Why Hollywood Thought Remaking ‘Ben-Hur’ Was Ever A Good Idea (And Why That Was Wrong)

“In 2004, Mel Gibson’s biblical film The Passion of the Christ hit theaters after a months-long, small-scale ad campaign that focused on church groups and evangelical leaders … After opening on Ash Wednesday, it became the highest-grossing R-rated film in history, earning $611 million worldwide.” The new Ben-Hur, on the other hand, “opened this weekend to a pitiful $11.4 million at the box office.”