Infographic: Original vs. Remake -- Which Does Better at the Box Office?

Infographic: Original vs. Remake -- Which Does Better at the Box Office?

Nov 26, 2013

Filmmakers seem to have countless motivations for taking a trip back to the cinematic well. Whether it’s for the sake of revitalizing a classic movie with a more contemporary cast (such as George Clooney and company stepping in for the Rat Pack in Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven), reverently reminding moviegoers of a cinematic milestone (De Laurentiis’ and Jackson’s respective updates of King Kong) or bringing an influential foreign film into the mainstream English-speaking marketplace (Spike Lee’s upcoming remake of Park Chan-Wook’s cult South Korean thriller Oldboy), there always seems to be a press-ready quote waiting to validate the latest latter-day doppelganger of a beloved film of yore.

Of course, no one can ignore one of the strongest motivators for moving forward with a remake of a hallowed classic: money. A remake’s ability to tap into an established fanbase’s wistful nostalgia for a time-honored oldie is invaluable at the box office, especially if that film was a blockbuster of its own era. However, this strategy has repeatedly proven itself to be far from foolproof. For every Ocean’s Eleven-style success story, there’s the remake that does similar box office business to the original like Manchurian Candidate, or the misguided carbon copy, replete with 21st-century bells and whistles, that lands in the multiplex with a dull thud (2012’s Colin Farrell-starring Total Recall).

For the sake of examining just how financially successful some remakes are when compared to their cinematic inspirations, we created the infographic below, which reflects the domestic box office of a selection of high-profile originals and remakes in terms of 2013 inflation.

Click the graphic below to see the larger version:

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