2016’s Ben-Hur Remake a Financial Failure

Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur

 

Ramon Arias serves as president of Bravo Corporation, a pizza franchise in Birmingham, Alabama, with over 800 employees. Outside of his professional life, one of Ramon Arias’ favorite movies is the 1959 classic, Ben-Hur.

Unfortunately for fans of the 1959 film, widely regarded as a masterpiece, the 2016 remake is on schedule to be the season’s biggest financial disappointment. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, 2016’s Ben-Hur was projected to be a success before its debut in mid-August. The movie had a massive $100 million budget, and that doesn’t even include marketing costs. As of early September 2016, Ben-Hur only grossed a meager $54.1 million, about half of its original budget. All in all, projected losses are predicted to hit $120 million, officially making Ben-Hur the least successful release of the 2016 blockbuster season.

Ben-Hur was originally a novel, written in 1880 by Lew Wallace, a general in the Civil War. The book was the first fictional work to receive a blessing from the pope, Leo XIII. Ultimately, the novel has seen five major adaptations including a TV miniseries, a Broadway show, a 1907 silent film, the 1959 classic, and the new 2016 version.

So, if your only exposure to Ben-Hur is the financial flop that came out this year, take a step back in history and watch the 1959 version starring Charlton Heston. If the financial success speaks to the quality of the films, the classic is certainly the better of the two.

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