Lately it seems that everywhere you look, a big movie franchise is getting a fresh start. The phrase ‘have you seen the original?’ sits on the tips of our tongues almost every time we go to the theatre, and while some of us complain about the lack of original work being released it is easy to see why. The average box office gross (minus production budget) for a remake is $52 million, which isn’t too shabby at all.
The three highest grossing films of 2015 so far are Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Furious 7. None of these are based on original work.So, there is an argument to be made about why studios continue to fund and push reboots, remakes and adaptations: reboots in particular are a clever way to breathe life and excitement into a franchise and set those involved up to be raking in millions over multiple films. The last few years have been flooded with reboots, but not all of them have gone over well.
Here are 5 of the best movie reboots:
1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Though a recent release, Fury Road is arguably one of the most talked about movies of 2015 so far. The film has grossed over $373 million in the global box office. Some called the film ‘the best action movie of the decade’, while others referred to it as ‘feminist propaganda’. Either way, it got people talking.
Fury Road was the fourth instalment in George Miller’s Mad Max franchise, and comes 36 years after the original release and 30 years after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. This time we see Tom Hardy replace Mel Gibson as the lead, and bring in Charlize Theron to help bring Mad Max roaring back to life. Not only is Fury Road the highest grossing of all the Mad Max films, but it has a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was given a 5 star rating by many critics.
After Fury Road’s release, George Miller confirmed that he has more stories to tell in this franchise, and Tom Hardy is signed on for four more Max films which proves in no uncertain terms that this reboot is here to stay.
2. Batman Begins (2005)
Some have said that Batman Begins started the trend of rebooting movie franchises. The film, released in 2005 and directed by Christopher Nolan, reignited audiences love for Batman, and has paved the way for at least 3 more Batfilms. Batman Begins owes much of it’s success to having Nolan at the helm: Nolan took the ideas of fear and love and crafted a beautiful character driven tale and contrasted it against heart pumping action.
After the box office failure of ‘Batman and Robin’, ‘Begins’ made the Batman story much more real, and undeniably human. Batman Begins has grossed over $374 million worldwide and is largely considered to be one of the best superhero movies ever made. Indeed, it led the way for ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ which were both huge successes critically and financially. It would be impossible to talk about rebooting a film series without talking about Batman Begins.
3. Star Trek (2009)
2009’s Star Trek is the 11th film in the Star Trek franchise, and can be said to be the film that drew a more modern audience. Where Star Trek may have been seen as ‘nerdy’ and known for spawning ‘Trekkies’, the diverse cast, humour, and striking visuals brought in viewers from all walks of life.
Star Trek takes the characters of the original Star Trek television series and reboots them with new actors: Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana are among the fresh faces that breathe new life into the saga.
The film not only has a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but has been referred to as the mother of all prequels which hooked a massive audience for it’s sequels: Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond (yet to be released). The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, five Teen Choice Awards, five Broadcast Film Critics Associated Awards, three Empire Awards, and a slew of others cementing it as one of the most successful movie reboots of our time.
4. Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale was our first look at Daniel Craig as James Bond. Initially there was outcry as many believed that Craig could not do the job (they didn’t want a ‘blonde bond’), however Craig certainly proved his worth. When the film premiered Craig was received exceptionally well and was credited with refreshing the series and reinventing the modern James Bond. Craig was kept on for sequels Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and soon to be released Spectre.
Casino Royale is the third adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name, and completely reboots the Bond series with a new timeline: It also removes the character of Miss Moneypenny for the first time. Casino Royale earned almost $600 million worldwide which made it the highest grossing James Bond film up until the 2012 release of Skyfall.
5. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes serves as a reboot of the original series, but also as an origin story to set viewers up for a series of films to come. The sequel, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was released in 2014, and War Of The Planet Of The Apes is slated for a 2017 opening.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was not anticipated to be as successful as it turned out. Advances in technology allowed creators to use entirely digital apes, creating a life-like experience that drew in a stronger audience.
The film had a human aspect that was both intriguing and provocative which was impressive for many as the series itself is over 50 years old. The film sits at an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, and grossed over $481 million worldwide proving that you can make something new and exciting out of something vintage.