Love it or hate it, movie remakes are a common part of the film industry. Some people think that original films shouldn’t be messed with, while others prefer the updated cinematography that comes with a remake. The success of a remake can vary, and there’s no real formula to determine box office success. Some movie remakes turn out well while others, not so much. Let’s take a look at some of the more successful movie remakes to hit the cinemas in recent times.
1. Batman Begins
The story of Batman has been told over and over again. The popular DC Comics character has appeared in several films, from the 1940s to the 1980s. However, a recent 2005 reboot of the franchise is one of the most successful movie remakes yet. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film features Christian Bale as the dark and brooding Batman. Batman Begins is the first film in the hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy.
2. Ocean’s Eleven
The 2001 version of Ocean’s Eleven is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name. Both versions revolve around a casino heist and feature an all star cast. The 1960 film featured members of the Rat Pack like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. The 2001 film featured George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. The 2001 film was a success at the box office and the director, Steven Soderbergh, went on to direct two film sequels.
3. Romeo + Juliet
While all Romeo & Juliet films are based on the classic work by Shakespeare, for the purposes of this list I’m going to compare the 1968 film to the 1996 version. While the older version is critically acclaimed, the Baz Luhrmann version is a glitzy and modern retelling of the film. It also features a certain Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo. And to prove how popular this tale is, it looks like we’ve got another remake on our hands with a film to be released this year featuring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the star-crossed lovers.
4. The Parent Trap
Most of us are probably familiar with this movie remake, featuring a young Lindsay Lohan, but the original version was released in 1961. While the plot in both movies stays the same, certain details are tweaked in the 1998 remake, like the names of the characters and where they live. Both films are based on the novel ‘Lottie and Lisa’ by Erich Kästner.
5. King Kong
The first King Kong movie was released in 1933 and this version of the film is considered to be a classic. However, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cash in on the popularity of this epic tale and remake it. With so many advances in technology since the original was released, the 2005 remake is a slicker and more action-packed retelling of the story.
6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Here we’ll compare the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, to the 2005 film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It should be noted that both films are adaptations of the popular book by Roald Dahl. While the 1971 film featuring Gene Wilder is a cult classic, it initially didn’t do too well at the box office. The 2005 remake featuring Johnny Depp, however, was released to critical praise and was an instant box office success.
This 2007 movie musical is an adaptation of the stage show which is based on a non-musical movie of the same name by John Waters. Are you still with me? Either way, the 2007 movie musical featured an all star cast (not to mention John Travolta in drag) and was a box office success.
8. True Grit
The 2010 version of True Grit is a remastering of the 1969 classic western starring John Wayne. Directed by the Coen brothers, the 2010 version of the film features Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin. It received critical acclaim and was also nominated for 10 Academy Awards.
These are just a few examples of modern movie remakes. Do you have a favourite movie remake? What other movie remakes can you think of?