The past 20 years have seen moviemakers double dip with stunning frequency — releasing flicks with nearly identical premises only a short time apart. This month, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in Friends with Benefits , about pals who try to get more than friendly without falling in love — a feat attempted by Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in January’s No Strings Attached. So which will win the box-office lotto? We look back at other repeat offenders to gauge whether Strings will play cat’s cradle or hangman’s knot.


1997
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Dante‘s Peak
Everett Collection
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Volcano
Everett Collection












Dante’s Peak –vs.– Volcano
($178 million) ($123 million)
Critics panned — but audiences erupted for — both films, though Dante, released three months earlier, offered peak performance at the box office.

1998
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Deep Impact
Everett Collection
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Armageddon
Everett Collection












Deep Impact –vs.– Armageddon 
($349 million) ($554 million)
Bruce Willis’ macho action romp, released two months after Impact — Morgan Freeman’s more character-based disaster flick — left the biggest crater of the two.

1998
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Antz
Everett Collection
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A Bug‘s Life
Everett Collection


 










Antz
–vs.– A Bug’s Life 
($172 million) ($363 million)
Despite boasting A-list voice talent and hitting screens first, Antz fell at the box office to Pixar’s charming Life.

2000
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Mission to Mars
Everett Collection
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Red Planet
Everett Collection


 









Mission to Mars
–vs.– Red Planet 
($111 million) ($33 million)
The fourth planet from the sun became a movie star in the new millennium. Mission, first out of the gate, nearly quadrupled Red’s earnings.

(Box office figures are for worldwide grosses, as reported by Box Office Mojo.)