Ben-Hur has historically been a beloved tale and a monetarily successful franchise. The 1925 film adaption not only held the title of “Most Expensive Film” it also boasts a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The commercial success of the Novel and 1929 film adaptation were dwarfed by the 147 million dollars taken in at the box office during the initial release of the 1959 film starring Charlton Heston.
The original novel: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ was published in 1880 by the former Union General and Governor of the New Mexico Territory at the time. In addition to the impact the novel and films had on the twentieth century, it was acclaimed as the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century.
Its impact on the twenty first century has yet to be seen, but with a budget of 100 million dollars and a beloved re-imagined tale the film is shaping up to be a grand success . The 1959 production won 11 academy awards in 1960.
The Film opening this weekend is being pushed as a faith based film much more so than its predecessors, perhaps this will impact its standing at the box office. Regardless of the motives behind the film’s release this weekend it stacks up to compete as a power house in the cinema.
The film has been adapted from written text for the third time now, and its adaptation has taken a slightly different form each time. The upcoming film has the highest budget of any of the adaptations, and undoubtedly does justice to the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace. Having been adapted to the screen from written word twice before, the creators of the upcoming Ben-Hur have plenty of reference material, however it will be exciting to see how modern story tellers rework this classic tale!