10 cases of Hollywood making the same movie twice - at the same time
'Mirror Mirror' and 'Snow White and the Huntsman' only the latest redundant cinematic pair
'Antz' vs. 'A Bug's Life'
"Antz" (Dreamworks Animation/Universal) - Oct. 2, 1998
Global box office: $171 million
"A Bug's Life" (Pixar/Disney) - Nov. 25, 1998
Global box office: $363 million
The result: A war of words broke out between Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg (formerly of Disney) and Pixar's John Lasseter in the fall of 1998, when Lasseter alleged Katzenberg rushed "Antz" into theaters to beat Pixar's "A Bug's Life" to the multiplex - all over the latter's supposed anger at his former employer's refusal to move "Bug's" (released by Disney) out of competition with Dreamworks' animated musical "Prince of Egypt" over the crowded holiday season. Whatever the real story (a hard thing to come by in the slippery world of behind-the-scenes Hollywood), the clear winner in the equation (not accounting for critical reviews, which were excellent for both films) was "A Bug's Life", which grossed more than double its competitor when all was said and done (though "Antz"'s $171 million final take certainly didn't qualify it as a flop, it also cost by some estimates more than $100 million to produce). Of course, "Antz"'s audience appeal skewed slightly older (Woody Allen was the lead voice talent, for god's sake), which probably put a damper on its commercial prospects.
- Chris Eggertsen