The latest summer remake Ben-Hur is tipped to lose as much as $120 million when it’s less than adequate run at the worldwide box office comes to an end in the next week or two.
Hollywood seems to be at somewhat of a crossroads at the moment – in one direction the heart of world filmmaking could embrace the new creative projects that are constantly turned down, and in the other the tacky remakes that seem to have money poured in their laps despite their horrific box office track record.
For some bizarre reason the biggest Hollywood studios continue to fund remakes to the point of saturating the box office – and the vast majority of them continue to lose enormous sums to money – you’d think they’d have learned by now, but clearly not.
Ben-Hur, the remake of the 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston, has under-performed so badly that the Paramount Pictures is set to lose over $120 million, having taken only $54 million since it’s release last month, despite a production and marketing budget in excess of $200 million.
There’s a number of factors that contributed to the remakes downfall including the bland script, production that often resembled that of a TV movie rather than big-budget blockbuster, and perhaps the most crucial, it’s casting – something that’s been slated by critics alike.
Of course Ben-Hur isn’t the first film this summer to flop at the box office and actually joins a worrying list of Hollywood blockbusters that have failed to break even, including Ghostbusters and Independence Day 2 which have both lost a considerable amount of money.
So will Hollywood studios ever learn that remakes aren’t easy money spinners?… Probably not.