes of “Die Hard in the White House” movies Olympus Has Fallen & White House Down, plus 2018’s animated Yeti movies with Smallfoot & Abominable. There’s word for this hilarious Hollywood phenomena and it’s called “Twin Films.” Movie fans on Twitter have begun to remember this strange occurrence after user @KrisTosAplSauce brought it up and included the receipts of how often it’s happened.
The concept of the “Twin Films” goes back all the way to 1934 when both The Rise of Catherine the Great and The Scarlet Empress, two movies about Russian leader Catherine the Great; but the phenomena as a deliberate studio tactic to undermine another movie was first seen a few years later with William Wyler’s Jezebel which was made in response the impending release of Gone with the Wind. The release of Twin Films has become even more prolific in recent years, and that doesn’t even include production companies like The Asylum that actively make films that sound like the titles of upcoming blockbusters to cause confusion. That in mind, we’ve collected the best responses to the many Twin Films examples given in the viral Twitter thread, and the reasons why they happen for you below!
One of them deserved a sequel and one of them got two
White House Down is such a better movie. That’s the one that should have had 4 sequels.
— Tom (@a20261) April 13, 2020
Sometimes Film Twins truly bless us
Both of these movies are great and we should be grateful we got them both.
— DearJannicee (@PolishedDreamer) April 13, 2020
There’s not always a victor either
What surprises me about this one is they both did pretty well. Garnered good buzz, generally favorable reviews. Probably because one was in theaters and the other Netflix. Usually in a head to head battle, one must cede to the other.
— Miss Two Sense (@misstwosense) April 13, 2020
1989 was HUGE for underwater movies
— Eric Reese (@reeseer1) April 13, 2020
It’s worth noting that there are in fact SIX underwater thrillers from 1989 including the aforementioned Leviathan, DeepStar Six, The Abyss, and Lords of the Deep, plus The Evil Below and The Rift.
Ironically a cop movie was stolen
Seth Roger actually talked about in an interview that they found a rat that sold their idea to the Paul Blart Mall Cop people 😬
— Kori 💃🏻 (@kori9898) April 13, 2020
Imagine that many kids-to-adult movies in this economy
In 87-88 they made a full five movies about a kid turning into an adult: Big, Vice Versa, Like Father Like Son, 18 Again!, and 14 Going on 30
— The 🏴 Smooth Jazz 🏴 Industry (@cornpop76) April 13, 2020
One recent Twin Films pair confused this man
Both of these films came to German cinemas in summer 2018. I went into the biopic about PTSD, expecting to see the one where Winnie the Pooh came alive. pic.twitter.com/mqKcdj9QGj
— Philipp M. Kroissant (@PhilippMKroiss) April 13, 2020
And here’s why
There’s actually a term for this phenomenon: twin films!
There’s lots of different reasons for twin films: production companies racing to get their films out first, staff moving between studios, etc.
Some even believe twin films are the result of… industrial espionage! *GASP* https://t.co/6mG9VSQlHx
— Lillie Lainoff (@lillielainoff) April 13, 2020
And yet another reason
Often the reason that happens is because a writer has been pitching their idea around to different studios and one studio poaches the concept without actually hiring the writer. Then another studio goes on to make the film with the original writer.
— Roxy (@elizabtchtaylor) April 13, 2020
Click here for the original author and source.