The same-day releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer last year took the world by storm, with the absolute contrast of the films giving internet-goers the idea of watching both movies back-to-back and dubbing them, “Barbenheimer”. The craze actually led to a huge spike in sales for back-to-back screenings and greatly aided both films’ box-office numbers, making the duo even more of a worldwide phenomenon than they would have been alone.
Barbenheimer’s titanous impact on internet culture has led many to look to the future of same-day releases and begin finding all the odd pairings set to hit theaters in the near future. Could there be another Barbienheimer in the next year? Or was the iconic pairing lightning in a bottle? Using same-day releases as marketing could actually prove to be quite effective if the right films are paired up together.
10 Bob Marley: One Love & Madame Web
February 14, 2024
This Valentine’s Day, couples and single hopeless romantics can treat themselves with a wonderful back-to-back screening of a murderous spider-person serial killer and the inspiring true-story of the iconic Bob Marley’s rise to reggae fame. The contrast between a high-octane action-adventure Marvel film and a biopic about a man who adamantly advocated for peace and love could either end a Valentine’s Day date night on an inspiring or heart-racing note.
No matter which order one would decide to watch them in, Bob Marley: One Love and Madame Web, there’s no denying how abundantly different the two films seem to be in not only their premises, but within their filmmaking as well. While Madame Web contains heavy CGI and a fanbase very mixed about the presumed quality of the movie, Bob Marley: One Love seems to have critics and audiences alike excited and optimistic.
9 Kung Fu Panda 4 & Imaginary
March 8, 2024
It doesn’t get more different than an animated kids film by Dreamworks and a small-budget Blumhouse horror flick. But don’t let Imaginary fool you. While it may sound kid friendly at face value due to its use of imaginary friends through the visuals of a cute teddy bear, Imaginary is far from kid friendly. A double feature of these films may need a long intermission to bring the kids home first.
What makes this March 8th pairing so interesting is the underdog story coming from it. Only made for 13 million yet still one of the most anticipated horror flicks of the year, Imaginary, going head-to-head with Kung Fu Panda 4, made by Dreamworks for an estimated 140 million, is a true David and Goliath story. The films are so drastically different that pairing these up for a double feature could make for a great whiplash of a theater experience.
8 Furiosa & Garfield
May 24, 2024
At face value, the films of May 24, 2024, may seem drastically different, but they’re strangely more alike than many realize, making this a potentially great double-feature endeavor. While Furiosa may be ripped away from the Green Palace of Many Mothers and Garfield is sucked away from his pampered life with John, both films feature their protagonists leaving the only place they’ve known their entire lives and being snatched away to face dangerous trials from the outside world.
While a majority of audiences may not realize it yet, a double feature of these two films would serve as a nice treat for action-adventure enjoyers who love both animation and live-action. Treated to two high octane films that will make you both cheer and laugh back-to-back. Not to mention, each film has one of the legendary Hollywood Chrises with Garfield starring Chris Pratt, and Chris Hemsworth playing Warlord Dementus in Furiosa.
7 Harold and the Purple Crayon & Trap
August 2nd, 2024
One of August 2nd’s films will bring the classic children’s picture book from 1955 to life on the big screen, whilst the other will be the next movie in the ever-growing resume of prominent director M. Night Shyamalan, known for his paranormal plots and mind-bending twist endings. With one being a straightforward kids film and the other most likely being a mind-crushing psychological film, the double feature here contains some crazy contrast.
While the plot synopsis for Trap has yet to be revealed, M. Night Shyamalan is known for using his film’s color in thematic ways, making this an interesting pair for Harold and the Purple Crayon which surrounds a young boy whose purple crayon has the power to create the world around him. Harold and the Purple Crayon‘s wild premise almost makes it sound like it could be directed by M. Night Shyamalan in another lifetime.
6 Transformers One & Speak No Evil
September 13, 2024
Two franchises return to the big screen with brand new, recasted actors this September. The iconic Transformers franchise makes a big return with Transformers One and the 2022 horror film Speak No Evil makes its return with a remake. Double feature goers on September 13th are signing up for two films that, at the end of the day, are major toss-ups in potential quality.
The 2022 Danish film, Speak No Evil, released to mixed critic and audience reviews. Being about the “politeness culture” in Scandinavia, it’s curiously being brought to the United States for a remake. Its announcement confused many viewers of the first film, who wondered how they could recreate the same story in America. On the flip side, the Transformers are going back to Cybertron for an origin story with a whole new cast portraying the classic robots in disguise. This concerned fans regarding the direction of the film with the choice to move away from the franchise’s iconic actors who have been in the series forever, like Peter Cullen, known for his portrayal as Optimus Prime.
5 Terrifier 3 & The Wolf Man
October 25, 2024
Halloween of 2024 is sure to deliver on what many would expect to find on Halloween; big scares and horror. Christopher Abbott will be bringing the character and story of The Wolf Man back to the screen with the help of Blumhouse, Jason Blum‘s independent horror movie studio, adding it to the catalog of Universal’s ongoing “Monster Universe” of films reimagining classic horror monsters in the modern day. Terrifier 3, also coming from independent production through Dark Age Cinema and Fuzz on the Lens Productions, promises to bring an even gorier and horrifying experience than the past two films, if you can believe it.
Rest assured, horror fans will not be disappointed this Halloween with a double feature like this. With Terrifier 3 pretty much guaranteeing another terrifying and bone-chilling experience that could only be made through an independent studio and The Wolf Man bringing a horror classic back to life with modern technology that’s sure to up the ante, double feature viewers should prep some time after this double feature to calm down and recover from the fear they’ll experience.
4 Venom 3 & The Amateur
November 8, 2024
Eddie Brock and Venom return to the big screen for some campy-thriller hijinks this November, batting up against the espionage thriller, The Amateur, from breakout director, James Hawes and starring Rami Malek. As Eddie and Venom once again deal with the conflicts that come through their symbiotic relationship, one Charles Heller will be blackmailing the agency he works for to train him to be able to take down the terrorist organization that killed his wife.
The ideal viewing order for this double feature seems to be jumping into the intense and dramatic The Amateur first, then washing down those dramatic themes with a chaser of campiness that is sure to be found in Venom 3 to end the night on a lighthearted note. Unbeknownst to most, both films also happen to be adaptions. While many already know of Venom as a hit Marvel character spawning from the stories of Spider-Man, The Amateur is also based on a pre-existing property – a novel and film of the same name, both released in 1981.
3 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Mufasa: The Lion King
December 20, 2024
December 20th is the day of the CGI animated talking animals with the third film in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and the prequel to Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, Mufasa: The Lion King. With one film potentially ending an ongoing story and the other serving as the beginning of another, this double feature is sure to be an interesting pair.
This double feature is sure to be a great holiday get together for the whole family. But the films seem to differ in their tones. Where Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will be a comedic, fast-paced and high-flying sci-fi adventure, Mufasa: The Lion King seems to be a more dramatic, yet still lighthearted adventure like its sequel story. With this in mind, it might be best to check out Mufasa: The Lion King first, as when the night gets later, kids will be less likely to potentialy doze off during the action-packed Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
2 M3GAN 2.0 & Paddington in Peru
January 17, 2025
This double feature is only half as kid friendly as the previous pairing at the end of 2024, with the sequel to the horror film M3GAN being matched up with the third film in the Paddington franchise, Paddington in Peru. As Paddington and the Brown family get thrown into a wild adventure in the Amazon rainforest while visiting his Aunt Lucy in Peru, M3GAN seems to be making a comeback to assuredly seek revenge on Cady and Gemma for attempting to kill her.
M3GAN 2.0 surely has an uphill battle being paired with Paddington in Peru, with the previous two Paddington films being astoundingly reviewed, with Paddington 2 at one point passing up Citizen Kane as the highest rated film of all time on Rotten Tomatoes. It seems like Paddington in Peru may be the common first film in this double feature, so the kids can go home and get to bed while the adults of the family return to the cinema to watch M3GAN wreak havoc on the world once more.
1 Captain America: Brave New World & Smurfs: Rise of the Purple Smurfs
February 14, 2025
Next Valentine’s Day hosts another Marvel film franchise that hasn’t seen theaters since 2016 and brings back a franchise that hasn’t seen cinemas since 2017, The Smurfs. Both franchises are getting shaken up on this go around, with Captain America: Brave New World being the first appearance of Sam Wilson as the titular character in a film and Smurfs: Rise of the Purple Smurfs being a musical film debut for the franchise and is the first film in a new partnership between Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies to produce a new lineup of Smurfs films.
Surprisingly for Marvel, it seems their film will be the one fighting the uphill battle for the top spot this time around, with the Captain America sequel suffering from controversy due to its reported inclusion of the Marvel character, Sabra. The character within the Marvel Comics world is canonically incredibly prejudiced towards Arabs. Sabra’s inclusion has many worried that this will lead to stereotypical and negative representations of Arabs in the film. If this comes to be true, it will certainly be the worst received of the two on February 14, 2025, and may destroy the chance of a double feature for some. But with rewrites and reshoots for the film being held recently, fans are holding out hope for Marvel to course-correct and fix this potential issue.