What the Remake Did Instead:
The 2002 remake decided to ditch all that boring social/political stuff and replaced the message of "brutal violence is bad" with "brutal violence kicks ass!" Changing the setting from dystopian future to present day, rollerball is just another sport, one that's mostly popular in the former Soviet Union. Jonathan is less interested in maintaining his free will than he is in driving fast cars and trying to bang Rebecca Romijn.
The new version focuses pretty much exclusively on the sport itself, with the story revolving around Jonathan's promoter trying to make the game more violent in order to boost ratings. That's essentially what the movie does as well, with the film being marketed as an action movie and the attraction largely being the increasingly violent matches. You know, the ones that the original designed to make us feel uncomfortable and barbaric.
How Did They Do?
The original wasn't a classic, but it received generally good reviews and has established a cult following. The remake was universally panned and made only $26 million dollars from a budget of $70 million. Damn, how could they go wrong with a cast that included Pink and LL Cool J?