When a new movie comes out, and it's a remake of an older film, you can almost hear the complaints. If that movie was particularly good, then the complaints ring louder. " The movie was already good; they didn't need to make a new one!" "Why would they make a new one when all it's going to do is ruin the name?" "The original is always better!" So, my question is, are the originals always better? How often are they better? I crunched the numbers to find out whether or not these accusations are true or false.

Ratings and reviews

The two most popular movie rating websites are IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, so it only makes sense to use those.

Now, here's where things get a little tricky. Math is joining the party. It'll be one point for a higher IMDB rating, one for Rotten Tomatoes, and three if it is higher on both scales.

These are the films that I will be analyzing:


The 2014 remake received a score of 5.3 on IMDB and a 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Conversely, the 1982 original was awarded a 6.5 from IMDB, and a 52 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. That's three points for the originals. "Beauty and the Beast":

The Disney animated classic received an 8 from IMDB and 94 from Rotten Tomatoes. The 2017 version got 7.3 and 71, respectively. Close, but no cigar. Three more for originals. "Cheaper by the Dozen": The original had a 7.1 from IMDB, with no Rotten Tomatoes score available.

The remake got a 5.8 and a 24, so it looks like the remakes dodged a small bullet. One point for originals.

'A Christmas Carol'

Since there are about 30 remakes, I'll focus on 1951 original and the 1984 and 2009 remakes. The 1951 original scored 8.1 and 84. The 1984 remake got 7.9 (oh, so close) and no Rotten Tomatoes score.

The 2009 version, starring Jim Carrey, scored 6.8 and a meager 54 percent. Since the 1984 version only had one rating available, that means the originals receive seven points this round. Things are looking rough for the remakes. "Cinderella": The original, released in 1950, scored 7.3 and 97. The 2015 remake was given a 6.9 and 84.

Once again, close but no cigar. Three more to the originals.

'Clash of the Titans'

The 1981 original scored 6.9 and 68, compared to the 2010 reboot getting 5.8 and a dismal 28 percent. Three more for the originals, which is becoming a very repetitive phrase. "Death Wish": The 1974 classic was awarded a seven from IMDB and 65 from our friends at Rotten Tomatoes. The remake, still currently in theaters, has a 6.6 IMDB score and 18 percent on the Tomatometer. By this point, you should know what that means.


The remake, released last year, scored a 5.2 on IMDB and (drumroll please) a whopping 5 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. The original scored 6.6 and 48, which beats the remake by a wide margin.

Three more. I'm beginning to give up hope that the remakes will ever score. "Footloose": The Kevin Bacon starring original scored 6.5 on IMDB and 51 on Rotten Tomatoes. The remake scored 5.9 on IMDB and 69 on Rotten Tomatoes. One point awarded to each team. Yes, I spoke too soon.

'Freaky Friday'

The Lindsay Lohan reboot scored 6.2 and 88, while the 1976 original was given a 6.3 and 71. One point for each again. "Ghostbusters": The original, starring Bill Murray, scored a 7.8 from IMDB and a near perfect 97 from Rotten Tomatoes. The reboot scored 5.3 and 74. Back to business as usual, three points to the originals. "The Jungle Book": The 1976 Disney animated classic scored 7.6 and 86. The 2016 reboot scored 7.5 and 95.

Score one for both teams.


Before I crunch the numbers, I'm going to say that this is my favorite reboot and the new version is much better than the old. The 1995 version starring the late Robin Williams scored a 6.9 from IMDB and a 51 on Rotten Tomatoes. The remake, with a star-studded cast, received a 7.1 and 76. That's right, folks. Three points for the remakes. Glad to see the real movie critics agreed with me.

'The Karate Kid'

Ralph Macchio leads the original to a 7.2 IMDB score and 88 from the Tomatometer. 12-year-old Jaden Smith could only get 6.2 and 65. Not bad, but not good enough. Sweep the leg, originals. "King Kong": The 1933 film got not one, but two remakes. The original got 7.9 from IMDB and an almost unbeatable 98 from Rotten Tomatoes.

The 2005 Jack Black remake got 7.2 and an 84. The 2017 reboot got 6.7 and 75. Truly a valiant effort, but the originals take three more.

'The Longest Yard'

Burt Reynolds quarterbacked his team to a solid 7.1 and 81. Adam Sandler only reached 6.4 and 48. That's three more up on the scoreboard in favor of the originals. "It": The original movie based on Stephen King's novel got a decent 6.9 IMDB rating and 57 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The 2017 remake got 7.5 and 85 percent. Three for the remakes.


The Hitchcock classic did very well, receiving an 8.5 and 97. The 1998 version only got 4.6 and 37. Some truly horrifying numbers. Three more to the originals. "The Shaggy Dog": The 1959 original was given a 6.5 from IMDb and a 67 from Rotten Tomatoes.

Tim Allen's 2006 reboot got 4.4 and 26. Rough. You know what that means. "A Wrinkle in Time": The 2003 "original" (because it's based on a book from the 1960s) scored 5.7 on IMDB and had no score from Rotten Tomatoes. The 2018 film scored a 4.2 on IMDB. I had such high hopes for the remakes.

'Total Recall'

Arnold Schwarzenegger's version was given a 7.5 and 82. Dennis Quaid's version got 6.3 and 30. I'm not sure the remakes every had any chance. "Alice in Wonderland": The animated original scored 7.4 on IMDB and 79 on Rotten Tomatoes. The Tim Burton-directed version got 6.5 and 52. Three more... "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory": The original, which goes by the name "Willy Wonka" and the "Chocolate Factory," was awarded a 7.8 from IMDB and 89 from Rotten Tomatoes.

The Johnny Depp remake was given 6.7 and 82. Close, but absolutely no cigar. The final three points go to the originals.


If you made it this far, you know that the originals took their remake counterparts to town in their matchups. But for the sake of math, here is the final tally. Based on the point system, which rewards you for being higher in both categories, the originals scored 53. The remakes, much like their low ratings, scored a measly 6.

Much to my chagrin, the complainers are right. The originals are better, and substantially. However, it's not all the time, and several remakes scored awfully close to their original. So, for the future, don't write off a remake because the first one was fine. However, don't go watch it expecting to see a better movie than the first.