9 Movie Reboots That Became Massive Hits (And 16 That Completely Flopped)
These days, Hollywood is infamous for its steady stream of reboots that are released each year. Reboots are filmmakers’ attempts at tackling an often once-popular franchise or series and trying to remake them for modern-day audiences.
With the constant barrage of sequels, remakes, and reboots that Hollywood sends audiences’ ways in recent times, it’s easy for modern viewers to feel overwhelmed and oversaturated by movies that aren’t entirely original.
However, this doesn’t mean reboots should be disregarded and ignored at all costs.
If a reboot is approached with focus and care and is given the appropriate talents behind and in front of the camera, a reboot can improve on the original source material in major ways.
In fact, some of the most acclaimed and enjoyed movies in recent memory are actually reboots, proving that just because a film isn’t original, that doesn’t mean it’s an automatic disaster.
In some cases, though, reboots are exactly that. While some of the more popular movies in recent years are reboots, so are the biggest flops.
Many of the lowest rated movies by critics in the past few years have been reboots. Whether their productions are overly ambitious, misguided, or downright lazy, reboots can get a lot wrong in many different ways and become huge flops in the process.
This list will break down reboots on both ends of the spectrum and run down the cream of the crop and bottom of the barrel in movie reboots.
Here are the 9 Movie Reboots That Became Massive Hits (And 16 That Completely Flopped).
25 Massive Hit: Batman Begins (2005)
Batman had seen many on-screen iterations before 2005, but no fan had seen Bruce Wayne’s caped crusader hit Gotham City like Christopher Nolan’s rebooted version during the early 2000s.
Whereas other movie adaptations of Batman always had some kind of goofy, comic elements, Nolan stripped these aspects away completely with his Wayne, portrayed by Christian Bale.
Audiences were bowled over by the filmmaker’s grounded, darker, and more dramatic movie reboot of Batman with 2005’s Batman Begins.
It endures to this day as one of the strongest comic book films and Batman movie reboots ever made.
24 Complete Flop: Total Recall (2012)
In 2012, many thought that the reboot of the 1990 sci-fi classic Total Recall was completely unnecessary. Others, however, held out hope that a new, updated version might just surprise fans of the genre.
However, it didn't work out at all.
Len Wiseman’s reboot starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale may have had glossy CGI visuals, but everything else was dull and boring.
The reboot managed to suck all of the life out of the 1990 original and transformed the story about the futuristic company Rekall that turns dreams to actual memories into just another run-of-the-mill science fiction film.
The movie did decently in theaters, but it is now remembered as yet another mediocre movie to come out of the 2010’s.
23 Complete Flop: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Michael Bay attempted to spark more energy into his career in 2014 when he decided to produce a 2014 reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tale into a big summertime flick.
Fans of the original comics and cartoons held their breath in anticipation over the live-action reboot of the bizarre but beloved story following four crime fighting turtles that live in the sewers of NYC.
However, the movie did not deliver.
It was a complete disaster on all fronts, offending virtually every fan of the original source material with its shallow and over-the-top storytelling.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just ended up being another complete flop in Michael Bay’s filmography.
22 Massive Hit: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes worked to answer the age-old questions surrounding the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, in which apes rule over the Earth, by rebooting the franchise and introducing all-new characters, conflicts, and drama to the original tale.
The heartbreaking story of how scientist Will Rodman helped raise a super-intelligent chimp Caesar, the eventual leader of the new ape race, caught the attentions of audiences everywhere.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was nominated for many awards, including Best Visual Effects at the 84th Academy Awards.
The success of the movie sparked a whole trilogy, and the first film of the series still stands as one of the strongest sci-fi movies in recent years.
21 Complete Flop: Tomb Raider (2018)
The 2018 reimagining of Lara Croft for the big screen was a controversial idea right out of the gate.
After the original attempt to adapt the video game into movies back in the early 2000s with Angelina Jolie, a number of people were skeptical over the ability to create a compelling action film from the storyline all over again.
However, the recent reboot of Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander as the adventurous Croft attempted to do just that.
Despite the reboot’s attempt to be more grounded, gritty, and compelling, the movie met a tough response.
The story just wasn't there in 2018’s reboot of Tomb Raider, which dragged Croft and her companions through a dry, uninspiring storyline that failed to keep audiences entertained.
20 Complete Flop: Power Rangers (2017)
Dean Israelite’s 2017 Power Rangers sought to bring the story of the team of young superhero crime fighters to a new audience while paying tribute to older fans as well.
However, the movie let both groups down.
The reboot failed to capture the wild, campy tone that made the original series so fun.
On top of that, its action and storyline was empty and just plain average, despite the new reboot’s access to flashy modern CGI visuals.
The rebooted Power Rangers movie was supposed to be the first of many in a series, but after this reboot’s disappointing show, the chance of this seemed slim.
However, plans for a sequel are in the works.
19 Massive Hit: Star Trek (2009)
Rebooting such a beloved sci-fi franchise as Star Trek is always a tricky move.
While many reboots fail to live up to past fans’ expectations, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek blew old fans away and attracted new and younger audiences to the adventures of the USS Enterprise.
The reboot was lauded for its grand success in reinvigorating the classic franchise with new, fresh humor and action-packed drama.
The talents of A-list stars like Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban all helped 2009’s Star Trek rise to true sci-fi excellence.
Abrams created a true hit with his Star Trek, which proved to be the foundation for a series of blockbuster movies that continues to this day.
18 Complete Flop: Friday the 13th (2009)
Messing with horror classics is never a good idea.
Marcus Nispel’s 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th is the ultimate example of how trying to improve on a staple genre movie can backfire in a major way.
The film failed to bring any fresh insight to the franchise, which follows the rampaging Jason Voorhees as he chases down teens in movie after movie.
On top of plain and boring characters, some also complained that the movie attempted to bring Jason into a more empathetic light, cutting down the menace that makes the Friday the 13th franchise so compelling in the first place.
Friday the 13th utterly failed to make any significant impact on horror fans and has essentially been forgotten in the years since.
17 Complete Flop: King Arthur – Legend of the Sword (2017)
The charismatic and quirky filmmaking style of Guy Ritchie and the centuries-old tale of the gallant knight King Arthur don’t seem to be two things that would mix very well.
Nevertheless, when the reboot of the story of King Arthur with Ritchie behind the camera was announced, people were intrigued, and many fans of the filmmaker insisted it would be a smash hit.
It turned out to be the complete opposite.
King Arthur is infamously difficult to bring to the big screen, and Ritchie stumbled in his own way with his reboot.
Legend of the Sword strips away everything about the legendary story that made it a classic in the first place, resulting in an eye-rolling action movie that just falls flat.
16 Massive Hit: It (2017)
Stephen King’s lengthy and popular novel It has had a troubled past with onscreen adaptations.
So when it was announced that It was going to receive a fresh treatment in the form of Andy Muschietti’s reboot, people knew that the movie could go either way.
The reboot turned out to be a massive hit.
The movie starred a group of compelling child actors and also included Bill Skarsgård’s terrifying embodiment of “It,” the shape-shifting creature that hunts down a group of childhood friends.
The movie succeeded in taking the world by storm in the summer of 2017.
It has since gone down as one of the most successful horror movies in recent memory.
15 Complete Flop: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
In 2012, the MCU attempted to spring life back into Peter Parker’s tale with a reboot of the whole Spider-Man franchise.
The result was The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield as the outcast high schooler who secretly fights crime with his spider-like abilities.
However, instead of reinvigorating the franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man only bogged the story down more with a stale storyline and bizarre villain plot.
Even worse, fans were completely unconvinced over Garfield as the titular hero.
Shortly after the 2012 reboot, Peter Parker was recast yet again, leaving The Amazing Spider-Man back in the dust.
14 Complete Flop: Fantastic Four (2015)
The story of the Fantastic Four has always been one superhero tale that has failed to find a truly successful movie adaptation.
However, the 2015 reboot seemed to be a movie that could change all of that. The reboot included some impressive talents and had serious potential.
Despite all of its promise, however, Fantastic Four was about as big of a flop as it gets.
The reboot refused to inject any humor or lightheartedness at all into the updated version of the story, and it completely wasted the talents of its actors, making the movie a borderline ridiculous one.
The 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four is now remembered as one the most absurd superhero movies ever produced.
13 Massive Hit: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
If people were asked to name one of the most successful, entertaining heist movies of the 21st century, chances are they would name Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven as their pick.
Packed with an impressive A-list cast, the reboot of the original movie from 1960 moves at a rapid, snappy pace, injecting the story with a unique life and humor that makes Ocean’s Eleven incredibly re-watchable.
The reboot was received with high acclaim upon its release in 2001.
It continues to garner praise as one of the sharpest and wittiest heist movies ever made to this day.
12 Complete Flop: The Mummy (2017)
Nobody asked for more of The Mummy, and the 2017 reboot proved exactly how few people wanted new movies starring Tom Cruise as a U.S. soldier taking on an Egyptian mummy.
The reboot stripped away the campy fun of the originals starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, and tried to make the all-new storyline super serious.
However, this creative choice only made the movie ridiculous and hard to enjoy.
The reboot of The Mummy premiered to scathing reviews by critics and was a complete letdown at the box office, failing to attract viewers to the theaters.
The Mummy ended up being one of the biggest failures of 2017 and was a box office flop.
11 Complete Flop: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
It’s hard to imagine Freddy Kruger embodied by anybody else but Robert Englund, who terrified horror fans everywhere playing his haunting midnight slasher in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street series.
However, the 2010 reboot of Wes Craven’s horror classic attempted to replace Englund’s infamous performance with the talents of Jackie Earle Haley.
While Haley gave a scary performance of his own, the rest of the movie simply couldn't hold a candle to the 1984 original.
The rebooted A Nightmare on Elm Street brought nothing new to the story of Kruger and the teens he haunts, making the reboot completely unnecessary.
Instead of being truly horrific, this reboot was just a true flop.
10 Massive Hit: Dredd (2012)
Alex Garland is a director known for his talents in the sci-fi genre, having written and directed such hits as Ex Machina and Annihilation.
However, few know that before these movies, he wrote and produced the 2012 reboot of Judge Dredd.
It’s because of his talents that Dredd was such an entertaining and successful reboot, which made marked improvements on the original movie and brought the story to new and exciting places.
While Dredd wasn’t necessarily a box office success, it became a huge cult hit in the time following its theatrical release.
Dredd was such an enjoyed reboot, fans are still calling for more sequels to this day years later.
9 Complete Flop: Karate Kid (2010)
The original Karate Kid from 1984 is a little ridiculous in its own right, but fitting for the '80s era it came from.
Because the original was so tied to the '80s, the modern day remake that tried to transfer the storyline to modern day storytelling didn't exactly land very well.
Starring Jaden Smith as Dre Parker, an American boy who moved to China, and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, Dre’s kung-fu instructor, the 2010 reboot of the classic movie lacked the investing drama of the original and fell flat with audiences in theaters.
It’s a reboot that never amounted to a full franchise and has mostly gone forgotten in the years since.
8 Complete Flop: Godzilla (1998)
With the success of the Godzilla franchise over in Japan, the U.S. decided to get in on the monstrous lizard action and produced its own version with all-American funding in 1998.
However, the Godzilla reboot fell flat on its face when it premiered to audiences.
Many complained that the American version lacked the complexity and drama of the Japanese originals.
The storyline about a pregnant Godzilla was also criticized for being bizarre and ridiculous.
While Hollywood tried to make its own monster classic with 1998’s Godzilla, it just proved that producers didn't know what it took to make a successful Godzilla picture.
7 Massive Hit: Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Since the 1933 original, King Kong has seen many different reboots and remakes over the years. However, the movie has had a difficult time finding a reboot that became a true hit.
The 2017 reboot, Kong: Skull Island, provided an answer.
Instead of bringing the story back the Great Depression era as many reboots of the ape monster story do, Kong: Skull Island decided to push the tale into the Vietnam War era and bring some unique touches to the storyline.
This gave audiences a Kong that they had never seen before and added some new, original touches to the classic that made Kong: Skull Island stand out as a major hit.
6 Complete Flop: Clash of the Titans (2010)
Considering the stop-motion effects of the 1981 original, Clash of the Titans is one movie that deserved a modern reboot with CGI to brush up its visuals.
However, the 2010 reboot starring Sam Worthington as the Greek hero Perseus focused so much energy on trying to make the movie visually impressive that its story ended up being shallow and empty.
While the reboot’s CGI was decent and provided some entertaining action sequences, the film wasn’t engrossing and its drama was average at best.
This resulted in a reboot that was all surface and no content.
Clash of the Titans has not stood the test of time well, and is now remembered as a flop.
5 Complete Flop: The Lone Ranger (2013)
The character of the Lone Ranger is a figure closely tied to U.S. culture, and his story is an absolute classic of the western genre.
Because of the character’s enduring ties to the U.S., any reboots have to tread carefully. The 2013 version of The Lone Ranger failed miserably in this regard.
Gore Verbinski’s reboot starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp was as misguided as it gets.
Overall, it delivered an overly long, dull, and frustrating movie that did not pay tribute at all to the original source material.
The Lone Ranger bombed miserably and is now remembered as one of the absolute worst movies to come out in recent years.
4 Massive Hit: Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale was Daniel Craig’s first movie as James Bond, and the sleek reboot of the Casino Royale storyline proved to the franchise’s fans everywhere that they had never seen a Bond quite like this one before.
Craig stunned audiences with his grounded and compelling depiction of the classic British spy.
Martin Campbell’s movie was acclaimed by long-time Bond fans and movie critics alike for delivering a strong, entertaining Bond film that was of genuine quality.
The 2006 reboot of Casino Royale was actually the third movie to try and adapt Fleming’s original novel of the same name from 1953, and it is easily the best reboot of them all.
3 Complete Flop: The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Before Mark Ruffalo took on the big green persona of the Hulk, the MCU was having a difficult time delivering a movie following Bruce Banner and his dangerous, super powered alter-ego that really stuck and was a true hit.
Fans of the character were excited to see another big screen adaptation in 2008, but they were let down once again by the reboot starring Edward Norton as Banner.
It only turned out to be a movie that was average at best.
Its villain plot bordered on cheesy, and the climactic fight didn't deliver in the slightest.
With the many superhero movies today, 2008’s The Incredible Hulk is just remembered as a flop.
2 Complete Flop: RoboCop (2014)
The original RoboCop from 1987 is celebrated for its '80s-era cheese factor and follows Officer Alex Murphy as he is given a second chance at life working as RoboCop.
When the movie was rebooted in 2014, filmmakers made the mistake of trying to rework the fanciful storyline as something that was gravely serious and dramatic.
As a result, the reboot starring Joel Kinnaman as RoboCop was a stiff, awkward remake that didn't own its more ridiculous side.
This creative choice sucked the life out of the sci-fi that had potential to be a sleek and fun summer hit, but only ended up being an unenjoyable and complete flop from 2014.
1 Massive Hit: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Fans of George Miller’s ambitious post-apocalyptic series Mad Max were intrigued when Miller announced he would be doing a form of reboot in 2015 starring Tom Hardy as a new version of the titular anti-hero.
Nobody knew quite what to expect, and theater-goers everywhere were absolutely floored by the result.
Mad Max: Fury Road drove into theaters during the summer of 2015 and took the world by storm, becoming an immediate massive hit with its daring visuals, entertaining plot, and explosive action sequences.
Mad Max: Fury Road succeeded in becoming not only one of the biggest hits of the year, but one of the most enjoyed and revered action movies ever made.
What reboots can you remember that completely missed the mark or became massive hits? Sound off in the comments!