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25 Movies With Similar Plots Released the Same Year

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Though Hollywood studios develop films separately, sometimes movies that are eerily similar will be released in the same calendar year. 

1. and 2. Deep Impact (released May 8, 1998) // Armageddon (released July 1, 1998)

During the summer of 1998, Dreamworks and Touchstone Pictures released two rival asteroid disaster movies: Deep Impact and Armageddon, respectively. One movie showed how families and modern civilization would be affected by an asteroid collision, while the other was a loud, action-packed thrill ride from director Michael Bay. Although astronomers called Deep Impact more scientifically accurate, Armageddon was selected to be in the prestigious Criterion Collection, which is reserved for (in their own words) "important classic and contemporary films."

3. and 4. Olympus Has Fallen (released March 22, 2013) // White House Down (released June 28, 2013)

In 2013, two different movie studios released two different films about terrorist groups invading and taking over the White House. Released in March 2013, Olympus Has Fallen featured Aaron Eckhart has the captured president with Gerard Butler as the Secret Service agent who re-captures the White House and saves him from certain doom. That year's other save-the-prez effort, White House Down, featured Jamie Foxx as the president with Channing Tatum in the role of a Secret Service hopeful tasked with keeping him safe. Although White House Down had a wider summer release, Olympus Has Fallen saw higher box office returns.

5. and 6. Dante’s Peak (released February 7, 1997) // Volcano (released April 25, 1997)

In 1997, Universal Pictures' volcano thriller Dante’s Peak raked in an impressive $178.1 million at the box office worldwide. A few months later, Twentieth Century Fox released Volcano which also featured—you guessed it—a volcano. That flick grossed $122.8 million internationally, proving that the country's thirst for seeing mountains go boom can't be satiated with just one movie.

7. and 8. Gordy (released: May 12, 1995) // Babe (released: August 4, 1995)

Believe it or not, in 1995 two talking-pig movies competed for family box office dollars. In May, Miramax released Gordy, which followed the adventures of a pig trying to find his family after they were taken away to be slaughtered. A few months later, Universal released Babe, which revolved around a sheep-herding pig. Babe blew Gordy out of the water: It earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and Best Director, beat out Apollo 13 for the Best Visual Effects Oscar, and would eventually spawn a sequel, Babe: Pig in the City. The world is still waiting for a Gordy sequel. 

9. and 10. Saving Private Ryan (released: July 24, 1998) // The Thin Red Line (released: December 23, 1998)

For the 71st Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated two World War II films for Best Picture and Best Director. While Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan followed the invasion of Normandy on Omaha Beach and the war's Atlantic Theater, Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line focused on the Battle of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. Neither took home the Best Picture Oscar—that went to Shakespeare in Love—but Spielberg wound up winning Best Director.

11. and 12. Chasing Liberty (released January 9, 2004) // First Daughter (released September 24, 2004)

In 2004, Warner Bros. released the Mandy Moore vehicle Chasing Liberty, which told the story of the President of the United States’ 18-year-old daughter and her misadventures overseas. Later in that election year, First Daughter opened in theaters with Katie Holmes in the lead role. Turns out two movies about the president's progeny were two too many: Both films flopped big at the box office.

13. and 14. Mission to Mars (released March 10, 2000) // Red Planet (released November 10, 2000)

Disney's 2000 release Mission to Mars was based off of a Tomorrowland ride that had closed in the early '90s. Still, Disney felt that a film adaptation could be profitable based on the success of the 1997 made-for-TV movie inspired by the Tower of Terror ride. They were somewhat redeemed, as Mission to Mars proved to be a moderate success. However, the other Martian movie from released that year, Red Planet, was an outright bomb. Its first-time director, Antony Hoffman, never directed a major motion picture again. Maybe he should pitch something around It's a Small World.

15. and 16. Mirror, Mirror (released March 30, 2012) // Snow White and the Huntsman (released June 1, 2012)

The iconic Snow White fairy tale saw two live-action movie adaptations in theaters back-to-back. The first, Mirror, Mirror, was from the visionary Indian director Tarsem Singh.The other was Snow White and the Huntsman, from first-time director Rupert Sanders, which took a dark and gritty approach to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The latter benefited from the cheating scandal between star Kristin Stewart and Sanders, which dominated the tabloids around the movie's release and spurred it to a $396.5 million worldwide box office return.

17. and 18. No Strings Attached (released January 21, 2011) // Friends with Benefits (released July 22, 2011)

Warning: This might get confusing. In 2011, Paramount Pictures and Screen Gems released two rival movies about casual sex. The first was released in January and was originally titled Friends with Benefits, but was then renamed No Strings Attached after director Ivan Reitman and screenwriter Elizabeth Meriwether learned a similar movie with the exact same title was going to be released later in the year. In July, that film was released and boasted a similar plot featuring two friends having casual sex and later falling in love. Appropriately, both films experienced similar box office returns.

Interestingly, NBC aired a new TV series called Friends with Benefits later in 2011 with a similar plot to the aforementioned movies. The single-camera comedy was unceremoniously canceled after five weeks.

Congratulations, now you never have to think about those movies and TV shows ever again.

19. and 20. The Illusionist (released: August 18, 2006) // The Prestige (released: October 20, 2006)

During the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, director Neil Burger premiered The Illusionist, about a 19th century social-climbing magician played by Edward Norton. Later that year, director Christopher Nolan released a separate movie about two competing 19th century magicians called The Prestige. The Illusionist and The Prestige were both nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography but were made to disappear by Pan's Labyrinth.

21 - 25. DeepStar Six (released January 13, 1989) // Leviathan (released March 17, 1989) // Lords of the Deep (released April 21, 1989) // The Evil Below (released July 1, 1989) // The Abyss (released August 9, 1989)

Throughout 1989, moviegoers were treated to five competing films about deep-sea crews stationed underwater that find something mysterious and monstrous in the depths. DeepStar Six, Leviathan, Lords of the Deep, The Evil Below, and The Abyss all married elements of science fiction and ocean horror, but only James Cameron’s The Abyss experienced both critical and monetary success.

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8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
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Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

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11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
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Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

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