When you get right down to it, remakes are about one thing: Brand recognition. A studio or a producer believes there is money to be made in releasing something with the same title and/or concept as an old hit. And that’s exactly what they do.
That line of reasoning is not without some justification. Many of the biggest box-office hits in history are remakes. The 2019 remake of The Lion King grossed $1.64 billion worldwide. Two years earlier, the live-action Beauty and the Beast grossed $1.26 billion. War of the Worlds. King Kong. Clash of the Titans. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ocean’s Eleven. The Mummy. The Karate Kid. All hugely successful remakes. And on and on and on.
Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way.
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Just because a film was popular once is no guarantee it will be again. Occasionally, a film’s popularity works against a remake’s viability. If people love a movie, does that mean they want to see it again, with other (possibly less charismatic) actors, directed by a different (possibly less talented) filmmaker? Not necessarily. And when that happens, the results can be underwhelming, disappointing, or downright forgettable.
Collected below are 25 examples of exactly those sorts of remakes. Some were box-office bombs, but others did reasonably well in theaters, propelled by the very sort of brand recognition that got them made in the first place. But even then, they could never live up to the movies that inspired them — nor could they replace them in the minds of viewers. Instead, they live on right here.