The Best Movie Remakes of All Time Revealed

Best Movie Remakes

In a long-standing debate of ‘which is better, the original or the remake?’ Many insist that the latter will unfailingly beat the former every time. However, this is not always the case.

Over the last few decades, many cherished classics have been revisited time and time again, reborn with fresh perspectives and new narratives to captivate audiences.

For example, the much-anticipated movie remakes, such as The Little Mermaid and Wonka, came out in 2023 and have proven to be successful adaptations of their originals.

Though it recently hit the cinemas, the popular re-telling of an intriguing chocolatier has already made £304 million in box office sales. In comparison, the famous mermaid tale premiered in theatres in early 2023 and raked in almost £449 million.

To determine the movie remakes worth watching, the team at Spin Genie UK analysed box office earnings, Metacritic ratings and Google search data to discover the most successful film adaptations and genres with the most movie recreations.

The best movie remakes of all time

Top 3 Best Movie Remakes

1. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Original movie: Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £1,252,874,974

2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ rendition reigns supreme as the highest-grossing movie remake compared to its predecessor. Starring top actress Emma Watson as Belle, the animated classic was reimagined as a live-action musical romantic fantasy.

Re-telling the much-loved storyline proved to be of immense success, raking in the equivalent of what would be a whopping £1.2 billion today from box office earnings alone.

2. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Previous movie: Beauty and the Beast (2014)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £1,207,860,380

Making an astronomical amount in box office profits sees the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ 2017 remake also taking second place, but this time compared to its 2014 counterpart. 

After receiving such immense success, it is the only movie on our list to be ranked twice in the top three after earning over £1.2 billion more than both its original and 2014 remakes. Moreover, the live-action readaptation received positive reviews from critics and is the second-highest-grossing movie remake of 2017.

3. The Jungle Book (2016)

Previous movie: The Jungle Book (1994)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £894,913,904

The 2016 re-telling of the adventure drama film ‘The Jungle Book’ takes third place after earning £894 million more than the 1994 remake. A classic tale of a man-cub raised by wild animals who embarks on a journey of self-discovery with the help of his four-legged friends, the 2016 adaptation saw huge success even among critics.

Best Movie Remakes Table

The worst movie remakes of all time

Top 3 Worst Movie Remakes

1. Pinocchio (2002)

Original movie: Pinocchio (1940)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): -£2,058,197,668

Centred around the mischievous adventures of an animated marionette and his creator, the 2002 re-telling of the musical fantasy film didn’t go down too well with its audience compared to the original, making just under £60 million.

‘Pinocchio’ is the second Disney animated feature film. The classic movie of 1940 made considerably more in box office earnings, making an estimated equivalent of £2.1 billion in revenue based on today’s economy – a massive difference of £2 billion.

2. The Jungle Book (1994)

Original movie: The Jungle Book (1967)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): -£1,413,318,353

The 1994 live-action adaptation of ‘The Jungle Book’ is the second worst movie remake, making a whopping £1.4 billion less than the original. The movie deviates slightly from Disney’s 1967 animated feature film and Kipling’s book. For example, unlike its previous counterparts, the animal characters in the film don’t talk. This may have significantly impacted the movie's success at the box office.

3. 101 Dalmatians (1996)

Original movie: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): -£1,259,245,717

Released in 1996, the reimagined ‘101 Dalmatians’ didn't turn out to be a crowd favourite compared to its original. Although the adventure comedy film was relatively successful in its own right, earning the equivalent of £497 million, it was ultimately trumped by its predecessor, making a hefty £1.2 billion less in worldwide revenue.

Worst Movie Remakes Table

The best-rated movie remakes

Top 3 Best-rated Movie Remakes

1. Casino Royale (2006)

Original movie: Casino Royale (1967)

Difference in rating: 32

The screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1953 novel of the same name and the remake of its 1967 original film, the action-filled spy film ‘Casino Royale’ (2006), grabs first place with an overall rating of 32 points more than the original on Metacritic.

Part of the James Bond series and starring Daniel Craig as the lead, the 2006 version was a box office success, earning the equivalent of more than £743 million worldwide, over £439 million more than the original. This made it the highest-grossing instalment of the franchise at the time.

2. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Previous movie: Beauty and the Beast (2014)

Difference in rating: 26

2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ trails ahead with 26 points more than the 2014 remake on Metacritic. Placing a modern spin on the classic fantasy film not only caught the eye of critics but, due to the movie's success, it received several accolades. This includes two nominations at the Academy Awards and the British Academy Film Awards, respectively, and four at the Critics' Choice Awards.

3. Pete's Dragon (2016)

Original Movie: Pete's Dragon (1977)

Difference in rating: 25

The 2016 remake of Pete's Dragon completes the top three, earning 25 points more than the original on Metacritic. Following the adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend, a dragon, the remake received positive reviews from critics. The fantasy adventure film was also a commercial success, grossing over £145 million in profits based on inflation adjustments.

Best-rated Movie Remakes Table

The most Googled movie remakes of the year

Top 3 Most Googled Movie Remakes

1. The Little Mermaid (2023)

Original movie: The Little Mermaid (1989)

Difference in Google searches (Dec 2022 - Nov 2023): 11,221,800

‘The Little Mermaid’ is the most Googled movie remake of the year, with its 2023 release reaching 12.5 million searches. This is over 11.2 million more than the number of searches for the original 1989 movie.

There’s no denying that the musical romantic fantasy made waves this year in theatres worldwide, reaching over £448 million in box office sales.

2. The Departed (2006)

Original movie: Infernal Affairs (2002)

Difference in Google searches (Dec 2022 - Nov 2023): 6,615,000

‘The Departed’ is the second most searched movie remake on Google after receiving over 6.6 million more searches than the original, released just four years prior. 

Based on the Hong Kong film ‘Infernal Affairs’, the movie gained substantial commercial success after starring the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg. 

3. Evil Dead (2013)

Original movie: The Evil Dead (1981)

Difference in Google searches (Dec 2022 - Nov 2023): 3,549,000

The supernatural horror film, ‘Evil Dead’ ranks as the third most-searched movie remake of the year, with more than 3.5 million searches. A recreation of the 1981 film ‘The Evil Dead’ and adapted over three decades later, ‘Evil Dead’ grossed almost £102 million in worldwide box office earnings based on inflation adjustments.

Most Googled Movie Remakes Table

The movies with the most adaptations

Top 3 Most Adaptations Movies

1. A Christmas Carol

Number of movie adaptations: 89

According to IMDB, ‘A Christmas Carol’ takes the crown with 89 movie adaptations. The novella by Charles Dickens was initially adapted into a movie in 1938.

Most critics reviewed the festive tale of redemption and compassion favourably, which has resulted in many more film recreations over the years, including the 2022 TV movie Ghosts of Christmas Always and the 1992 feature ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.

2. Dracula

Number of movie adaptations: 77

A novel first published in 1897, ‘Dracula’ has become one of the most adapted works of literature, particularly within the film industry. As a result, Dracula has remained popular over the years.

It has been reimagined over 77 times in various forms, from Terence Fisher’s 1958 British gothic horror film ‘Dracula’ to Patrick Lussier’s more modern spin in ‘Dracula 2000’.

3. Cinderella

Number of movie adaptations: 73

‘Cinderella’, one of history's most famous fairy tales, has been adapted into over 73 movies. From the original animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions in 1950, which grossed the equivalent of almost £973 million worldwide, to 2021’s modern take on the much-loved tale, starring singer Camila Cabello as the title character in her acting debut.

Most Adaptations Movies Table

The most successful genres for movie remakes

Top 3 Most Successful Genres Movie Remakes

1. Animation/live-action 

Percentage of movie remakes: 28%

Animation/live-action tops the list in joint first place as the most successful genre, with 28% of movie remakes on our list. Often combining live-action filmmaking with animation, this genre has grown in popularity. Mainly thanks to Disney re-telling popular classics such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’ which earned billions in profit.

1. Horror

Percentage of movie remakes: 28%

Horror also tops the list in joint first place as one of the most successful genres for movie remakes with 28%. With the improvements in special effects computer-generated imagery (CGI) technology, horror movies have become more realistic and creative, increasing in demand. 

3. Action-Adventure

Percentage of movie remakes: 19%

Action-adventure is also a hit among movie remakes, ranking third with 19%. The genre has become more successful, especially with modern film remakes, combining the narratives of quest and discovery with spectacular combat, violence and action scenes.

Most Successful Genres Movie Remakes Table

The highest-grossing action-adventure movie remake

Highest-Grossing Action-Adventure Movie Remake

1. King Kong (2005)

Original movie: King Kong (1933)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £506,547,552

The epic adventure monster film King Kong (2005) grabs first place as the highest-earning action-adventure movie. Featuring stars such as Andy Serkis, Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrien Brody, the hit rendition surely made its 1933 predecessor proud, receiving the equivalent of a hefty £506 million more than the original in box office earnings.

Highest-Grossing Action-Adventure Movie Remake Table

The highest-grossing comedy movie remake

Highest-grossing Comedy Movie Remake

1. Hairspray (2007)

Original movie: Hairspray (1988)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £225,191,332

Based on the original movie (1988) and Broadway musical (2002) of the same name, 2007’s adaptation of the musical comedy Hairspray takes the top spot as the best comedy movie remake.

Its catchy tunes seemed to have caught the crowd’s attention, making the equivalent of £238 million worldwide. This is £225 million more than the original, which made just over £13 million in box office sales based on inflation adjustments.

Highest-grossing Comedy Movie Remake Table

The highest-grossing crime movie remake

Highest-grossing Crime Movie Remake

1. The Departed (2006)

Original movie: Infernal Affairs (2002)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £339,789,866

The American crime thriller The Departed tops the list as the highest-grossing crime movie remake, with box office earnings equivalent to over £351 million, £339 million more than the original. The film also won several accolades after its release, including four Oscars and six nominations at the Golden Globe Awards.

Highest-grossing Crime Movie Remake Table

The highest-grossing horror movie remake

Highest-grossing Horror Movie Remake

1. Red Dragon (2002)

Original movie: Manhunter (1986)

Difference in worldwide revenue (inflation-adjusted): £263,756,225

The psychological thriller Red Dragon is the highest-grossing horror movie remake, with a worldwide revenue of nearly £282 million based on inflation adjustments. Previously adapted into the film Manhunter (1986) from the novel, the chilling horror remake made almost two decades later proved to be a huge success, earning over £263 million more than the original.

Highest-grossing Horror Movie Remake Table

Methodology

Using IMDb, we compiled a list of over 100 movie remakes, considering each movie's primary genre alongside their original films and any other previous remakes. For this, we looked at the following genres: animation/live-action, horror, action-adventure, comedy and crime.

We also used articles such as The Most Remade Movies of All Time and 10 Most Remade Movies Of All Time to determine how many movie adaptations they have on IMDb; the movies were then ranked in order.

To source each movie's rating, we used Metacritic, which considers each movie's rating out of 100. We then looked at each movie’s rating and compared it to its remake to determine the difference.

Using Box Office Mojo, we collected the box office revenue of each movie. Our study included only some movies and remakes due to unavailable data. We used other sources such as The Numbers and Wikipedia for these figures where possible.

Using an Inflation Calculator, we used these figures to calculate the estimated box office revenue based on the most recent inflation rates of the original movie release date compared to 2023.

As the earning figures were originally in USD, we used Google Finance to convert them into GBP. This was done on 02/01/2024.

To determine the most Googled movie remakes, we used Google’s Keyword Planner, looking at the global searches each movie received from December 2022 to November 2023. This is the most recent data available.

We used each movie's name and release date for search terms to accurately represent the number of searches, e.g., ‘The Little Mermaid 2023’. We then totalled the monthly searches to find the total number of searches for the year.

We only used movies with all the data for the following factors: box office revenue, Metacritic rating and Google search data. Therefore, other popular movie remakes, such as Alice in Wonderland, Father of the Bride and Cheaper by the Dozen, haven't been included.

All data collection was completed on 02/01/2024.


Discover Spin Genie

Your Magical Online Casino Destination

Spin Genie is a regulated online casino and the destination of choice for the most entertaining online slots, and table games.

Recommended

888 Dragons Slot

Genie Picks: 888 Dragons

Discover Pragmatic Play’s 888 Dragons slot game at Spin Genie 18+ | Play Responsibly

READ MORE
A Dragons Story Slot

Genie Picks: A Dragon's Story

Experience a slot straight from a storybook with A Dragons Story from NextGen and Spin Genie 18+ | Play Responsibly

READ MORE
2024 Top 5 Leprechaun Slots

Genie and The Four Leaf Clover: 2024 Top 5 Leprechaun Slots

Discover the top 2024 Leprechaun Slots here at Spin Genie. 18+ | Play Responsibly

READ MORE
V: 1.51.0 All rights reserved. January 2020
top
|