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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Star Wars Performance Comparisons

The graph below shows a day-by-day breakdown of the total box office gross for each Star Wars release, from A New Hope in 1977 to Revenge of the Sith in 2005. We'll be tracking Revenge of the Sith on a daily basis and seeing how it stacks up compared to its predecessors.

Note from the table below that each movie has opened in more theaters and had bigger opening days and weekends than its predecessor in the series.

Release
Date
MovieOpening DayOpening
Weekend
Opening
Theaters
Gross on First
Release
Total US GrossWorldwide Gross
5/25/1977 A New Hope $254,809 $1,554,475 43 $215,537,332 $460,998,007 $797,900,000
5/21/1980 The Empire Strikes Back $1,333,305 $4,910,483 126 $145,893,923 $290,271,960 $534,200,000
5/25/1983 Return of the Jedi $6,219,629 $23,019,618 1,002 $252,452,593 $309,205,079 $572,700,000
5/19/1999 The Phantom Menace $28,542,349 $64,810,970 2,970 $431,088,297 $431,088,297 $925,600,000
5/16/2002 Attack of the Clones $30,141,417 $80,027,814 3,161 $302,181,125 $302,181,125 $648,200,000
5/19/2005 Revenge of the Sith $50,013,859 $108,435,841 3,661 $375,876,648 $375,876,648 $783,680,000





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Note that the graphs for A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi include estimated values for days where detailed data is not available. We'll be extending the chart to cover more than the first 50 days shortly.

Comparison of Tickets Sold

A fairer comparison of the relative performances of each movie is a count of how many tickets were sold for each one. This shows more dramatically how the release pattern of movies has changed since the late 70's and early 80's. The modern movies are considerably more "front-loaded" than the original trilogy.

Although the graph doesn't go far enough to show it, note that in the table below, every movie has sold less tickets than its predecessor in the series, at least until Revenge of the Sith, which looks as though it will beat Attack of the Clones fairly comfortably.



Note: This image may be freely used on your own site, so long as you provide a link back to this page at The Numbers. The URL of the image is http://www.the-numbers.com/features/starwarst.gif, and the URL of this page is http://www.the-numbers.com/features/starwars.php. Thanks!

Release
Date
MovieTotal US GrossInflation-adjusted GrossTickets Sold
5/25/1977 A New Hope $460,998,007 $1,012,785,986 162,827,328
5/21/1980 The Empire Strikes Back $290,271,960 $591,388,817 95,078,587
5/25/1983 Return of the Jedi $309,205,079 $578,423,035 92,994,057
5/19/1999 The Phantom Menace $431,088,297 $529,866,325 85,187,512
5/16/2002 Attack of the Clones $302,181,125 $324,063,207 52,100,194
5/19/2005 Revenge of the Sith $375,876,648 $375,876,648 60,430,329