The Re­lease Race

What does his­tory re­veal about the jun­gle book’s chances against next year’s ri­val jun­gle book: ori­gins?


DR. strangelove (JAN­UARY 29, 1964) Vs. Fail safe (OC­TO­BER 7, 1964)

Columbia Stu­dios did bat­tle with it­self in 1964, pro­duc­ing Stan­ley Kubrick and Sid­ney Lumet’s ac­counts of a nu­clear stand-off, which came out within a fort­night of each other. The Re­sult Box-of­fice fig­ures for Fail Safe aren’t avail­able but it’s safe to say the stiletto-sharp Kubrick­ian satire, out first on Kubrick’s in­sis­tence, won out over Lumet’s care­fully crafted drama.

Dante’s peak (Fe­bru­ary 1997) Vs. Vol­cano (APRIL 1997)

Pierce Brosnan and Tommy Lee Jones both bat­tled mu­cho magma and ‘py­ro­clas­tic flows’ within a cou­ple of months of each other in 1997. The Re­sult Nei­ther ex­actly blew the top off the box of­fice but erupt­ing first no doubt helped Dante’s Peak to a take of $178 mil­lion while Vol­cano took $122 mil­lion.

Deep Im­pact (MAY 1998) Vs. Ar­maged­don (July 1998)

In 1998, Hol­ly­wood sent a brace of space boul­ders hurtling to­wards the planet’s box of­fice. Mimi Leder’s Deep Im­pact was a tense take on the so­cial ef­fects of im­pend­ing an­ni­hi­la­tion. Ar­maged­don was di­rected by Michael Bay. The Re­sult Sec­ond-out-the-gate Bay­hem won out with over half a bil­lion dol­lars to Deep Im­pact’s $350 mil­lion.

Capote (Fe­bru­ary 2005) Vs. In­fa­mous (OC­TO­BER 2005)

You wait decades for a biopic of the elfin scion of New Jour­nal­ism, then two come at once. 2006 saw Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man and Toby Jones both play­ing the mer­cu­rial In Cold Blood au­thor. The Re­sult Sadly for the ex­cel­lent Toby Jones, first-off-the­blocks Capote won, with an Os­car for Hoff­man and box of­fice of $20 mil­lion to In­fa­mous’ $1 mil­lion.

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