disney remakes box office

Rage all you want against Disney‘s endless slew of live-action remakes of its animated classics, but you can’t deny the sheer box office power of those “re-imaginings.” Ever since Beauty and the Beast shattered box office records in 2017, the Disney remake box office numbers have almost always crossed the $1 billion threshold. With The Lion King set to join that billion-dollar club soon, that brings the Disney remakes total box office to over $7 billion — a jaw-dropping number that the House of Mouse reached in less than a decade.

According to a CNBC report, Disney’s remakes have collectively raked in more than $7 billion since 2010. The era of endless Disney remakes that we’re currently trapped in began with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in 2010 and continues through this year’s Aladdin and The Lion King. Although there were two live-action remakes based on 101 Dalmatians in 1996 and 2000, the current era of nostalgia-fueled remakes began with Alice in Wonderland in 2010, which was quickly followed by 10 more movies since then, including Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Alice Through the Looking GlassDumbo, Aladdin, and most recently, The Lion King.

And as long as these movies continue crossing the billion-dollar threshold (as Aladdin has already done this year and as The Lion King, at $962.7 million worldwide, is expected to soon do), that era will continue with no end in sight. Already, we’re getting (admittedly impressive) trailers for a Mulan remake, and casting has been set for a Little Mermaid remake. More titles planned in the future include the Angelina Jolie-led sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, as well as Hunchback of Notre DameJames and the Giant Peach, and Lilo and Stitch.

Hoping against hope that Disney will be dissuaded from recycling their animated classics to exceedingly worst creative returns? Just see the list of Disney’s top “live-action” reimaginings at the worldwide box office so far, per Box Office Mojo:

  1. Beauty and the Beast (2017) – $1.263 billion
  2. Alice in Wonderland (2010) – $1.02 billion
  3. Aladdin (2019) – $1.00 billion (so far)
  4. The Jungle Book (2016) – $966.6 million
  5. The Lion King (2019) – $962.7 million (so far)
  6. Maleficent (2014) – $758.5 million
  7. Cinderella (2015) – $543.5 million
  8. Oz The Great and Powerful (2013) – $493.3 million
  9. Dumbo (2019) – $352.9 million

Aside from Alice in Wonderland, the top 5 are almost exclusively populated by films released in the past three years, with two films from 2019 already towering over the rest (despite their middling-to-poor reviews).

Therein lies the problem: No matter how bad these movies are, no matter how much they’re derided for being soulless, shot-for-shot shadows of the animated originals, the Disney live-action remakes are proving to be surefire box office hits. And that inevitably means that, once Disney runs out of its own animated films to remake, we’re getting what we deserved all along: a photorealistic Cars remake.

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