Those two movies that come out at the same time that are about the same stuff

What causes this bizarre (to the film industry outsider) phenomenon?

I think it’s that studios keep a close eye on what their competition is doing, and the weird “hotness” factor comes into play when someone thinks his studio is going to miss an opportunity.

What seems so strange to me about that logic is the following: let’s say you’ve heard that your competition is going to make a talking pig movie and you think, “Man, I’m going to miss an opportunity to cash in on this talking pig thing that everyone is itching to see!”

One, it’s strange that you would jump to the conclusion that everyone is going to love this other talking pig movie before it’s been released. What if it’s a huge flop? Now you’re barreling ahead on a path that leads to a cliff’s edge.

Two, what makes you think that if the first one is a big success, anyone is going to want to see two talking pig movies in the same summer? If it’s a big success, that means by definition a lot of people saw it. That’s a lot of people who are probably not going to care that much about your johnny-come-lately pig movie that comes out two months later. Wouldn’t it be better to release yours a year or two afterward to let the people’s hunger for talking pigs revive a bit?

It seems like a lose-lose situation to me. Maybe the market research shows differently.

This is a guest post by Nate Spears, who has taken over the site this week while Shawn is on vacation at an undisclosed location.

Those two movies that come out at the same time that are about the same stuff