So, with all the Oscar hopefuls out, as well as some pretty decent mainstream movies, a big box-office opening went largely unnoticed: Well, largely unnoticed by the public, not the critics. The Legend of Hercules had high hopes the young male demographic would turn out in droves to see the mythological hero on the big screen—and even a few female fans of Twilight’s Kellan Lutz, who plays the title role. Hopes were dashed last weekend as the only thing legendary about the movie was its flop.

Fans of the genre were left wondering if the $70-million budget went for catering. As always in a situation like this, filmmakers are quick to throw out excuses—clashes between producers and executives, change of screenwriters, over-committed actors. In this case, however, it seems that a likely cause of a mediocre film was the release date. The studio was eager to avoid direct conflict with another movie coming out this summer: Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

The second Hercules promises to be everything the first film was not. In fact, they seem so confident in the movie's performance, even the title implies coming sequels. The bigger question here is, Why would two rival studios release two similar movies at the same time? One would think they had an understanding, like the two gas stations sharing an intersection, but no. What’s more, it happens all the time.

White House Down vs. Olympus Has Fallen

Here, you have two utterly mediocre big-budget summer action movies that involve terrorists seizing control of the White House. They both did passably at the box office and both delivered on their promise to blow a lot of stuff up. In the end, the movies proved definitively that Channing Tatum has the range of a presidential bust and Gerard Butler can make even the most mundane script watchable.

Mirror, Mirror vs. Snow White and the Huntsman

Both films boast Oscar-winners in the wicked queen role (Julia Roberts in Mirror, Mirror; Charlize Theron in Huntsman). Both films were all right—Mirror because of Lily Collins, Huntsman in spite of Kristen Stewart. In the end, they succeeded in thwarting evil and in boosting the growing trend to remake fairy tales—so, something good came of it all.

Turner and Hooch vs. K9

The actor doesn’t matter. The script doesn’t matter. The awesome dog is the only thing that matters. If Old Yeller didn’t do the trick, these movies taught Hollywood that the dog needs to live at the end.

Dante’s Peak vs. Volcano

Zero complaints here. If Hollywood could combine the volcano concept with the terrorists in the White House theme, they might really have something.

Antz vs. A Bugs Life

Honestly, if you showed me a scene, I couldn’t tell you which movie it was from. You could probably throw Bee Story in there, as well. Also, I’m not sure Woody Allen is the best choice for voicing an animated children’s character.

Strip Tease vs. Showgirls

And Cinemax was born…

Footloose vs. Flashdance

Now, that was a good year.

More Tangential Thinker articles.