By Paul Anthony
I swear if these two movies were real then 2013 would have been a very bad year for The President of the United States of America because in one film you have you favorite people out of North Korea sneaking the white house then you have your vice president turn on you just so he can become president. Thank god that these cases were nothing more than movies!! Welcome back to the second edition of this blog series and from the title you can see we will be talking about two films that were three months apart. Olympus Has fallen was the first to come out and was released on March 22, 2013 and White House Down came out on June 28th of 2013. Olympus Has Fallen was produced on a budget of 70 million and made about 170.3 million and White House Down was produced on a budget of 150 million and only grossed 205 million. Now White House Down had a big studio behind it with Sony, so the budget being bigger made sense but sometimes the bigger budget doesn’t always mean better. Now Olympus has fallen came from a smaller studio with Millennium Films. Both films mostly got same reviews but why are the numbers in the sense of the box office performance so different well let’s look at the plots first and we will start with Olympus has Fallen.
This film had a pretty good cast, you had Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Rick Yune and Angela Bassett. The story starts with Banning (Butler) trying to save the president (Eckhart) from a a car accident which he does but the first lady couldn’t be saved. which during his grief the president resigns him to another department, as a way to punish him, ( Jerk move right?) Anyway one random day, when the president is having a meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister. A North Korean terrorist group sneaks into the white house which was aided by the prime minister rogue members. The group launches an air attack before their ground attack starts. This is where Banning gets back in action and finds his way into the white house. During attacks we learn the leader of the group is Kang Yeonsak (Yune) who wants America to remove their troops from South Korea which would almost lock up a victory for North Korea but also wants to turn America into a wasteland, he wants revenge for the death of his mother. I am guessing this is more personal than anything. Banning begins his attack one member at a time though he takes a beating himself in the end he saves the president and the country and even gets his old position back.
Now Let’s look at White House Down, this cast has the same amount of talent on it as the other film, here this film stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King and James Wood. Basically the plot is the same well 95 percent actually but nevertheless let’s take a look, here we have capital police officer who seems to be too busy to remember what day of the week it is decides to take his daughter on a white house tour, well sadly for them this is the day that a domestic terrorist group plans to kill the president which is played by Jamie Foxx, the plan which starts off well is to blow up the capitol building as a decoy so everyone will be too focus on that however they didn’t plan on a officer being there and kicking their ass one by one until the end. we learn that their are two men running the show to kill the president are none other then his top bodyguard basically and the speaker of the house of representatives, who would assume office because he is third in line just in case the president and vice president were killed. The goal to become the president and change the military plans. ( I guess just making a vote didn’t work) Nevertheless all the bad guys pay the price and the country is saved!!
Now Here is the thing that has been bothering me and that is I don’t know which one is better than the other. Both have the same overall cast. the leads were two average actors but great action stars in Tatum and Butler. The co leads are equal as well. The plots try to be so difficult to figure out adding layers that are suppose to create more suspense only to let us down when the story is fully told. Crazy these films are evenly matched yet one managed to become a franchise, well one fell into the abyss. One had a smaller budget and was in a period of the year where it could gain a little money without anyone noticing where the other was in the summer with a crazy high budget and though it did gross more, the return profit was much lower. In the end the winning movie was the one who had the franchise because the story was simple and not too many layers to complain about. In the end I am giving Olympus Has Fallen a percentage point better than White House Down at 69 percent to 68 percent. The thing that people will mostly remember from these two films was that they both had the white house going down!!