One thing everyone loves to see unfold onscreen is when different worlds collide. Extraterrestrials encountering human beings, the rich guy going after the poor girl, or the rugged outdoorsman coexisting with the big city businessman are just some examples of great stories that pleasantly bridge the gaps between two opposing entities. But movies have gone on to take this compelling idea to a whole other level. The world of entertainment has continually over time given its audience several innovative ways to enjoy films where different worlds come together, but none hold a candle to what is commonly referred to in the industry as a crossover.
These epic mashups, in a nutshell, are when different properties fans never thought in a million years would ever grace the same screen come together in a larger than life motion picture that goes out if its way to push all boundaries of the universe it resides in. There is no question these types of endeavors are a large roll of the dice for a studio, and this can’t be done by merely mixing any random characters. Of all the times this has occurred in the history of Hollywood, these are undoubtedly ten of the most ambitious movie crossovers of all time.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
In 2008 Marvel started a journey with the film Iron Man. Years later the hero would be joined by Captain America, Thor, and, The Incredible Hulk in what was considered then to be Marvel’s most excellent mega mashup, The Avengers. But following that cinematic feat, many more heroes would make the transition from page to screen which came to what many consider to be the most significant crossover in film history. Twenty-one films and ten years of storytelling resulted in The Russo Brothers superhero motion picture masterpiece Avengers: Infinity War.
Nearly two dozen of the MCU’s finest were on the roster for this one which was very fitting given the threat they were facing. A Mad Titan by the name of Thanos threatened to wipe out half of all life if he was able to acquire the six Infinity Stones. It was all hands on deck for this one as this flick had the daunting task of delivering a compelling story that paced well but also fit in all these influential personalities without overwhelming the audience. The fans ended up with a truly memorable experience taking them to all corners of this fictional cosmos. Infinity War’s climax is undoubtedly one of the most impactful moments moviegoers of all ages have ever experienced, making it an affair never to forget.
Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
Nightmare on Elm Street proved that Freddy Krueger was the worst guy in your worst nightmare. But when the infamous dream hopper of horrors attempted to gain a vessel in the real world to aid him in his murderous rampage, the notorious child murderer gets tangled up with one momma’s boy that is anything but a pushover. Of all the people Krueger could have scooped up in the dark corners of the underworld he happens to pick another gruesome teenager killer who is extremely hard to kill. What was supposed to be a simple hostile takeover, turns into a horrifying no holds barred street brawl between two of cinema’s notorious slashers.
Freddy vs. Jason slammed into theaters like a pay per view wrestling event. The trailer even ends off with one of the actresses telling audiences to place their bets on which horror icon would be the last one standing. The burnt faced claw wearing dream catcher going one on one with the machete-wielding bottom feeder of Crystal Lake is a recipe for one truly chaotic crossover that would determine which horror home turf reigns supreme. In one corner you have the terrifying echoing screams of Elm Street and on the other lies the murky depths of Crystal Lake. Both murder happy demonic psychos will enter the cinematic octagon, and only one will leave champion of manslaughter.
Justice League (2017)
Some would argue the superhero team involving such iconic heroes as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman may be the most popular out of all the powerful good guy squads. The three ended up coming together in their own flick along with the likes of The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Instead of thoroughly developing a foundation for their mega mashup, the studio pushed forward relentlessly, and the result would change the course of the in DCEU forever.
While the heroes saved the day, the film received mixed reviews. The production was somewhat troubled and did see a significant director switch which probably had a lot to do with the difference in opinion on its overall quality. The studio had realized it had moved to fast in its attempts to compete with their rival in the race for shared universe glory. After this endeavor did not go as planned, DC restructured its plan of attack for its cinematic universe, focusing on developing solid solo stories. This roll of the dice may not have resulted in the win they were looking for, it helped them in the long run however on how to hopefully one day reunite DC comics’ finest.
Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)
Horror fans will never forget their traumatizing experiences with the hit fearful franchises The Ring and The Grudge. The two had started out as pure gold in Japan, the terrifying titles made their way to the states and churned up several installments of their own with only a handful worth discussing. But If fans have ever wondered if they’d ever see the day the creepy girl from the well and the terrifying black & white contortionist spirit ever go head to head in one of the greatest villain-on-villain horror face-offs the world has ever seen, they’d be in for one shocking surprise.
Japan’s two biggest horror franchise villains are so evenly matched it brings a whole new level of terror to both parties. The two independent, powerful female supernatural demons bent on pure vengeance ought to be the best of friends, but instead, they need to establish which monochromatic evil entity is the greatest of all time. The film that has the demon championship bout, titled Sadako vs. Kayako, stays true to its predecessors and sees a young woman doomed to die from watching the VHS from The Ring in an age of 4K streaming who then turns to another woman who, of course, has been marked for death by the ghoul from The Grudge. So naturally, when one spirit steps on another spirit’s turf, it is officially go time.
The Lego Batman Movie (2016)
The Lego Batman Movie is an extraordinary accomplishment in the world of crossover films. This animated film sees the caped crusader like fans have never seen him before, in Lego form. This superhero flick is a beautiful mix of Lego adventure and comic book movie. Gotham’s Dark Knight takes on virtually every single villain the hero has ever faced. And that’s saying something considering he has one of the most impressive rogue galleries ever. Not only did audiences get to witness one of the largest ensembles of DC characters ever on screen but it also brought in a ton of other famous properties as well.
The Joker leads an army of bad guys that includes Voldemort from Harry Potter, Sauron from Lord of the Rings, the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, and King Kong, just to name a few. This epic event not only saw the combination of almost every epic franchise out there it also brought together two great things kids love, Legos and comic books. This motion picture gamble had a lot of moving parts and ultimately worked out well in the end.
King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962)
King Kong was an iconic monster in cinema. Godzilla was one of the biggest things to come out of Japan. So it would make sense that these two massive powerhouses would one day duel for the title of most exceptional giant entity to ever grace 35mm film. In 1962 King Kong Vs. Godzilla marked one of the first meetings of these two characters. In a way, some could argue this legendary showdown set the standard for this practice and opened the door for other films to do the same.
The brawl between King Kong and Godzilla was the best anyone could expect from the era in which it was created. And it turned out to be the event that audiences were dying to see. King Kong vs. Godzilla was a box office success. This mega motion picture endeavor spawned a sequel and inspired Toho, the makers of the film, to put out a new Godzilla title every year. Who knew betting big on a giant ape fighting a massive lizard would be so profitable?
Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda (2015)
Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda asks the question everyone was presumably asking. What would happen if the giant snake from that JLO movie from the ’90s took on that giant crocodile from that Bill Pullman film also from the ’90s? These number one contenders of the bottom of the five dollar bin decided it was time to silence the critics and finally put it all on the line in a highly anticipated bad movie title match. If it is a risk to bring popular franchises together, it must be a seriously bold maneuver in trying to bring two bad ones together.
The battle to see who will reign as the best predator at the top of the food chain takes place after humans attempt the unthinkable and combine the DNA of the two B-movie creatures Jurassic World style. This devilish experiment ends badly as the two giant reptiles will not settle for second place as they make mincemeat of every sorority girl in their path. Like many sizeable creature showdowns over time, this epic one-on-one of giant scaled people eaters is certainly one bout that will go down in the history books for one reason or another.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Stephen Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis are two very well known filmmakers. The two worked on a film together called Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Zemeckis served as director and Spielberg was the Executive Producer on the hybrid live-action animation project. The film’s story centers on a rabbit named Roger, falsely accused of murder, who hopes to be exonerated of all the charges with the help of a toon-hating cop played by actor Bob Hoskins. The real reason this title is crossover gold is the fact that it is not only a crossover between these two forms of cinematic storytelling, but it is, in fact, the other animated characters that the main characters encounter throughout this fantastical world.
Some of the biggest names from both the Looney Tunes and Disney are on screen for the very first time together. Joining the likes of Roger and his foxy wife Jessica Rabbit are many of the cartoon game’s Hall of Famers. This includes Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck. This classic film, if not done correctly, could have meant some serious trouble for all parties involved. But betting big on this net level collaboration on several fronts ended up being the right choice. The film made $329.8 million off a $50.6 million budget.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018)
Wreck-It Ralph did something no gamer ever thought they’d see in their lifetime. It brought many of their favorite video game characters together on one screen. But the sequel went out of its way to outdo its predecessors by going beyond bringing Sega and Nintendo characters together. This next film would pretty much throw the entire internet into a blender and served up moviegoers a visually good helping of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2.
This follow-up sees the titular character, and his sidekick Vanellope venture off into the worldwide web when the arcade gets WiFi. This leads them on a journey that has them interact with every website, meme, social media outlet, and online cliche. But the big crossover everyone loved about this one is the fact that every Disney Princess makes an appearance. Instead of playing damsels in distress, this time around they are basically like the X-Men utilizing their signature powers to assist the main characters and help save the day.
Alien vs. Predator/Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2004, 2007)
Some match-ups seem like they were destined to happen. At first one would think that if these two infamous movie characters world’s collided it would be sheer chaos, but instead the horrific street fight between two of the genre’s most violent killers is precisely the reason crossovers exist. A ritualistic hunting ceremony has all hell breaking loose just to answer the age old question, who says uncle first; the Alien or the Predator?
Five years after James Cameron’s Aliens released in theaters and one year after Predator 2 stormed its way through the gritty streets of New York, a heated intergalactic rivalry amongst hideous monstrosities was born like a face hugger flying from an egg called Alien vs. Predator. This showdown of the galaxies gruesome monsters spawned two feature-length films that showcased this intergalactic rivalry in a horrifically pleasing manner. After years of watching the two monsters destroy any human that came in their path, it was a real treat to watch these cinema icons take on someone their own size for a change. In the end, it was hard to pick a clear winner. It will have to remain a draw for now until a third film can give us a clear, undisputed champion.
Credit: List Gecko
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