The Empire Strikes Back At The Box Office
This actually brought a tear to my eye. Forty years-plus after I saw the original release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (with my mom — I was five — at the Enfield [CT] Twin Cinemas), the film has once again topped the charts at the box office (as I prepare to take my kids, 10, 8 & 4 to the local drive-in here in MA).
Honestly, after 24-hours of dodging maskless crowds through what was supposed to be a carefree “staycation” in a neighboring state, I sit here in wide-eyed happiness as I read Deadline’s report, written by Anthony D’Alessandro:
For the first time since the February 1997 reissue, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is leading at the box office this weekend after clocking an estimated $175K at 483 locations. Empire should end the weekend with a 3-day take in-between the high $400K and low $500K… Last night’s gross for Empire Strikes Back brings the 1980 George Lucas-executive produced and story by, and Irvin Kershner-directed movie’s lifetime gross to $290.4M stateside. The pic’s five-day gross stands at $210K.
Empire Strikes Back, according to Box Office Mojo, held the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office for eight weeks following its May 21, 1980 release. There was a 1982 re-release, and then the Lucas-tweaked and revived 1997 edition, which had a two-weekend run at No. 1, grossing $21.97M on its first weekend of Feb. 21-23 and then $13.1M in its second weekend.
The 1997 edition of Empire contributed another $67.6M overall to Episode V‘s running domestic box office. All of the Star Wars movies, including Rogue One, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the animated Clone Wars through 12 titles have racked up over $10.3 billion at the global box office.
Star Wars Brings Back Hope
As I drove home from the ill-fated respite, I saw a sign that said, “Everything is going to be alright!”
But, honestly, knowing that people still care to see the light battle the dark; to see that even Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia fought through tough times brings me, “Hope….”
And, while I hope that most folks are heading to drive-in movies to witness Luke and Darth Vader duel on Cloud City (which, according to Deadline, they are), I’ll settle for a reminder that even in the darkest of times, help can arrive – just in the nick of time.