Is it lazy to remake old movies?

Major movie studios remake cult classics and reboot popular series instead of focusing on original works.

Nathan Montoya, Editor of News

As the movie industry continues to grow, there are bound to be recycled ideas. Sometimes a movie series will receive a series reboot which is when the series resets the continuity of the series. An example is the “Friday the 13th” series, which received a reboot in 2009, resetting the series’s timeline. However, a movie remake is when a preexisting film is simply remade such as 1994 classic The Lion King which was remade in 2019. A movie remake/reboot isn’t always bad for a series, such as The Lion King, with the 1994 original grossing $968.5 million at the box office and having a 93% for the Tomatometer which means at least 60% of reviews were positive and an Audience rating of 93%, which means at least 60% of users give the movie a 3.5 stars rating or higher on RottenTomatoes, the 2019 remake grossed $1.663 billion at the box office and had a 52% on the Tomatometer, but an 88% audience rating.
There are times when a movie remake/reboot is unsuccessful such as the 2010 remake of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. While the remake may have grossed $117.7 million to the original’s $57 million, the movie’s reception was significantly worse. On the RottenTomatoes website, Wes Cravens’s 1984 classic has a 95% on the Tomatometer, and an 84% audience score. Alternatively, the 2010 remake has a 14% on the Tomatometer, and a 43% audience rating, with the general consensus on the RottenTomatoes website being that the movie was visually faithful. Still, it lacked the depth and iconic twists that made the original a cult classic, making the Nightmare on Elm Street remake not as good as the original.

Despite some remakes or reboots of movies being financially successful, they can come off as a lazy cash grab, appealing to the audience of the original work. Still, sometimes they can be done incredibly well. Remakes such as It Chapter 1 and 2 were much better in quality and plot and excelled in the horror factor much more than the original 1990 miniseries that aired on ABC in two parts. It Chapter 1 grossed over $700 million dollars at the box office, with the sequel grossing a little less, at $473 million. 

Movie remakes in today’s day and age feel inevitable, with some of them making questionable changes, taking away the things that made the originals feel as iconic as they were, but other times they stay incredibly faithful to the original, giving a new generation the ability to experience what the previous one did.