Neighbors pits Seth Rogen and Zac Efron against each other in a suburban battle between family man and frat jock. It opened on Friday and made $51 million this weekend. Not too shabby for a movie that only cost $18 million to make. Look for a "Hammering Out..." review shortly. But, if you heard the title (the film was originally going to be called "Townies") and started to get a little deja vu, there's a good reason for that. It's not the only movie to call itself Neighbors.
The notion of a "movie title doppelganger" is nothing new. Studios often recycle titles when they can't come up with anything better or more marketable. Sometimes, there's a slight tweak of the title for one reason or another (think Lee Daniels' The Butler vs. The Butler OR Heat vs. The Heat). Other times, the same title is straight up used twice (Heat (1995 - Pacino/DeNiro) vs. Heat (1986 - Burt Reynolds).
I'm not talking about reboots or remakes, like Robocop (1987) vs. Robocop (2014). Of course those movies are going to have the same title. No, I'm talking about completely different movies - different casts, different concepts, different stories. I'm sure there are a ton of other title doppelgangers stretching back as early as the medium goes, but I'm only going to list those movies where the title was re-used within my lifetime - say, the last 35 years or so. See if you can spot the differences.
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