22 Movie Remakes That Bombed at the Box Office

Bethany Quinn | Jul 1, 2019 Movies
22 Movie Remakes That Bombed at the Box Office

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International
Columbia Pictures

Movie magic, as it's called, is what keeps us going to the theater time and time again. The feeling of escapism that we get when watching a great movie is inspiring and can often leave an impact -- even after decades. Movies have helped to shape popular culture and are an integral part of our lives. For ages, Hollywood has sought to recreate this movie magic with new films and by remaking old ones. Classic films that scored big bucks and brought audiences in droves is exactly what big studios hope for each time they get ready to film a movie.

Just look at all the Disney live-action remakes we're getting in 2019 alone. Classics can become new again and can get introduced to a whole new generation. Often, these remakes of old movies are great, reminding us just why we loved the original. Films like True Grit, The Departed, and Oceans Eleven are all films that, in some ways, are even better than the original. (Don't hurt us.)

So it makes sense that movie studios would hope to recreate that success by remaking other classic  -- and not so classic -- films. But sadly, sometimes, even with the best cast, giant budgets, and amazing effects, the remake bombs.

Not every movie remake can capture the magic of the original, and it definitely goes without saying that many of the films on this list should have been left alone. Here are 22 movie remakes that bombed for one reason or another.

  • 'Men in Black: International'

    1

    Budget: $110 million

    Domestic Earnings (as of 6/21/19): $39.8 million

    Sadly, this reboot of the sci-fi action series was a flop. Even with big name stars like Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Liam Neeson, Men in Black: International just couldn't live up to the mega-watt success of its predecessors.

    Guess audiences really miss Will Smith!

  • 'The Mummy'

    2
    Budget: $125 million

    Domestic Earnings: $80.2 million


    Tom Cruise is a huge action star with hits like Mission Impossible and Top Gun under his belt -- so it doesn't really make sense why this 2017 movie tanked. Perhaps Cruise had too much control, at least that's what Variety reported.
  • 'Alfie'

    3
    Budget: $60 million

    Domestic Earnings: $13.3 million


    This 2004 remake of the 1966 film Alfie, starring Michael Caine, featured Jude Law as the titular character (and hedonistic ladies man). While the film featured many stars in addition to Law -- such as Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon, and Sienna Miller -- audiences just weren't into the outdated story line, and the film went on to lose a ton of money.
  • 'RoboCop'

    4
    Budget: $100 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $58.6 million


    Fingers were pointed when it came time to take the blame for this film's failure. "I didn't have the creative freedom I needed. I spent 90% of the time fighting," director José Padilha once explained. "It made me realize that making a studio movie is not the same as making a film. I will think a million times before getting involved in another production of that size again."

    Yikes!
  • 'Psycho'

    5

    Budget: $60 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $21.4 million

    If someone's going to remake one of the greatest horror movies of all time, it better be damn good! Director Gus Van Sant remade the film with Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche, shot for shot. The 1998 Psycho was nearly identical to Alfred Hitchcock's original, yet it failed to bring in any viewership. It was panned by critics -- and that's putting it mildly.

    "That it sticks so close to the masterful original and yet is so terrible is what’s most fascinating about the remake," one critic said. "Our eyes are just as glued to Van Sant’s effort as they were to Hitchcock’s, but instead of being interested in seeing what surprises will be around the corner, they’re searching for the next flaw, the next mistake, the next cringeworthy attempt to revitalize an already sacred artifact for a modern audience already indirectly influenced enough by the original to need a second dose."

    Ouch!

  • 'Death Wish'

    6
    Budget: $30 million

    Domestic Earnings: $34 million


    Many critics panned this 2018 remake of the '70s original, which starred Charles Brosnan, saying the story line just didn't fit with modern times. We no longer have the stomach for gun-weilding men on a mission, even if they're searching for their abducted family.
  • 'Ben-Hur'

    7
    Budget: $100 million

    Domestic Earnings: $26.4 million


    "Cheap and cheesy at every level, this Ben-Hur barely qualifies as an epic. It's a wholly unnecessary addition to the venerable franchise," wrote The Seattle Times of this remake. The 2016 Ben-Hur movie lost a ton of money at the box office, and its star, Jack Huston, has yet to come back from this epic failure.
  • 'Robin Hood'

    8
    Budget: $100 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $30.8 million


    Taron Egerton had his chance to play this famous character, but sadly, the 2018 film was not a hit with audiences or critics. "Rife with stereotypes, a terrible script, and odd 300-esque cinematography that just doesn’t fit, this is not only a film nobody asked for, but also one that nobody should be forced to endure," The Wrap wrote in its critique.
  • 'Point Break'

    9
    Budget: $105 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $28.7 million


    Compared to its 1991 predecessor, this film was a total flop. While the original Point Break wasn't necessarily Oscar-worthy, it is a cult classic that featured two beloved actors, a ton of charisma, and charm and cheesiness where the 2015 film just falls flat!
  • 'Fright Night'

    10
    Budget: $30 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $18.3 million


    Despite flopping at the box office, many critics came to the film's defense. In fact, Roger Ebert gave this 2011 Fright Night remake four stars and a decent review. "I can tell you that one of the inevitable stakes through the heart in this movie is an inspired use of product placement," he wrote. "As vampire movies go, Fright Night is a pretty good one."
  • 'Total Recall'

    11
    Budget: $125 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $58.8 million


    With an amazing cast that includes Colin Farrel, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel -- plus an well written story by Philip K. Dick as the inspiration -- one would think that this 2012 remake was bound to prevail. It didn't and subsequently lost a ton of money at the box office. In fact, one reviewer wrote, "Watching the Total Recall remake proves about as inspiring as a trip to Costco."

    Oh boy!
  • 'Black Christmas'

    12
    Budget: Unknown

    Domestic Earnings: $16.2 million


    While the production budget is unknown, the fact that this 2006 film only made around $16 million at the box office -- opening in the number 13 spot --  is a sign of its failure. Despite this, it is reported there is another remake in the works. This one will star Cary Elwes and Imogen Poots in the story about a killer who terrorizes a sorority.
  • 'Fantastic Four'

    13
    Budget: $120 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $56.1 million


    When the writer of a film apologizes for the bad script, it's no wonder the movie was a box office failure. That's just what Fantastic Four writer, Jeremy Slater did. "When I finally got my foot in the door, I only had three dream projects on my bucket list," he wrote on a Twitter thread. "One was Marvel (umm…sorry about that one, guys), one was Star Wars, and the third, of course, was Stephen King."
  • 'Get Carter'

    14
    Budget: $63.6 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $14.9 million


    Even with a box office heavyweight (literally) like Sylvester Stallone at the helm, this 2000 remake just couldn't cut it. In fact, Mike Hodges, the man who directed the original Get Carter film that starred Michael Caine, was quite disappointed in the whole thing. "I don't know why they decided to remake it," he once revealed. "For the amount of money spent on it they could have made plenty of original films. Unfortunately I couldn't stop them re-making it."
  • 'Miracle on 34th Street'

    15
    Budget: Unknown

    Domestic Earnings: $17.3 million


    It's unclear why this film didn't perform at the box office. Audiences seemed to love it, and critics didn't go too hard on it either. After all, Miracle on 34th Street is a feel-good Christmas movie, and the 1994 remake -- starring child actor and America's darling Mara Wilson -- and a handsome Dylan McDermott.

    What's not to love?!
  • 'Red Dawn'

    16
    Budget: $65 million

    Domestic Earnings: $44.4 million


    Ranking in seventh place opening weekend, critics slammed Red Dawn for its gross inaccuracies and outlandish plot. The original saw a group of teens fighting in a surprise Cuban-Soviet invasion. In the 2012 version, they're fighting North Korea. Critics immediately called producers out. "But, beyond the obviously silly premise, the film also plays on a number of fears that are similarly bunk but less obviously so, and makes surprising factual mistakes that suggest the producers haven't looked too closely at, say, the Wikipedia entries of its subjects," one wrote. "Here are a few, if for no other reason than to help Red Dawn 2 viewers sleep a little easier."
  • 'Pan'

    17
    Budget: $150 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $35 million


    When one thinks of Peter Pan, feelings of joyfulness and fantasy should come rushing back. This 2015 film aimed to cash in on the feeling, but sorely missed the mark. One Rolling Stone critic wrote, "This joyless, juiceless Pan is a theme-park ride from hell."
  • 'Sabrina'

    18
    Production Budget: $58 million

    Domestic Total Gross: $53.6 million


    It's hard to capture the essence and magic of Audrey Hepburn. After all, there's a reason why she's one of the most famous movie stars of all time! Trying to fill her shoes is often a big mistake, and this film was no exception. 1995's Sabrina failed at the box office, and while critics didn't hate it, almost all of them mentioned the absence of Hepburn was to blame!
  • 'The Stepford Wives'

    19
    Budget: $90 million

    Domestic Earnings: $59.4 million


    Despite being directed by Hollywood legend Frank Oz, this 2004 remake was a failure. Oz himself gave an explanation as to why. "The entire movie was not what I wanted it to be," he revealed. "I F----ed up! I had too much money. I was too responsible and concerned with Paramount. I was too concerned with the producers and I didn’t follow my instincts."

  • 'Straw Dogs'

    20
    Budget: $25 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $10.3 million


    In this 2011 remake, James Marsden attempts to fill Dustin Hoffman's shoes, and despite a decent acting job, the movie just didn't land with audiences or critics. "Lacking tension, character development or a hovering sense of dread, the final showdown, which, let's be honest, is the only reason to see the movie, plays out technically much as it did in 1971, but you wish you had something to root for besides the end credits," a critic at NBC Los Angeles wrote.
  • 'The Wicker Man'

    21
    Budget: $40 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $23.6 million


    This 2006 remake of the '70's horror film starred Nicholas Cage and Leelee Sobieski, and many felt was a poor attempt at recreating a classic. One critic on Rotten Tomatoes even wrote, "Neil LaBute's utterly misconceived remake of Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror film is a boring, fright-free catastrophe."
  • 'Flight of the Phoenix'

    22
    Budget: $45 million 

    Domestic Earnings: $21 million


    "....Characters and relationships are dumbed down to fit today’s standards of superficiality in adventure films, blunting the tension of the original and leaving little of its nuance," a critic wrote about this 2004 film. "The remake also piles on action-flick bombast, from overblown visual effects to earsplitting music."

    With reviews like that, it's no wonder this film barely earned half of what it cost to make at the box office.
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