Applying Chaos Theory: Gone Girl 2

Here’s the trailer you’ve all seen for the Emily Blunt thriller The Girl on the Train.

Now, here’s the trailer for 2014’s Gone Girl- 

Notice any similarities?

Can you even tell the difference between them?

They’ve got the same blue and yellow color scheme, same montage idea, same basic storyline, same themes of hidden domestic violence and potentially justified voyerism and the sexiness that goes with that.

They’ve even got the exact same shots in some places — in the Girl on the Train trailer at 1:49 and the Gone Girl trailer at 1:26, we see both our main characters breaking into a run as they realize, both physically in the shot and within the trailer’s story, that they’re being hunted, and both trailers end on startling shots that seem to imply the leads’ guilt.

Hollywood is a copycat industry, but this is a little much. More important than exactly how similar these trailers are, though, is that I’m not sure why.

Gone Girl opened two years ago — Oct. 3, the exact same weekend — to $37.5 million. It was the biggest opener of director David Fincher’s storied career and is a pretty nice total for October, but it barely won the weekend — garbage horror spin-off Annabelle opened against it to $37.1 million.

Gone Girl is certainly better remembered and deserves to be built on, but since when does Hollywood make good decisions about what to follow up on?

The Girl on the Train hits theaters tonight.

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