1977: Surprising Success of the First “Star Wars” Movie

1977: Surprising Success of the First “Star Wars” Movie
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 25 May 1977
  • Director George Lucas had his doubts about the success of his "Star Wars" on the eve of the premiere. However, the movie, on which only $11 million was spent, earned a huge $775 million.

On this day in 1977, the first film of the “Star Wars” series premiered. 

The film has seen such incredible success that was not even expected by its director, George Lucas. In fact, only $11 million was spent on this film, but it earned a huge $ 775 million. Indeed, the first film started a whole series of “Star Wars” movies, which have grossed more than $4 billion at box office alone.

The first film was simply titled “Star Wars”, and only later, when other films in the series were made, was it re-titled “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”. It is interesting that the first film was very highly rated by professional critics as well. Indeed, it was awarded six Oscars.

Director George Lucas had his doubts in the success of his “Star Wars” on the eve of the premiere. While talking to his friend Steven Spielberg, who was then filming “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, he said Spielberg’s film will surely surpass “Star Wars” at the box office. Spielberg claimed the opposite, and Lucas proposed they trade 2.5% of the profit on each other’s films (like a wager). They actually went through with that and Spielberg, who was right, still receives 2.5% of the profits from “Star Wars”.

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