In its 40th anniversary year, The Empire Strikes Back continues to be just about the only film release of 2020 that’s bringing in good results. This week sees the film return to the US top 5, bringing in almost $1 million in 2097 theaters.

In fourth place was a familiar visitor from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back returned to theaters to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Now a Disney property, the PG-rated film used the Force to score $908,000 in 2,097 theaters for a $432 per-screen average. The original release of The Empire Strikes Back from 1980 racked up a whopping $400 million at the worldwide box office, unadjusted for inflation.

While the business of adjusted box office figures is far from an exact science, the number of bums on seats is an easier figure to quantify and Empire is fast approaching the 100 million mark with 98,213,400 people having seen the film in the States since May 1980. Sitting in the all-time 13th position, Empire is behind the highest grossing film of them all in North America The Force Awakens which in 2015 took $936,662,225 (adjusted to $1,013,038,487 in 2020 numbers) and 108,115,100 bums on seats.

Impressive numbers, but a fraction of the film at number 2, A New Hope which took $460,998,507 across it’s initial release, the re-releases of the late 70’s and early 80’s, the double and triple bill and the Special Editions (translating to an incredible $1,668,979,715 in 2020 money) but look at the number of attendees – 178,119,500. Only Gone With The Wind, the 1939 classic which ran and ran and ran in the post War, pre-television years of the 40’s, tops it with 202,286,200.

It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on those Empire figures as the end of the summer continues, but whichever way you look at it, it’s always good to see Star Wars films in the box office charts.

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dickinson, Seth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages - 11/10/2020 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)