The Empire Strikes Back Once Again Returning To Theaters Next Weekend

Darth Vader

The reopening of the theatrical industry is taking much longer than initially anticipated, with studios still reluctant to release their major movies on the big screen during a time when achieving commercial success is harder than ever. Tenet was the first blockbuster to hit cinemas in nearly six months, and while a global haul of over $200 million is undeniably impressive in the current climate, the numbers were still low enough to see Warner Bros. shift Wonder Woman 1984 from the first weekend of October to Christmas Day.

There isn’t another movie on the horizon that has the potential to claim widespread box office success until Death on the Nile, the sequel to Kenneth Branagh’s surprise sleeper hit Murder on the Orient Express, which arrives on October 23rd. The last few months, though, have seen classic titles reclaim their box office crowns for the first time in decades, with Jurassic Park, Jaws and Ghostbusters all finding themselves in Top 10 as the theatrical schedules were left threadbare.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, meanwhile, topped the box office for the first time since 1997 back in July with a not-so-impressive tally of $500,000. But Disney and Lucasfilm are already re-releasing Episode V next weekend as the movie’s 40th anniversary celebrations continue.

At this point, any self-respecting Star Wars fan has already watched every entry in the franchise at least once during the Coronavirus pandemic, and having played in theaters as recently as two months ago, it seems doubtful that there’s much of an appetite to head down to the local multiplex and see it again.

That being said, you can never count out The Empire Strikes Back, which holds the rare distinction of topping the box office on eleven different weekends spread across 40 years after leading the charts in 1980 and again with the 1997 Special Edition, before doing it once more for good measure earlier this year.