The 19 Highest-Grossing Movie Remakes
Hollywood loves its remakes. Though there may seem to be more of them than ever before, it’s actually something filmmakers have been doing for years. By updating an old story, oftentimes one that did well in its own era, filmmakers hope to bring an established narrative to a new generation. And, of course, capitalize on it financially.
Here are some of the highest-grossing movie remakes of all time. The numbers included here are domestic grosses adjusted for inflation. The box office numbers are from Box Office Mojo, unless noted otherwise.
Note: The remakes listed here are considered reworking of original movies. They don’t include additions to an already existing universe, like many movies in the "Star Wars" saga. They also are usually films that had some sort of traditional theatrical release, but there are exceptions for popular made-for-TV movies.
19. ‘A Star Is Born’
Original release date: April 20, 1937
Original gross: N/A
Remake release date: Oct. 5, 2018
Remake gross: $215,288,866
This 2018 remake was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, though it ended up only snagging one for “Best Original Song.” Bradley Cooper directed and starred alongside Lady Gaga in this heartfelt remake, which was a remake of the famous 1976 film that starred Barbara Streisand. That mid-’70s film was a remake of the 1954 film, which starred Judy Garland. And that film was a remake of a 1937 original drama by the same name.
So this most recent incarnation of “A Star is Born” is technically a remake of a remake of a remake. But, based on the awards it garnered during Awards Season and its overall gross, that story still hits a nerve for modern moviegoers.
18. ‘Godzilla’ (2014)
Original release date: Nov. 3, 1954
Original gross (IMDB): $23,075,941
Remake release date: May 16, 2014
Remake gross: $223,764,867
Godzilla has been such an important part of monster lexicon for so long, it’s hard to sometimes remember that he also has an origin story. The King of the Monsters first appeared in a Japanese film in 1954. The film became so popular in Japan, it wasn’t long before Godzilla started making its way overseas.
This remake of the King of the Monsters stars Bryan Cranston. Because technology advances so quickly, this movie benefitted from even more advances than its predecessors (yes, there are more Godzilla remakes) to make it feel more real. This film not only did well domestically, it did extremely well overseas, justifying its high budget with healthy and profitable grosses.
17. ‘The Longest Yard’
Original release date: Aug. 30, 1974
Original gross: $243,620,500
Remake release date: May 27, 2005
Remake gross: $224,722,036
This film has the rare distinction of having some of its original stars featured in the remake. The sports comedy originally starred Burt Reynolds as the main character. In the 2005 remake, Adam Sandler was the main character, but he convinced Burt Reynolds to join the cast as his character’s football coach. Sandler had already proved himself as a prolific movie-maker, even if some movies were big hits and while others major flops.
His past several movies had done relatively well (“Anger Management,” “Spanglish,” and “Fifty First Dates”). This remake ended up grossing a ton of money at the box office for both Sandler and his team. Though, interestingly, Burt Reynolds admitted he’s never watched it.
16: ‘The Lion King’
Original release date: June 15, 1994
Original gross: $730,722,705
Remake release date: July 19, 2019
Remake gross (and counting): $243,213,543
The most recent film on this list is another remake of an iconic animated Disney film. The cast for this one is stacked: Beyonce, Donald Glover and Seth Rogen are among the superstars retelling Simba’s beloved tale.
We’ll keep an eye on this one and update the figures and rankings in the coming weeks.
15. ‘The Birdcage’
Original release date: March 30, 1979
Original gross: $78,727,087
Remake release date: March 8, 1996
Remake gross: $255,699,462
The popular French and Italian original filmed proved to have some serious international power by doing well financially and critically worldwide. It has the rare distinction of having a perfect 100 percent Fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It spawned two sequels and, of course, this American-based 1996 remake that stars three superstars of the time, Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman.
Original release date: Nov. 13, 1992
Original gross: $401,019,366
Remake release date: May 24, 2019
Remake gross: $264,043,468
“Aladdin” follows the new Disney approach of taking its classic films and revamping them using technology for a whole new world (all puns again intended). Disney’s now tried-and-true formula of staying close to the original movie seems to be working out.
Will Smith replaced the late Robin Williams, who originally famously voiced the Genie. Since this movie is still in theaters and was only released a couple of weeks ago at the time of this writing, there’s a chance its grosses could continue to climb and it could move up even further on this list.
13. ‘Godzilla’ (1998)
Original release date: Nov. 3, 1954
Original gross (IMDB): $23,075,941
Remake release date: May 19, 1998
Remake gross: $264,781,066
While there were plenty of movies with Godzilla as the main character in the ‘80s, the first extremely lucrative film with this monster at the helm was this 1998 remake starring Matthew Broderick and Hank Azaria.
12. ‘The Nutty Professor’
Original release date: June 4, 1963
Original gross (IMDB): $63,868,336
Remake release date: June 28, 1996
Remake gross: $265,496,766
The original science-fiction movie stars the zany Jerry Lewis as the titular character. It was a parody of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” and it was generally well-received at the time. It’s even considered by many to be Jerry Lewis’ best work.
The remake stars Eddie Murphy, who was previously considered edgy and more prone to R-rated work. This movie proved he annihilated in the clean, family-friendly environment, and it would help him to go onto reboot “Dr. Dolittle” to much success two years later. These two remakes, their popularity and their subsequent sequels kept Murphy busy for over a decade.
11. ‘The Mummy’
Original release date: December 22, 1932
Original gross: N/A
Remake release date: May 7, 1999
Remake gross: $278,653,892
Though its sequel would surpass it in overall gross, this remake rebooted “The Mummy” franchise and proved that there was some serious money in the old storyline. Like its sequel, it also stars Brendan Fraser and a then lesser-known, Rachel Weisz. Critics were hot and cold about the film, but audiences generally enjoyed it.
10. ‘Dr. Dolittle’
Original release date: Dec. 12, 1967
Original gross (IMDB): $69,020,568
Remake release date: June 26, 1998
Remake gross: $280,013,997
This remake stands out from others on the list because the original movie actually bombed at the box office. The original budget in 1967 was $12 million dollars (which, adjusted for inflation is about $92,975,827). The movie itself only made $7 million back in the day (again adjusted for inflation is around $54,235,899). So it lost a ton of money. But when it was remade with a lot of heart and playfulness with charismatic star Eddie Murphy, audiences came out to see it.
9. ‘Planet of the Apes’
Original release date: Feb. 8, 1968
Original gross (IMDB): $245,804,729
Remake release date: July 27, 2001
Remake gross: $289,729,129
The original “Planet of the Apes” was popular enough in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to inspire its own series of sequels. After a few decades of quiet, this remake that brought the apes back to life with the help of CGI technology introduces the planet and its fierce drama to a new generation. And it made a ton of money (and had its own sequels) in the process.
8. ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’
Original release date: June 30, 1971
Original gross (IMDB): $25,298,074
Remake release date: July 15, 2005
Remake gross: $293,423,115
The popular 1964 Roald Dahl novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was first brought to life in 1971 with Gene Wilder portraying the eccentric candy maker in “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Audiences and critics alike embraced the film, which became a classic. The remake was helmed by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Though it took a tonally different approach to the family-friendly material and wasn’t as universally beloved by audiences, it still made a ton of money at the box office.
7. ‘Ocean’s Eleven’
Original release date: Aug.10, 1960
Original gross (IMDB): $106,584,909
Remake release date: Dec. 7, 2001
Remake gross: $293,910,473
The original film in 1960 was a heist movie called “Ocean’s 11” and featured the notorious Rat Pack. The remake featured some of the hottest stars of the modern movie world in a jam-packed heist movie that attracted audiences in droves. The remake garnered two sequels on its own and recently popular female-centric spinoff, “Ocean’s Eight.”
6. ‘King Kong’ (2005)
Original release date: Dec. 17, 1976
Original gross: $245,813,563
Remake release date: Dec. 14, 2005
Remake gross: $308,433,052
King Kong, the monster, made his first appearance in the world in 1933 in an animated film by Merian C. Cooper. Since then, lots of stories and movies have centered around the giant, destructive yet sometimes gentle ape. The most popular movie was the 1976 film “King Kong,” which proved that the monster had some major box office power and that moviegoers were excited to see the destruction with real people woven in (rather than just purely animated).
When the movie was remade in 2005 from director Peter Jackson and starring Naomi Watts with Jack Black, King Kong demolished the box office yet again. Another film was released in 2017 called “King Kong: Skull Island,” but didn’t perform as well in the box office.
5. ‘I Am Legend’
Original release date: Aug. 1, 1971
Original gross: $25,908,556
Remake release date: Dec. 14, 2007
Remake gross: $319,455,582
The lineage of this movie gets a bit tricky. Originally based on a classic novel by Richard Matheson called “I Am Legend,” the book was made into movies twice. First in 1964 with Vincent Price called “The Last Man on Earth.” And then, in bigger Hollywood fashion, in 1971 starring Charlton Heston and called “The Omega Man.”
The 2007 remake, however, went back to the original novel’s name and followed Will Smith as he navigates a dangerous world as the only survivor of a global plague.
Original release date: Nov. 18-20, 1990
Original gross: N/A
Remake release date: Sept. 8, 2017
Remake gross: $332,592,945
Unlike many of the movies on this list, Stephen King’s “It” was a remake of a popular made for TV mini-series that was released in November of 1990. Tim Curry was the terrifying demonic clown Pennywise in the original. But the remake was set for traditional theatrical release and Bill Skarsgård’s positively demonic portrayal scared moviegoers on a whole new level. It is one of the highest-grossing horror movies of all time.
3. ‘War of the Worlds’
Original release date: Aug. 13, 1953
Original gross (IMDB): $41,827,096
Remake release date: June 29, 2005
Remake gross: $332,963,185
The original movie was a little more contemporary with the popularity of H.G. Wells novel, “The War of the Worlds.” And the original movie by the same name was popular in its day at the theaters. But with technology ever-growing, a large-scale remake of the action-packed story feels almost inevitable. The 1996 movie “Independence Day” is said to be another variation of this original source material. But a more standard remake with Steven Spielberg directing and Tom Cruise starring blew up at the box office (all puns intended).
2. ‘The Jungle Book’
Original release date: Oct. 18, 1967
Original gross: $571,344,581
Remake release date: April 15, 2016
Remake gross: $385,623,549
Another Disney movie that brought animated worlds to life using new technology, “The Jungle Book” tested the waters of what’s possible with CGI remakes. It showed that audiences seemed to be more than willing to see their favorite stories again, this time told through more advanced technology. Even the original movie was based on the popular Rudyard Kipling book, so there was plenty of source material to work with when Disney dug in for a remake.
1. ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Original release date: Nov. 15, 1991
Original gross: $280,561,161
Remake release date: March 17, 2017
Remake gross: $511,880,606
The much-anticipated live-action remake of the classic beloved Disney movie stayed true to the narrative of the original film, with a slightly modern lens on Belle. Belle is portrayed by “Harry Potter” superstar, Emma Watson.
Disney made it pretty clear they wouldn’t stray too far from the classic already-existing film by releasing a trailer that mirrored the original. And, based on the amount of money this movie brought in, Disney delivered on the revamped product.