When remaking a film, many factors are taken into consideration to determine the possibility of losing or gaining money. In attempts to beat the original film, or even widen the audience, film companies follow the same formula; however they add diverse features to make it as unique as possible. Sometimes remaking a film can cause a large loss of money, and an example of this is DNA Film's 2012 remake of Judge Dredd.
Dredd is a 2012 British-South African science fiction action film directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. Originally it is based on the 2000 AD American comic strip 'Judge Dredd' and its eponymous character created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Karl Urban stars as Judge Dredd, a law enforcer given the power of judge, jury and executioner in a vast, metropolis called Mega-City One that lies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Originally being a British comic strip, this British remake was not as well known to British audiences due to their lack of knowledge about the origin of Judge Dredd. The ‘Dredd’ remake earned $23,153,028 internationally consisting of 6.9 million dollars earned in the UK. However, with an overall film budget of 45 million dollars, the film makers lost over 22 million dollars after 6 months of the film’s release. Over 25 million dollars was spent on marketing for the film, in attempt to reach a wider audience.
The major marketing consisted of film posters, film trailers and frequent TV spots, which a few of these received awards (E.g. Golden trailer award and Best action TV spot) The film makers aimed to be nothing like the 1994 version of ‘Judge Dredd' and this was reflected in the marketing, however they seemed to aim the marketing strategies more towards Judge Dredd comic book fans. Also, with the high content of violence in the film, they’re restricting the audience again by only aiming it at adult, even though super hero films are usually aimed towards younger generations.
In an attempt to boost the potential of a film, well-known actors are used to gain interest of potential audiences. This is one of the crucial steps that Mark Kermode (British film critic) believes that could make or break a large blockbuster. The nationality of an actor can help to gain the interest of a certain country, and in this case Karl Urban was used as a leading role. He is famously known for being in films such as; The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Trek, The Bourne Supremacy, and RED, and this has caused him to become recognisable well known worldwide. However, in these films he is not the leading role, unlike Dredd. This can help gain potential audiences internationally; however more famously known actors could have been used to star in the film to boost audience potentials even further.
The use of advance filming equipment can increase a films budget dramatically, and this is why critics believe that 'Dredd' flopped at the box office. The film was shot digitally in 3D using RED MX, SI2K and Phantom Flex high-speed cameras. Certain 2D elements were converted to 3D in post-production. Filming in 3D is a very expensive process and watching films in 3D in not always a popular option for potential audiences. This lost a large amount of possible viewers, and also affected the overall budget of the film dramatically. The film was given an 'R' rating; this limited the age of viewers especially as comic book films are mostly appreciated by younger generations, and also affected the performance in cinemas. By aiming the film towards adults, this further decreased audience potential by at least half. The adult targeting was also show by the wide use of violence, and violent references.
The fact that most of the production team, and a large part of the cast are of A British nationality, this film is seen as being ‘British’. This 'British' film can be widely compared to many 'American' blockbusters as the approach towards marketing, casting and overall appearances are very different. The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final instalment in Nolan's Batman film trilogy, and it is the sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). In comparison to 'The Dark Knight Rises', Dredd’s budget was very limited as the Batman film had a budget of around 250–300 million dollars. At the box office, the third part of the Batman trilogy made over a billion dollars ($1,084,439,099), making over 834 million dollars in profits. The scale of the film required such a large budget, and to entice a wider audience in, the film makers wanted to put the money on the screen and make the visual elements the key aspect for the viewers. The success of this blockbuster was due too many aspects. Firstly the casting used a wide range of internationally known actors who all have large followings. Christian Bale stars as the batman, and as a world renowned actor, contributed to the films massive audience following. The film makers elected not to film in 3D, but instead stated that they intended to focus on improving image quality and scale using the IMAX format, also saving money.
In order to reach a larger audience, the marketing campaign for the film started earlier than normal, and was a contributing factor of the film’s success. The most successful aspect of the films marketing was the trailer, which reached over 2 billion views worldwide. Also, actors starring in the film were frequently interviewed about the film on international programs, and this helped to boost worldwide interest in the film. The films world première was July 16, 2012 at the AMC Lincoln Square Theatre in New York City. In comparison to Dredd, the films run in cinemas worldwide lasted nearly three times as long, and with no extra charge to view in IMAX, unlike 3D. This was a major downfall for Dredd. On average, 'the Dark Knight Rises' was shown in at least 4 screens in every cinema, whereas 'Dredd' was only shown on average of one screen in every three cinemas.
In conclusion, 'The Dark Knight Rises' was without doubt more successful than the remake of 'Dredd' because of overall attention an audience’s need, and the film makers ability to draw in a large potential audience. The 'Dredd' remake did not target the correct audience, or consider aspects that could have saved the overall budget and this is evident in the substantial loss of money. Unlike the success of The Dark Knight, Dredd did not reach such a successful standard, as it was both financially and critically at a loss.