5 Blockbuster Films That Might Be Rip-Offs

December 15, 2012 By:
5 Blockbuster Films That Might Be Rip-Offs

You know all those classic movies that hold a special place in your TV-memory? Yeah, I’m about to ruin them for you right now.  

So, if you’d rather not have that warm, fuzzy place in you heart shatted on by my word spew, then I suggest you avoid reading this. 

Otherwise, here are five Hollywood mega-successses that could very well be complete ripoffs of already been used ideas. 


Juno: Jason Reitman’s 2007 hit, Juno—a quirky take on a knocked up high schooler—was worshipped for it’s witty and unique dialogue that Ellen Page and Michael Cera’s characters ping-ponged back and forth. 

However, Juno’s plotline bears a striking similarity to that of Jeni, Juno—a Korean film about a pregnant schoolgirl and her boyfriend who try to hide the pregnancy from her family—which came two years before it. 

Screenwriter Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for the debut feature film, has insisted she was unaware of the K-film until it was brought to her attention post-Juno. 

Lion King: The animated epic was marketed as Disney’s “first original animated film,” breaking from the trend of relying on the crutch of pre-produced fairytales.

Unfortunately, some critics have pinned Lion King to the 1960s anime series “Kimba the White Lion.” Side-by-side freeze frames will shiver the spines of even the most dedicated of Mickey Mouse loyalists.

Star Wars: Let me preface this one by saying that this "rip-off" is by far the biggest stretch on this list.

Still, some skeptics have criticized George Lucas’ massively popular film series Star Wars for borrowing from some of the themes in Dune (While David Lynch’s film adaptation didn’t come until 1984, the Dune novel by Frank Herbert proceeded Lucas’ first film by twelve years). Some people have apparently gotten so juiced over the matter that they have drafted formal essays

Still, it would appear that with the “minor” additions of some sandworms, crysknives, and a drug called “spice,” one might be able to draw some paralelles between the two science fiction features…

All I can say is that, if he did steal it, Lucas is laughing all the way to the bank after selling the franchise to Disney for $4.05 billion! 

Terminator: James Cameron—the man famous for his preference in visuals over story—did the unthinkable in admitting his storytelling theft. 

In a 1984 interview with Starlog mag, the director joked that he ripped off the idea for his groundbreaking film Terminator from a few Harlan Ellison short stories.

In brief, Harlan took Mr. Cameron to court and now his name appears in the film’s credits.

The Hunger Games: You can’t spell “Hunger Games” without “Battle Royale.” For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about need to promptly learn up on your film and/or literature history. 

This, unfortunately, includes Suzanne Collins who crafted the source material of the same title that led to Jennifer Lawrence’s action-packed opus at Katniss Everdeen.

Copycat or not, the film earned $400 million plus in domestic gross with plenty of sequels on the way.