Reboots are having a major Hollywood moment. On the television front, “Will and Grace” made its comeback and “Roseanne” returned in 2018. Movie reboots are also rampant, “The Lion King,” and “It: Chapter 2.”
Creating a successful movie reboot — or even just a successful movie — is a gamble because it’s impossible to know how fans will react to a different take on a classic story and new cast. Take a look at 20 movie reboots of the past decade, ranked from the least to the most box-office earnings, using worldwide box office data from Box Office Mojo.
Click to find out which reboots are profiting off of nostalgia.
1. “Punisher: War Zone”
Reboot earnings: $10.1 million
Released in 2008, “Punisher: War Zone” is a reboot of “The Punisher,” released straight to video in 1989, and the 2004 version of the same title. Its two predecessors were based on the Marvel comic series, but the more recent version was positioned as an adaptation of the Marvel Knights series, which made it the bloodiest of the three movies.
A major flop, “Punisher: War Zone” grossed less than one-third of its $35 million production budget at theaters worldwide.
Reboot earnings: $94.1 million
In the original “Ben-Hur,” released in 1959, a Jewish prince comes back for revenge after he’s betrayed by a Roman friend and sent into slavery. In an interview with Variety, Timur Bekmambetov, director of the 2016 reboot, said the new version was based on a completely different script and focused on forgiveness instead of revenge.
Viewers thought the reboot was a flop, as it failed to even earn back its $100 million production budget.
3. “Power Rangers”
Reboot earnings: approximately $142.3 million
Based on the popular 1990s television series “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” the first film version hit theaters in 1995 as “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.” In 2017, five ordinary high school kids returned to the silver screen and worked together as “Power Rangers” to save their small town of Angel Grove from aliens.
The film grossed just $85.4 million in U.S. theaters, which didn’t cover its $100 million production budget, but it didn’t go in the red thanks to the $57 million it earned internationally.
4. “Fantastic Four”
Reboot earnings: $168 million
Centered on the Marvel comic of the same name, the 2015 “Fantastic Four” reboot told the team’s origin story in a much more serious tone than the 2005 version of the film. Variety called the reboot the franchise’s “worst to date” and referred to it as a “dull, sour, claustrophobic mess.”
The film’s $56.1 million domestic earnings didn’t come close to its $120 million production budget. But luckily for 20th Century Fox, it managed to turn a profit due to the $111.9 million earned overseas.
Reboot earnings: $229.1 million
Released in 1984, the original “Ghostbusters” movie told the story of an all-male ghost removal team working to rid New York City of paranormal life. The cult classic was rebooted in 2016, but this time the Ghostbusters were all women.
Overall, it was a successful movie reboot. The $128.4 million domestic box office gross didn’t surpass its $144 million production budget, but the $100.8 million earned internationally pushed the film into profitable territory.
Reboot earnings: $242.7 million
Set in a dystopic, dangerous Detroit, the 1987 sci-fi thriller “RoboCop” chronicles the return of terminally wounded cop Alex Murphy — the RoboCop — to the force. The 2014 reboot still centers on Murphy, but actor Joel Kinnaman offers a more modern take on the character originally played by Peter Weller.
The “RoboCop” remake tanked in the U.S., where it earned just $58.6 million on a $100 million production budget. However, it was able to more than recover with the $184.1 million it brought in overseas.
7. “True Grit”
Reboot earnings: $252.3 million
Based on the 1968 novel “True Grit,” the book was first made into a movie in 1969 starring John Wayne, who won an Oscar for his work on it. In 2010, the Coen Brothers released their own version of the story starring Jeff Bridges.
Deemed a successful movie reboot, the film had a production budget of just $38 million but brought in $171.2 million domestically and $81 million in foreign theaters.
8. “Blade Runner 2049”
Reboot earnings: $259.2 million
Released in 1982, the original “Blade Runner” was a sci-fi film set in 2019. It starred Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a retired Los Angeles cop in pursuit of four replicants who stole a spaceship and returned to Earth to find their creator. The 2017 reboot “Blade Runner 2049” picked up 30 years after the original events with Ryan Gosling as Officer K, the new blade runner who uncovers a secret that puts the future of society at risk.
Despite the original film’s cult following, “Blade Runner 2049” earned just $92 million at U.S. box offices. However, it churned out $167.2 million internationally, which allowed it to far surpass its $150 million production budget.
9. “The Incredible Hulk”
Reboot earnings: $263.4 million
Inspired by the iconic Marvel comic book character and the 1970s television series “The Incredible Hulk,” the aptly titled 2008 film is a reboot of the 2003 movie “Hulk.” This time around, Fandango noted, “The Incredible Hulk” focused more on the TV series than the comic book to tell its story.
Universal Pictures gave “The Incredible Hulk” a $150 million production budget, but it earned just $134.8 million at U.S. theaters. Fortunately for the studio, it amassed $128.6 million overseas.
10. “The Mummy”
Reboot earnings: $409.2 million
A classic from 1932, “The Mummy” had been through several reboots before the 2017 version starring Tom Cruise — including a 1999 version with Brendan Fraser in the title role. Set in present-day with a female mummy, the 2017 reboot didn’t resonate with U.S. audiences.
The film’s $80.2 million in domestic box office earnings didn’t come close to its $125 million production budget. But foreign fans liked the movie better as it garnered $329 million internationally.
Reboot earnings: $529.1 million
A classic film when it debuted in 1954, “Godzilla” chronicled the rise of a dinosaur-like beast created from American nuclear weapons testing. Since then, the movie has seen many reboot attempts, but when director Gareth Edwards set out to create his version in 2014, he told Wired he used the original as inspiration, rather than a template.
This philosophy clearly worked as “Godzilla” grossed $200.7 million domestically on a $160 million production budget. It was even more popular abroad, where it brought in $328.4 million. The sequel “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is slated for release in 2019.
12. “21 Jump Street”
Reboot earnings: $532.9 million from two movies
During the late ’80s “21 Jump Street” was a television series starring Johnny Depp. It centered on an undercover police unit composed of young-looking officers. One of the most anticipated movie reboots, the series was turned into a feature film in 2012 starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. A sequel, “22 Jump Street” followed in 2014.
A runaway hit, “21 Jump Street” grossed $201.6 million worldwide on a $42 million production budget. Impressively, “22 Jump Street” was even more successful, as it brought in $331.3 million worldwide on a $50 million production budget.
13. “Man of Steel”
Reboot earnings: $668 million
Based on the classic DC Comics protagonist Superman, the 2013 “Man of Steel” reboot offered a modern take on the superhero, portraying him as a young Clark Kent, a man unsure of his larger-than-life identity.
A successful movie reboot, “Man of Steel” surpassed its $225 million production budget with U.S. ticket sales alone, grossing $291 million domestically. It added another $377 million internationally. The reboot also set the stage for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” according to Fandango.
14. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
Reboot earnings: $738.9 from two movies
Conceptualized in the early 1980s, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was originally a comic book before evolving into a cartoon TV series. It was first made into a live-action film in 1990, but new technology and special effects gave Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello a triumphant return to the silver screen in 2014. A sequel, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” followed in 2016.
Definitely a successful movie reboot, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” grossed $493.3 million worldwide on a $125 million production budget. Also profitable, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” brought in $245.6 million worldwide on a $135 million production budget.
15. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”
Reboot earnings: $824 million
Released in 1995, the original “Jumanji” followed two children who find and play a magical board game that releases a man trapped inside it and many other dangers that can only be stopped by completing the game. In the 2017 reboot, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game and the only way out is to work together.
A major hit, the reboot grossed $339.9 million and counting in the U.S. and $484 million internationally on a production budget of $90 million.
16. “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
Reboot earnings: $880.2 million
A three-time reboot, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the 2017 version of the classic story told in the 2002 film “Spider-Man” and the 2012 film “The Amazing Spider-Man.” This reboot glazed over Peter Parker’s origin story and focused instead on his life as a teenager learning to balance superhero powers.
One of the most successful movie reboots, “Spider-Man Homecoming” grossed $334.2 million domestically and $546 million internationally on a $175 million production budget. A sequel, “Spider-Man: Homecoming 2,” is slated for release in 2019.
17. “Alvin and the Chipmunks”
Reboot earnings: $1.4 billion from four movies
A popular cartoon series in the 1980s, “Alvin & the Chipmunks” followed the life of three mischievous chipmunk brothers: Alvin, Simon and Theodore. The series was rebooted into the feature film “Alvin and the Chipmunks” in 2007, which generated $361.3 million at box offices worldwide on a $60 million production budget. While the 2007 date falls just short of this article’s timeline, the movie’s success makes it worth a mention.
It was followed by three sequels, with the most recent, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” released in 2015. The last film was the least successful but it still pulled in $234.8 million worldwide.
18. “The Amazing Spider-Man”
Reboot earnings: $1.5 billion from two movies
A reboot of the 2002 film “Spider-Man,” based on the Marvel Comics superhero, “The Amazing Spider-Man” offers a different take on Peter Parker’s origin story. Fans were surprised Sony rebooted the franchise just five years after “Spider-Man 3” hit theaters, but Forbes revealed doing so poised it to earn a ton of cash.
Definitely a successful movie reboot, it grossed $262 million domestically and $495.9 million overseas on a $230 million production budget. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” followed in 2014 and brought in $202.9 million at U.S. theaters and $506.1 million internationally. Plans for “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” were scrapped.
19. “Jurassic World”
Reboot earnings: $1.7 billion
In the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” a power outage causes cloned dinosaurs to be set free during a preview tour of the theme park where they live. In the 2015 reboot, “Jurassic World,” a new theme park has been built on the original Jurassic Park site but a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur escapes and the situation becomes deadly.
Likely one of the most profitable movie reboots of all-time, “Jurassic World” grossed $652.3 million in the U.S. and $1 billion internationally on a $150 million production budget. A sequel, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is slated for release in 2018.
Reboot earnings: $4.6 billion from five movies
Originally a 1980s television series, the Transformers franchise first hit the silver screen in 1986 with “The Transformers: The Movie.” Its 2007 reboot, “Transformers,” falls slightly outside the last decade, but the fact that it grossed $709.7 million on a $150 million production budget makes it worth noting.
Four subsequent “Transformers” films have followed. More are in the works, according to Variety.
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Data is accurate as of Feb, 12, 2019, and is subject to change.
About the Author
Laura is a writer with nearly 10 years of experience in marketing and personal finance. She is a Los Angeles-based writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, legal matters and marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.