The Karate Kid Remake Scores High with Test Audiences

Published 5 years ago by , Updated April 15th, 2014 at 11:18 am,

karate kid header The Karate Kid Remake Scores High with Test Audiences

I am still befuddled( I love that word) by the sheer amount of loathing directed at Sony’s remake of the 1984 Karate Kid film starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. I hate remakes as much as the next guy, but since I don’t have a say in whether they get made or not, I figure I might as well try to enjoy them. When the announcement from Sony came in 2008 that they would be remaking The Karate Kid and calling it The Kung Fu Kid, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.

Then came the announcement about who would be starring in the film, Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, and I let out an audible groan. Not because of Chan – I’m a huge fan and have seen just about everything he has done (including his recent film, The Spy Next Door) – but because of Smith. Young Jaden has yet to really prove himself in a film and as a lead actor. He was merely OK as second fiddle to his dad, Will Smith, in Pursuit of Happyness and he was completely annoying in The Day the Earth Stood Still – but to be fair that entire move was annoying.

Then come some behind the scenes pictures, a poster and then finally a trailer. I watched it with an open mind and I found myself surprisingly enjoying it. Harold Zwart (The Pink Panther) really seemed to give us a feel of how the martial arts training would be for Dre (Jaden Smith). Gone were the “Paint the fence” and “Wax on, wax off” mantra all of us kids in the 80s had become attached to. Instead we have “Put on your jacket” and “Pick up your jacket”, which honestly I don’t think will become the latest catch phrase for youngsters.

Soon after the seething comments of hatred came pouring forth like lava from some angry volcano. Everything from “Jaden is too young” and “he can’t act” to “China is Kung Fu not Karate” and “He could never learn enough Kung Fu to beat kids that have studied it all their lives.” All valid arguments for picking on a film, I’ll agree, but are they valid enough to draw the ire of movie fanboys everywhere? Apparently Sony surfs the blogs as well and they did a test screening for The Karate Kid to see how bad it might actually be.

karate kid one The Karate Kid Remake Scores High with Test Audiences

To their surprise, it scored as the second-highest research screening ever out of Sony films, with positive scores in the 97th percentile. That’s right, if 100 people watched the film, only 3 gave it a bad review! For your information, Hitch scored Sony’s highest ever research screening at just above 97 – like father like son perhaps?

So what does all this mean? Well, some could argue that they filled the room with only people that like Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and kids doing karate kung fu martial arts. That could be true, but I highly doubt it. Sony would want a true representation of how the current version of the movie will perform, so they could re-edit if necessary. If they were to purposely skew the results, it wouldn’t do anything but harm them at the Box Office.

I’m very curious now to see how this movie performs opening weekend and I think it just might surprise everyone. The Karate Kid will have to go against another blast from the 80s past, The A-Team, that same weekend –  but both films are striving to reach very different audiences.  The Karate Kid is obviously aimed at the “pre-teen to young teen and their parents” crowd, while The A-Team is geared more for the 18-35 male audience.

Does hearing how test audiences enjoyed watching The Karate Kid remake sway your opinion on the film or will you be waiting outside the theater opening weekend with picket signs and rotten vegetables?

The Karate Kid high kicks into theaters June 11th, 2010.

Source: The Hollywood Insider

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. My issue with this movie is that it is yet another remake. So sick of them, although it seems ScreenRant is warming to the idea that remakes are good considering how many were on the most anticipated movies of 2010.

    Why not just have called it something else, tinkered with the story and made it into a seperate film.

    Hollywood= Severe lack of imagination.

  2. I was actually some what looking forward to this movie. It didnt seem bad to me at all and I never understood the hate for Jaden Smith. He really isnt a terrible actor and I think he doesnt deserve such harsh criticism. I mean cmon, the kid is in his early teens. How spectacular do you expect him to be? Hes a decent actor with a promising future and Jackie is an icon. The trailer was good imo, and i think the movie should do well.

  3. I don't know if we are some much warming up to the idea of a remake as we are just giving in to covering them. If we were to stop covering remakes all together, then we would run out of material very quickly :)

  4. Hmm, IMO test audiences can't show if the movie is really good or not.. they probably played that remake to a group of young kids. I don't know about you, but I''m perfectly fine with the previous movies (ok, maybe without the one with Hilary Swank) and don't need to see this remake :)

  5. I'm eager now to see “Riley Freeman” as the new Karate Kid. Huey better be in the movie somewhere too.

  6. I loved the Karate Kid films. At the time these films came out they were not considered cool by my peers at that time so they were a guilty pleasure on my part. The idea of updating the story for a new generation I think is a good idea. I am a huge fan of Jackie Chan and I don't think Jaden deserves the bad rap he's getting mostly because his dad is Will Smith IMO.
    I loved the trailer for this movie. I think they are doing a real remake here. Leaving in the important elements like the mentor, the training, the contest. It doesn seem to be a totally different concept as I have seen with other films that claim to be a remake and it basically has nothing to do with the original film except for the name.
    I say go for it.

  7. negative ghostrider

  8. lol good point paul

  9. Man, this film is insulting to all of Asia. I'll be campaigning hard for all my Asian brothers to boycott this garbage.

  10. Hey,most people like American Idol too,so wht does that say about “popular opinion”?

    To be somewhat fair though,it might have a chance to be not too bad,but there are just a few too many things working against it from the outset.

  11. Jaden Smith still bothers me. He's never going to be taken as a serious actor…. but… I just remembered Will Smith singing “Gettin Jiggy Wit It” and now he's one of the biggest actors in the business… so anything is possible really.

  12. That is very true. I can't think of any movies that are completely original to be honest. Any current or upcoming movies anyways… With the exception of Pixar movies

  13. The Movie is partly funded by China Film Group, LOL

  14. He really isnt a terrible actor and I think he doesnt deserve such harsh criticism. I mean cmon, the kid is in his early teens. How spectacular do you expect him to be?

    I have an issue with that statement, I expect him to be better, there were plenty of child actors that don't have actors as parents and same age or younger than Jaden that could act their tails off. Haley Joel Osmet, Dakota Fanning, Noah Gray-Cabey, Fred Savage, I could go on. The Day The Earth stood still may have sucked, but from my understanding he proved he couldn't play as someone else's child convincinly, anyone can play a child to their own parent so Pursuit doesn't count. The trailer looks terrible and he's trying way too hard with his 1 liners.

  15. Its exactly like the original, same plot, scenarios, jokes, even they acknowledge its a re imagining of the first.

  16. I agree with you on several counts. I hate remakes too, especially when it's mpossible to clone a classic and still one of my favorite movies ever, The Karate Kid. Casting Chan isn't my main gripe, it's Jaden …or better yet, his age. I think Jaden is a fine young actor. I just wish it targeted a higher age group, like Karate Kid did, at the high school level …not someone in the fifth grade. This movie will not draw me in like the last one did. It's impossible. But I will begrudgingly watch it to justify all my rants. Why can't they leave a great thing alone.

  17. I just wish they didnt call it ‘the karate kid’. It sounds like a completely different movie.
    Notice Jackie Chan is beating up KIDS in the trailer! At least the original was teenagers. Jackie Chan is beating up little kids! (ok that might be worth watching) Does the kid even speak Chinese…or is this going to be in one of those universes where everyone speaks english?
    Will Jackie Chan be a medal of honor recipient who’s wife and child died in an internment camp, who karate chops beer bottles when rednecks mess with him?
    Will there be a Will Smith hip hop remix of Best Around? Will he hate this place and want to go back to New Jersey? Will Palm trees solve any problems?
    Did anyone, Jackie Chan included, find it annoying that Karate and Kung Fu are two different things…and this is Kung Fu not Karate?

    No, This movie is an abortion right out the gate. Maybe if they werent retards, and just named it something else, it would be cool, but this is just so lazy and insulting of a classic.
    If you are going to name the movie the same thing….Remake the original. If you are going to completely change it, name it something else.

  18. i love jaden i want him to be mt future husband

  19. Yo that movie jaden smith and jacckie chan made was awsome..!! Anyways i have the movie so i can watch it when eva i want :) :) :) :):D 😀 D: xD xD

  20. :@