Uncovering the Cover

By Timi Ayeni

Uncovering the cover looks into movie remakes, sometimes the original is a success and the remake a flop sometimes it’s the other way around. Which of the remakes or originals do you think achieved glory? Find out more on Uncovering the Cover.

Time after time there are movies that are rewritten and refilmed from the past into newer versions. Sometimes it is to relate to the modern era of filmmaking or that a director thinks they can make the original better or even the film the first time is spo0ken in a lesser-known language so the idea of the remake is to bring it to a wider audience Sometimes the modern versions are successful but sometimes they are total failures.

The image on the left The Front Page (1974)

Internal Affairs

Take for example a film that was successful in its original format but the remake was also a success.”Internal Affairs” made in Hong Kong was released in 2002 and was co-directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.

The film was a success as it grossed $160,356 at the box office on the opening day. In total, worldwide, the film grossed $8,836,958 across releases in both domestic markets and European theatres.

Interestingly, the remake which involved a renaming to “The Departed” was released in 2006 directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon. A critical and commercial success, which received acclaim for its direction, performances, screenplay and editing of the film, and it won four Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing as it became Scorsese’s first and, to date, only personal Oscar win.

The Jungle Book

Another movie that was a success in its original format and a success in its remake would be “The Jungle Book” an animated movie released in 1967 and directed by Wolfgang Reitherman and produced by Walt Disney which is based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book of the same name

The movie received positive reception with a gross of $23.8 million worldwide, the film initially became Disney’s second-highest-grossing animated film in the United States and Canada, the ninth-highest-grossing film of 1967, and was also successful during its re-releases. Known for its wonderful songbook as well as a visual feast.

49 years later, the live-action movie released in 2016; directed and produced by Jon Favreau had a massive budget of $175 million, though it took in over double with $364,001,123 domestically; thanks in large part to the Oscar-winning visual effects.

Ringu/ The ring

A foreign movie that was a success and also the English speaking remake was also a success too would be Ringu, a 1998 Japanese horror film directed by Hideo Nakata as the movie is based on the 1991 novel by Koji Suzuki.

The movie was a huge box office success in Japan with a budget of $1.5 million and was acclaimed by critics.

The remake of the movie released in 2002; directed by Gore Verbinski from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger conjured up $129,128,133 domestically at the box office grossing $249 million on a production budget of $48 million, making it one of the highest-grossing horror remakes of all time.The film received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the atmosphere and visuals, Bojan Bazelli’s cinematography, Verbinski’s direction and Watts’ performance.  a box-office success.

The Fly

A film that was initially successful and successful decades later in its remake would be “The Fly” a 1958 movie which was produced and directed by Kurt Neumann. The screenplay by James Clavell is based on the 1957 short story of the same name by George Langelaan.

However, the film was a commercial success, grossing $3 million at the domestic box office against a budget of less than $500,000, and becoming one of the biggest hits of the year for Fox Studios. It earned $1.7 million in theatrical rentals.

The remake of the movie which was released in 1986 directed by David Cronenberg and starred Jeff Goldblum made up $40,456,565 million at the box office back in 1986 which now is an estimated $93,596,430 in 2018 off a $15 million budget as it led to positive reviews and commercial success from critics and audiences.

The Front Page

Yet, a movie that was successful in its original format and was still a success in its remake would be The Front Page which was released in 1931 and was directed by Lewis Milestone and based and adapted from the 1928 screenplay of the same name by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

The film was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Picture many years later, as it was preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2016. In 2010, this film was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”

The remake of the film which was released in 1974 and directed by Billy Wilder and starring Walther Matthau and Jack Lemmon earned $15 million at the box office and a budget was $4 million. It was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture but it was not successful.

The Italian Job

A movie that was a success in its original and remake would be The Italian Job released in 1969 as the British comedy film was directed by Peter Collinson and starred Michael Caine.

The film proved a success upon its release, earning critical acclaim amongst critics for the performances by Caine and Coward, the film’s reflection of British culture from the period, and the climactic car chase. 

The remake of the film released in 2003 grossed over $176 million worldwide as critical responses from the critics and audiences were largely positive, with publications comparing it favourably to the original film while highlighting the action sequences, performances of the cast and humour.


what’s the movie that is a success in its original format and remake? It would be none like Psycho; a 1960 movie directed by renowned British director Alfred Hitchcock the screenplay was written by Joseph Stefano and was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch as this starred Anthony Perkins as the antagonist Norman Bates. 

The movie grossed out $50 million at the box office with a budget of $806,947.

The remake was released in 1998 and was produced and directed by Gus Van Sant and starred Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche. The film later made a commercial success following the release as it was ranked number 2 at the box office with a weekend gross of $10,031,850 as it went on to earn a total of $37,141,130 in box offices around the world. 


A movie which is iconic in its original format and still is iconic in its remake would be Scarface; a 1932 movie directed and produced by Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes. The screenplay by Ben Hecht was loosely based on the 1929 novel by Armitage Trail which was inspired by Al Capone.

The movie was received positively by audiences and critics, and it was regarded as one of the most significant and influential gangster films in the world. 

The remake was released in 1983 and was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone as De Palma dedicated his own remake version to the original film writers Howard Hawks and Ben Hecht. 

The Initial critical reception was negative due to its excessive violence, profanity, and graphic drug usage as some Cuban refugees in Miami objected to the film’s portrayal of Cubans as criminals and drug traffickers. 

In the years that followed, critics have reappraised it, and it is now considered one of the greatest gangster films ever made and it had influenced many things such as music, film and tv. 

A Star is Born

A Star is Born was a 1937 movie directed by William A. Wellman from a script from himself, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker, and Alan Campbell. 

The film has been remade three times: In 1954, it was directed by George Cukor and starred Judy Garland, in 1976; it was directed by Frank Pierson starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson and the 2018 remake starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper who also directed the remake of the movie.

The movie received positive reviews as Frank S. Nugent of the New York called the film “one of the year’s best shows”. The film earned $2.37 million dollars worldwide in theatre rentals and by the end of 1939, the film had generated a profit of $181,000. It was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Venice International Film Festival. 

The remake of the movie was released in 2018 as it was produced and directed by Bradley Cooper who starred alongside Lady Gaga and Dave Chappelle.

The movie grossed $215.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $220.9 million in other countries, for a total worldwide gross of $436.2 million, against a production budget of $36 million in the box office.


A French movie that was successful and still is successful in its English speaking remake would be Taxi was a 1998 French movie directed by Gérard Pirès.

It was well received in France and was regarded as one of the most successful French franchises ever as the movie grossed out $44.5 million in box office and had a budget of $44.5 million.

The remake of the movie released in 2004 and directed by Tim Story gained $36.9 million on the box office and $34.4 million worldwide total of $71.3 million against the production budget of $25 million as the film won and was nominated for several awards throughout 2005. 

Cheaper by the Dozen

But for a different view, what about the film Cheaper by the Dozen a 1950 movie directed by Walter Lang based on the autographical book of the same name by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey?

The original movie was a critical success as the reviews were mostly positive. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote that “it all adds up to entertainment of a broad, brash and innocent sort.” It grossed about $4.3-4.425 million at the box office.

The remake of the movie was released in 2003 and was directed by Shawn Levy it starred Steve Martin and Hilary Duff and grossed out $190 million worldwide against a $40 million budget as the movie was a total flop and was not successful at all. Rotten Tomatoes consensus criticised the film for its lack of humour as the movie did not meet and match up to its predecessor’s success.


A movie that was originally a success but a flop with its remake would be Oldboy, a South Korean movie released in 2003 which was co-written and directed by South Korean director Park Chan-wook as a loose adaptation to the Japanese manga of the same name. 

The film attained critical acclaim and accolades worldwide which includes winning the grand prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival where it garnered praise from Quentin Tarantino. 

It is regarded as one of the best films ever made and has been included in numerous bests of publications and adaptations to the film as it gained $15.4 million in box office and a $3 million budget.

The remake of the film released in 2013 directed by Spike Lee received mixed reviews with many critics and audiences deeming it as not important and not staying true to the original classic film as it received $5.2 million in the box office.

Planet of the Apes

A movie that was successful in its original and was a flop in its remake is Planet of the Apes released in 1968 and was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner from a screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling which was loosely based in the 1963 novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle. 

The film was a success as it was a box office hit which earned a lifetime domestic gross of $33.3 million. 

It was well received by critics and audiences being nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards and winning an honorary academy award for artist John Chambers. 

The movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. 

It was a major success which led to the making of the franchise which included four sequels of the film as well as a TV series, animated series, comic books, and various merchandising.

The remake was released in 2001 and was directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay by William Broyles Jr, Lawrence Konner, and Mark Rosenthal.

The remake did not match up to the original’s success as it received mixed reviews from critics, who criticised the confusing plot and ending, but praised Rick Baker’s prosthetic makeup designs, visual aspects, and musical score as it grossed out $362.2 million on box office with a $100 million budget.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

A movie that was a success in its original format but it was a flop in its remake would be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a 1974 movie produced and directed by Tobe Hooper from a story and screenplay by himself and Kim Henkel. It starred Gunnar Hansen who portrayed as the film’s antagonist Leatherface.

The movie initially received mixed reception from critics as it was highly profitable grossing out $30 million at the box office selling over 16.5 million tickets in 1974.

It has since gained recognition as one of the best and most influential horror films as it led to sequels, prequels, a remake, comic books, and video games being made about the film. 

The remake was released in 2003 as it was directed by Marcus Nispel and starring Jessica Biel and R. Lee Ermey received negative reviews from critics, and it grossed out $107 million at the box office on a budget of $9.5 million.

The Omega Man

A movie that was a flop in its original and was a success as a remake would be “The Omega Man” a 1971 film directed by Boris Sagal and written by John William and Joyce Corrington which is based on the 1954 novel “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson.

The movie grossed out $4 million for rentals and $29,900 in its first week at the box office as it flopped and received mixed reviews as Rotten Tomatoes gave it a combined average positive score of 64% from 33 critics.

36 years later, the movie remade as “I am Legend” from “The Omega Man” was released in 2007 it was directed by Francis Lawrence and starred Will Smith performed absolutely incredibly and made $256,393,010 with over $100 million than its budget.

L.A. Takedown/Heat

But what about films that were initially not successful? A television film that was a flop and was a success in its remake would be L.A. Takedown, released in 1989 it was originally filmed as an unsuccessful pilot for a television series, but it was scrapped and reworked and aired as a stand-alone TV film.

However, the remake of the television film which was named “Heat” was released in 1995 it was written and directed by Michael Mann and was a critical and commercial success which grossed $187 million at the box office with a $60 million budget.

A movie that was flopped in its original film and was remade as a television film would be The Vanishing Point released in 1971 and was directed by Richard C. Sarafian.

The original film did not receive positive reviews in the U.S. but it garnered attention and was successful in Europe as the movie grossed out $12.4 million at the box office with a budget of $1.58 million.

The Thing

what about a movie that was a flop as an original and also a flop as the remake? It would be The Thing which is a 1982 film directed by John Carpenter from a screenplay by Bill Lancaster based on the 1938 novella “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr.

The film received negative reviews that described it as “instant junk” and “a wretched excess”.

Critics both praised the special effects achievements and criticised their visual repulsiveness, while others found the characterisation poorly realised as the film grossed $19.6 million during its theatrical run.

The remake of the film was released in 2011 and was directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead was a box-office bomb, grossing $31.5 million against a $38 million budget, with mixed reviews from critics and audiences.

Some movies in Hollywood are remaking classics that have been done and it gives out a good feel and a vibe for the next generation to watch and experience it to give a sense of nostalgia and throwback and have a sense of a good feeling.

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