“Ben Hur” is the latest remake to bomb at the box office, making a paltry $11 million on its opening night against a production budget of $100 million. Deadline Hollywood has a long-winded analysis as to why the film failed to attract a broad audience. Faith-based historical Movies can still succeed in the modern era, as Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and a slew of lower-budget offerings such as “Risen” proved. “Ben Hur” did not insult the source material, as “Noah” and, to some extent, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” did. So why did the latest version of a Jewish prince suffering but then finding the capability to forgive during the life of Jesus Christ fail?

The quick answer is that the story had already been told much better in 1959 in that movie by the same name starring Charlton Heston. The remake of “Ben Hur” failed for the same reason that most remakes fail, including the feminist reimaging of “Ghostbusters” did. It just was not as good at the original. To be sure, the 1959 version was a remake of a silent picture film based on the Lew Wallace novel. But Heston’s movie was a sweeping, over three hour epic in color that is considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Here is the lesson for Hollywood. Stop doing so many remakes. Just because a movie was a great success decades ago does not mean that a remake of it using modern CGI and modern cinematic techniques such as shaky cam will be a great success.

The addiction to remakes, reimaginings, and sequels in Hollywood today is mind blowing, considering all of the original stories that are out there that aren’t being told on the big and small screens. The movie industry thinks that trying too many original films can be a significant risk, especially big budget ones.

But the sad fact of the matter is that attempts to recapture the magic of previously successful films are even riskier because they almost always fail. No alternative exists to well written, well directed, and well-acted movies that people want to see. Hollywood should learn that lesson and get to work.

Follow the page Celebrities
Don't miss our page on Facebook!