We all like to point our fingers at how Hollywood has lost its originality, that there are no more stories to tell, that everything is recycled. Truthfully though, the movie remake is nothing new. In 1940, His Girl Friday was a remake of a 1931 picture. In 1959, Some Like it Hot was a remake of a 1941 picture. Not to mention how many great films are based on classic literature. In other words, it's not so much that Hollywood has run out of new stories to tell, but rather, it opens up its market on its ability to retell. And why not? As author of Film Remakes Constatine Verevis has noted, remakes are essentially pre-sold tickets. After all, despite our complaints, many of us flock to the box office to see these movies. So what is it that makes the remake such a touchy subject and one of today's hottest topics of debate?
Clearly, there is a widespread tendency to judge a remake only by how well it upholds the details of its predecessor, and this may well be what causes us to accuse the new films of being too lazy, too repetitive, or in many cases too different. For a more positive movie experience, author Thomas Leitch argues that remakes should be, to some extent, evaluated as separate entities. The bottom line is, whatever we say, most of us end up going to see them anyways. It may be curiosity that drives us to the cinema but in the end, some do manage to pull through and surprise us. Here are 10 movie remakes that need to be applauded.
10 Vanilla Sky (2001) Opening at over $25 million
9 True Grit (2010) Opening at $25.6 million
8 The Departed (2006) Opening at over $26 million
7 Hairspray (2007) Opening at over $27 million
6 Ocean's Eleven (2001) Opening at $38 million
5 The Grudge (2004) Opening at $39.1 million
4 Casino Royale (2006) Opening at over $40 million
3 King Kong (2005) Opening at $50.1 million
2 The Great Gatsby (2013) Opening at $50.1
1 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Opening at over $56 million
A remake of a long-loved child's tale, this Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration had all the ingredients for sweet, sweet success. Holding worldwide audiences, the film eventually brought in a box office total of nearly $475 million. Teenage girls flocked to Depp, and parents introduced a new generation to a delicious tale. Nothing could hold this one back. Burton and Depp had previously worked together on Nightmare Before Christmas which continues to be one of the most praised films of its time (in fact I bet you all have something with Jack Skellington's face on it). The two continue to maintain a professional and personal relationship. They are an unstoppable pair. They'll keep working, and we'll keep paying. IMDB rates this one at 6.8.
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