Over the course of Hollywood history, we’ve seen a number of competing, similarly themed projects, be it about disaster, asteroids, or going to mars. Right now there are at two competing Snow White projects in the work (thank the billion dollars made by Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland). Viggo Mortensen was in talks to play the Huntsman for the version called Snow White and the Huntsman, but he’s dropped out, while Armie Hammer has now signed on for The Brothers Grimm: Snow White.
For a hot second it looked like Hammer jumped into Viggo’s abandoned role. Not the case, Tarsem Singh will be directing the Hammer version, which is also looking to cast Saoirse Ronan as Snow White. Currently the big name on that version is Julia Roberts as the wicked witch. This version was looking to come out in summer of 2012.
The Viggo-almost starring version has Kristen Stewart as Snow White, and Charlize Theron as the evil queen. It is to be helmed by Rupert Sanders, who is best known at this point for his commercials. Their version was set for a Chistmas 2012 release.
When it comes to similarly-themed movies when they aren’t super-blockbusters, it helps to get out the gate first. Dante’s Peak outgrossed Volcano, and Mission to Mars crushed Red Planet. But those were minor films. In 1998, Deep Impact took an early May release to Armageddon‘s July 1 opening, and Armageddon made it to $200 Million, while Deep Impact made $140. Which also suggests that even with two months apart, there can be interest for both films.
Is first always best?