Remakes are almost as old as the medium of film itself, and throughout the last couple of decades there have been too many to count. But in the late 90s and early 2000s, Hollywood literally went remake crazy, and the trend has continued ever since. We're almost twenty years out, and there are already remakes being planned for 2020. But why? More often than not, remakes are big bombs that shame the original and fail to connect with audiences on any level. It would be hard to pinpoint the worst of the worst, because there are so many. Thankfully, a new research study has been completed, and it reveals the biggest remake bombs of all time, offset by how much they have lost at the box office. Not just by how much they managed to aggressively squeeze out from weary ticket buyers. They also look at which remakes have been the most profitable. But that's no fun.
According to this new report, the biggest remake bomb of all time is Around the World in 80 Days, which arrived back in 2004, when remakes were almost all that was being shown at the multiplex. The movie made $24 million domestically, pulling in a total of $72.1 million worldwide. The film is a remake of the 1956 original, which was a huge hit for its time. This new movie starred Steve Coogan in the lead, who had not yet really broken through in America. He was helped out by International Superstar Jackie Chan, with appearances from Will Forte, Cecile de France, Jim Broadbent and Kathy Bates. The movie was supposed to have world appeal, but no continent wanted it. Not even with hugely touted cameos that included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Luke and Owen Wilson, and Rob Schneider. When all is said and accounted for, Around the World in 80 Days lost Disney, who released the movie under their Buena Vista banner, a total of $35,000,000.
Coming in at second place is Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy, which regurgitated the 2003 masterwork from Chan-wook Park. Its intended audience of cult maniacs wanted nothing to do with Josh Brolin's version of the story, and it quickly sank out of sight, losing FilmDistrict $24,800,000 off of a modest $30 million budget. The movie only made $2.1 million in the states, and didn't fare much better in other countries, only pulling in $4.8 million worldwide. God, what a misfire. The sad thing is, remove Chan-wook Park's original from the equation, and Spike Lee actually turned in a pretty good movie with a career best performance from Josh Brolin. Too bad no one wanted to see it.
Coming in at #3 is Jude Law in Alfie from 2004, which managed to lose Paramount $24,800,000, bringing almost as much of a loss as Oldboy. In at #4 is Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's defining horror classic Psycho. Made in 1998, the Van Sant version only made $21.4 domestically and $37.1 worldwide for a loss of $22,900,000. Universal is still reeling over that one. And at #5 is the 2005 adaptation of Oliver Twist. It only made Sony $2 million in the states, but did much better overseas with a foreign tally of $40.5 million for a worldwide take of $42.5 million. That remake, from Roman Polanski of all people, netted a $17,420,000 loss. Whoopsie.
As for the most profitable remakes of all time? Last year's redo of the classic animated movie Beauty and the Beast holds that distinction. The Disney favorite pulled in $1.2 billion worldwide, netting the studio a $1,009,000,000 profit. Disney's 2016 remake of The Jungle Book comes in at #2 with a $789,600,000 profit. That movie almost clocked in at $1 billion too, pushing to $966.5 million worldwide. Steven Spielberg's 2005 remake War of the Worlds, starring Tom Cruise, netted a $459,700,000 profit for the #3 spot. The James Bond sequel Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, brought in a $450,000,000 profit for Sony and MGM. And rounding out the list is yet another Disney movie, with the 2015 animation-to-live-action remake Cinderella killing it at the box office to bring in a $448,500,000 profit. So, weighting both options in either hand, remakes can be a winning investment, or a death blow. There are some good ones, some bad ones, but most are just down right unnecessary. And when it comes to remakes like Around the World in 80 Days and Oldboy, audiences have definitely spoken. Too bad Hollywood never listens. This recent study comes from My Voucher Codes.
The Least Profitable Movie Remakes:
- 1 - Around the World in 80 Days (2004) - $-35,000,000 loss
- 2 - Oldboy (2013) - $-24,800,000 loss
- 3 - Alfie (2004) $-24,800,000 loss
- 4 - Psycho (1998) - $-22,900,000 loss
- 5 - Oliver Twist (2005) - $-17,420,000
The Most Profitable Movie Remakes:
- 1 - Beauty and the Beast (2017) - $1,009,000,000 profit
- 2 - The Jungle Book (2016) - $789,600,000 profit
- 3 - War of the Worlds (2005) - $459,700,000 profit
- 4 - Casino Royale (2006) - $450,000,000 profit
- 5 - Cinderella (2015) - $448,500,000 profit