When it comes to rebooting a series or franchise, Hollywood has an uneven track record. There have been some serious failures, as well as some enormous successes. There’s a reason that film studios like to revisit certain stories and characters. If they come at the right time, they seem to have a universal appeal that often keep audiences coming back for more.
After the spectacular failure of Batman & Robin in 1997, many film fans thought they’d seen the end of the Caped Crusader. But less than 10 years later, indie darling Christopher Nolan decided to take on the darker side of Batman’s origins and his adventures in Gotham, and the result was a box office jackpot. Batman Begins, which starred Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, was released in 2005, followed by The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. The trilogy was a tremendous critical and commercial success, and has raked in over $1 billion in the United States. Will Batman continue to be a box office draw? We’ll see when Ben Affleck dons the bat suit in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
2. James Bond
This franchise has been shaken and stirred more than once. Six actors have portrayed the infamous spy on the big screen since the franchise started in 1962, and it seems like each time the British spy series names a new 007, detractors declare the franchise to be dead. That was certainly the case when Eon Productions announced that Daniel Craig would take the reigns from Pierce Brosnan and star in their first James Bond film, Casino Royale. Despite Internet speculation that the reboot would fail, the film was well received by fans and critics, and it — as well as 2008’s Quantum of Solace and 2012’s Skyfall have grossed over $604 million in the United States alone.
3. Star Trek
Gene Roddenberry’s classic sci-fi franchise started as a television series in 1966 and has seen several incarnations — multiple television series and feature films have told the story of the USS Enterprise. Fans were cautiously optimistic when J.J Abrams announced he would boldly go where few men have gone before and reboot Star Trek as a film series. His 2009 Star Trek, which starred Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Captain Kirk and Spock, was acclaimed by critics and largely adored by fans. The 2013 sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness was also well received; the two films have grossed a combined $486 million in the U.S.
4. Ocean’s Eleven
Remake the Rat Pack? At first, it sounded crazy. But acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh assembled an all-star cast for his 2001 remake of the 1960 classic crime caper Ocean’s 11. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, and Don Cheadle headed a charismatic ensemble that helped propel Ocean’s Eleven to the top of the box office charts. The film earned over $183 million and spawned two successful sequels – Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen.
Many film fans were surprised when Sony Pictures Entertainment gave the green light to reboot the Spider-Man franchise. After all, The Amazing Spider-Man was released just 10 short years after first Spider-Man hit theaters. But the gamble paid off. Director Marc Webb’s 2012 film, featuring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, turned out to be a big box office success, earning over $262 million in the U.S. The sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro, earned a respectable $202.8 million in the U.S., according to Box Office Mojo.