We live in the age of replicas, look-alikes, and stolen ideas. It feels like everything good has been done already, whether it’s a song, a painting, or a clever TV commercial. The fear of being unoriginal is stronger than ever if you’re trying to produce something entirely new.

And while some try their best to come up with fresh ideas, others decide there’s no point in trying too hard. This time, we are looking at some examples of copycats in the film industry, where movie posters are everything but original.

From the suspiciously similar Babel (2006) and Savages (2012) affiches, to the look-alike Inception (2010) vs. Geostorm (2017) designs, these can’t be just mere coincidences... or can they? Whoever designed these posters surely has no problem with being unoriginal, and this may as well be somewhat of a liberating feeling.

(h/t: Letterboxd users Bri and Malaine)

#1

Shrooms (2007) vs. Singular Cay (2012)

Shrooms (2007) vs. Singular Cay (2012)

Bri Report

sorlag110
Community Member
3 months ago

As much as I believe in coincidence, this has to be a ripoff, or a very very straight forward homage.

View more comments
#2

Unforgiven (1992) vs. Puss In Boots (2011)

Unforgiven (1992) vs. Puss In Boots (2011)

Bri Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 months ago

It's almost like an adorable parody. ♡

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Die Hard 2 (1990) vs. Speed (1994)

Die Hard 2 (1990) vs. Speed (1994)

Bri Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
3 months ago

I have almost forgotten those two heroes were young once. But, must say they are still handsome - Bruce not as much as Keanu, but not bad at all

View More Replies...
View more comments

Bored Panda reached out to filmmaker and entrepreneur Romina to find out if such look-alike movie posters are innocent coincidences or sinister copies. Romina explained that both things can be true in these cases: “Sometimes copies are coincidental and other times they're not. The use of similar design elements, though, is indeed deliberate.”

Romina also said that it’s quite possible that the same designers were used to produce the film posters, and if that happens, “they end up with similar styles.” In that case, a look-alike poster is not a copy, but rather it reflects the style of a particular designer.

#4

Blue Ruin (2013) vs. Happy Hunting (2017)

Blue Ruin (2013) vs. Happy Hunting (2017)

Bri Report

Vic
Community Member
3 months ago

Happy Hunting is like a couple of frames after Blue Ruin..

View more comments
#5

Gravity (2013) vs. Ad Astra (2019)

Gravity (2013) vs. Ad Astra (2019)

Bri Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Gravity is better movie and have better poster! In my opinion, of course

View more comments
#6

Cats & Dogs (2001) vs. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Cats & Dogs (2001) vs. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Bri Report

EA
Community Member
3 months ago

Good comparison tho! Cap is a dog obviously

View more comments

“It is common to copy or 'take inspiration' from other works. If it isn't broken, why fix it?” Romina said this is part of the storytelling process which is as old as time itself. For example, “Shakespeare's stories have been told over and over again.”

Having said that, Romina assured that people still genuinely care about original ideas. “The possibilities are endless as new ways of storytelling are developed, like VR, for example.” It’s really up to artists and designers to decide which direction they want to go.

#7

Ex Machina (2014) vs. A.i. Rising (2018)

Ex Machina (2014) vs. A.i. Rising (2018)

Bri Report

karla Meixnerová
Community Member
3 months ago

and O2 advertisment in our country... unnamed-5f...8db30b.jpg unnamed-5fb25cd8db30b.jpg

View more comments
#8

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) vs. Dark Phoenix (2019)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) vs. Dark Phoenix (2019)

Bri Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
3 months ago

There's oodles of these orange and blue posters, normally with protagonist, rival, love interest etc in similar locations too

View more comments
#9

Winter's Bone (2010) vs. A Dark Place (2018)

Winter's Bone (2010) vs. A Dark Place (2018)

Bri Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
3 months ago

I like much more that one with Jennifer Lawrence, must say. And movie was great also

View More Replies...
View more comments

Creating a captivating movie poster that will draw people to the cinema theaters is not as simple as you may think. The successful ones often follow a time-proven sales formula that can be traced in any movie poster you’d like to hang on your wall. It’s known as AIDA.

The first A in the AIDA formula stands for "attention." A good movie poster is one that grabs your attention on the street and steals it for some time. Whether it features the film’s main characters, establishes an intriguing level of plot, or presents a major plot point, it should be captivating.

The second part of the formula stands for iconography, which is basically showing without telling. The use of strong imagery and visual cues is what makes the design effective. 

#10

Drive Angry (2011) vs. Breaking Loose (2014)

Drive Angry (2011) vs. Breaking Loose (2014)

Bri Report

Goo Lagoon
Community Member
3 months ago

Didn't even try to make it different

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Black Swan (2010) vs. Ghostland (2018)

Black Swan (2010) vs. Ghostland (2018)

Bri Report

Bizianka
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Broken doll/statue face is rather usual motif

View more comments
#12

Anatomy Of A Murder (1959) vs. Clockers (1995)

Anatomy Of A Murder (1959) vs. Clockers (1995)

Bri Report

Goo Lagoon
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Yeah, it's clearly an homage to a very famous classic poster.

View more comments

Another important feature in a good film poster design is "interest." This means that your poster should offer a fresh perspective or an unusual point of view. Sometimes it puts the viewers into the middle of a scene from the film. Often, it sparks an inner curiosity as you wish to find out more.The last bit of the magic AIDA formula stands for appeal, which combines both creative and aesthetic efforts to produce a poster that will serve as a form of art on its own.

On the other hand, there’s always a danger of making your poster too artsy, as it should carry appeal for both die-hard fans and passersby on the streets alike. Long-lasting appeal in poster designs is usually found in classical movies and high-budget blockbusters.

#13

Shrek (2001) vs. The Incredibles (2004)

Shrek (2001) vs. The Incredibles (2004)

Bri Report

JessG
Community Member
3 months ago

Well, the Shrek one was intentional. They had more than one poster, all with different “genre feel” to them

View more comments
#14

The Ruins (2007) vs. Wake Wood (2008)

The Ruins (2007) vs. Wake Wood (2008)

Bri Report

Luuta
Community Member
3 months ago

Carrie, Evil Dead, you name it.

View more comments
#15

Hot Pursuit (1987) vs. Disturbia (2007)

Hot Pursuit (1987) vs. Disturbia (2007)

Bri Report

John Tan
Community Member
3 months ago

disturbia has more of a horror-ey feel

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

Babel (2006) vs. Savages (2012)

Babel (2006) vs. Savages (2012)

Bri Report

Julius Martin
Community Member
3 months ago

Babel was easily better, in my opinion

View more comments
#17

The Breakfast Club (1985) vs. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

The Breakfast Club (1985) vs. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Bri Report

Purple light
Community Member
3 months ago

Clearly intentional

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

No Country For Old Men (2007) vs. Fright Night (2011)

No Country For Old Men (2007) vs. Fright Night (2011)

Bri Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
3 months ago

I think the author of the second poster is not hiding the source of his inspiration

View more comments
#19

Shame (2011) vs. The Delinquent Season (2018)

Shame (2011) vs. The Delinquent Season (2018)

Bri Report

Capelli rosa e patate
Community Member
3 months ago

Damn the delinquent season. That’s ones a doozy.

View more comments
#20

The Night Eats The World (La Nuit A Dévoré Le Monde) (2018) vs. The Rental (2020)

The Night Eats The World (La Nuit A Dévoré Le Monde) (2018) vs. The Rental (2020)

Bri Report

JessG
Community Member
3 months ago

Both posters make me curious about the movies though. I haven’t seen either one, but I’d like to now, lol, it worked

View More Replies...
View more comments
#21

Mystic River (2003) vs. Dusk (2010)

Mystic River (2003) vs. Dusk (2010)

Bri Report

Mademoiselle Nat
Community Member
3 months ago

Well, if it counts, the colour is different.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Straw Dogs (1971) vs. Cold Fish (2010)

Straw Dogs (1971) vs. Cold Fish (2010)

Bri Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
3 months ago

Dog, Fish.... both animals so let's copy the poster

View more comments
#23

Lolita (1962) vs. American Strays (1996)

Lolita (1962) vs. American Strays (1996)

Bri Report

Doggo
Community Member
3 months ago

I feel like this one is more of a stretch.

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#24

Vampire (2011) vs. Forgotten (2017)

Vampire (2011) vs. Forgotten (2017)

Bri Report

Charlotte A.
Community Member
3 months ago

They forgot the white sphere in the second pic... :p

View more comments
#25

The Ides Of March (2011) vs. Nancy (2018)

The Ides Of March (2011) vs. Nancy (2018)

Bri Report

JessG
Community Member
3 months ago

Slightly different I think

View more comments
#26

The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) vs. The Kill Team (2013)

The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) vs. The Kill Team (2013)

Bri Report

Robin DJW
Community Member
3 months ago

The Silence of the Lambs poster is in this same family. They all say "We have secrets."

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

Death Ship (1980) vs. Ghost Ship (2002)

Death Ship (1980) vs. Ghost Ship (2002)

Bri Report

Martin Kaine
Community Member
3 months ago

Well duh, first the ship dies, then it comes back as a ghost.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

Body Snatchers (1993) vs. Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Body Snatchers (1993) vs. Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Bri Report

Jamnik
Community Member
3 months ago

Berberian Sound Studio is fantastic!

View More Replies...
#29

Inception (2010) vs. Geostorm (2017)

Inception (2010) vs. Geostorm (2017)

Bri Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
3 months ago

Weeeell...

View more comments
#30

Deepwater Horizon (2016) vs. Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

Deepwater Horizon (2016) vs. Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

Bri Report

Mike Crow
Community Member
3 months ago

Nope. Similar but not the same.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 47 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.