How do Disney’s live-action remakes fare versus the original films?

There’s been a lot of grumbling about the large number of live-action remakes of classic Disney animated films we’ve been getting. Despite this, it’s clear they’re making the Mouse House a ton of cash… in some cases, even more money than the original films earned. Thus, the films will keep on coming, regardless of mixed reviews.

But how much have Disney’s live-action (or CGI-to-the-point-it-resembles-live-action) remakes made versus the original films?

Box office for Disney’s live-action remakes versus the original films

Information below is taken from Box Office Mojo as of June 9, 2019. Unless otherwise indicated, all box office figures are global, not adjusted for inflation, and include re-releases.

FilmRemake’s box officeOriginal’s box office
Beauty and the Beast (2017)$1.2635 billion$425 million
Alice in Wonderland (2010)$1.0255 billionN/A
The Jungle Book (2016)$966.6 million$205.8 million
Maleficent (2014)$758.5 millionN/A
Aladdin (2019)$604.9 million$504.1 million
Cinderella (2015)$543.5 millionN/A
Dumbo (2019)$350.4 millionN/A
101 Dalmatians (1996)$320.7 million$215.9 million
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)$299.5 millionN/A
Pete’s Dragon (2016)$143.7 millionN/A

Domestic totals (adjusted for inflation)

Here’s the domestic totals for the above films, adjusted for inflation.

FilmRemake’s box officeOriginal’s box office
Beauty and the Beast (2017)$511.8 million$408.7 million
Alice in Wonderland (2010)$379.3 millionN/A
The Jungle Book (2016)$375.8 million$663.9 million
Maleficent (2014)$262.7 million$654.8 million (“Sleeping Beauty”)
Aladdin (2019)$232.4 million$472.5 million
Cinderella (2015)$219 million$543.3 million
Dumbo (2019)$113.8 millionN/A
101 Dalmatians (1996)$274.3 million$900.3 million
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)$79.6 millionN/A
Pete’s Dragon (2016)$80.7 millionN/A

Reviews

Quality-wise, here’s how the remakes rate versus the originals, according to Metacritic:

FilmRemakeOriginal
Beauty and the Beast (2017)6595
Alice in Wonderland (2010)5368
The Jungle Book (2016)7765
Maleficent (2014)5685
Aladdin (2019)5386
Cinderella (2015)6785
Dumbo (2019)5196
101 Dalmatians (1996)4983
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)34N/A
Pete’s Dragon (2016)4671

Comments

MaleficentEven adjusting for inflation on a domestic basis, 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” made way more at the box office than the original. On a global scale, it’s harder to compare numbers, but it seems the live-action Belle and Beast still earned more than their animated counterparts.

In terms of critical quality, reviews for the remakes are mostly mixed at best. The only films with decidedly positive reviews are “The Jungle Book” (with a higher Metacritic score than the original film), “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Cinderella.”

Ignoring the original films’ success, it still stands that two of these live-action remakes earned over a billion at the box office, with a third film (“The Jungle Book”) coming close to a billion. Back in 2016, it stood out that the CGI Baloo, King Louie and company raked in more than “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

A few other possible factors in the remakes’ box office favor include:

  • Higher ticket prices versus the originals.
  • Gimmicks and extras (3D, IMAX, etc.).
  • The celebrity actors cast for the films, which might be a draw for some.
  • Possibly the biggest factor of all, nostalgia. Nostalgia is what’s guaranteed to drive millions to films like the upcoming “The Lion King” remake. Even if it doesn’t sound like the movie won’t offer much that’s different (CGI aside) from the original film.

Overall, I don’t expect the live-action (or live-action-like CGI) remakes to let up anytime soon. Though I have to wonder how deep this will all go… “The Rescuers?” “Oliver and Company?” “The Great Mouse Detective?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *