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.