This post has been one that I have been debating even sharing on my blog, but being reminded of a film that I am very unimpressed with, releasing in September, is the remake of the 1959 film, Ben-Hur (the ’59 film is a remake of a silent film from 1925). So basically, this is a remake of a remake.
In case you have never seen the 1959 film, it stars Charlton Heston and Jack Hawkins; or you may have seen the infamous chariot race scene. Back to the question at hand: Why is the film industry relying so much on remakes of films, and not creating new ideas?
According to Ken Miyamota, former Sony Pictures script reader/story analyst, “remakes/reboots/re-imagines/sequels/adaptations exist because big movie making is a big, dirty, stinky gamble where all odds are against the player (studios). And a smart player plays the best odds. These types of films have an embedded name brand, which means less marketing for the powers that be… or more centralized and focus marketing utilizing the pre-existing canon.”
Which, yeah, it makes sense, but what is the fun in knowing that your remake of a film is going to be a hit? Because there are remakes that bomb or completely ruin the reputation of the original film or franchise. When will they go back to finding ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ material?
I looked up some comparisons to gross totals of original films compared to their remakes off of IMDB. Some almost meet up to the original film earnings. Others, not so much. Although this does also depend on the budget for the film, the director/screenwriter, and how they are trying to portray or re-inspire the new film.
Ben-Hur (1959): $33.6 million
Ben-Hur (2016): TBD
Footloose (1984): $80 million
Footloose (2011): $51.8 million
The Omen (1976): $65 million
The Omen (2006): $54.6 million
Psycho (1960): $32 million
Psycho (1998): $21.4 million
Now, I am sharing some of the films that are being remade in just next year. This list is as of July 31, 2016, from MovieInsider.com: Jumanji, CHiPS, Flatliners, Beauty and the Beast, IT, and The Six Billion Dollar Man.
Is it time for the film industry to take a break from making remakes? Or just produce less of them to the general public? There is always the option of just selling an idea to Netflix or any streaming service without hitting the big screen.
What are your thoughts? Less or more remakes?