The Empire Strikes Back Tops The Box Office For First Time Since 1997

Darth Vader

The Coronavirus has wreaked absolute havoc on the movie industry, with Hollywood bracing itself for a shortfall of up to $20 billion this year as the studios have pulled the majority of their high-profile releases from the calendar, creating a domino effect that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Unfortunately, lot of theaters aren’t going to be able to financially recover from the crisis, with many forced to operate at a vastly reduced capacity and screen older movies just to keep some money coming in. The drive-through has experienced a huge surge in popularity despite the lack of new content available, too, which has seen some classic titles top the box office over the last few months.

We’ve recently had the likes of Jurassic Park, Jaws, Back to the Future and Ghostbusters battle for supremacy at the top of the charts, and this weekend the top spot is set to be claimed by the 40th anniversary re-release of The Empire Strikes Back. To put things into perspective, Episode V is expected to earn around $500,000 between Friday and Sunday, while in the same three-day frame last year, Spider-Man: Far From Home took the number one spot after bringing in over $45 million in its third weekend.

Widely regarded by fans as the greatest Star Wars movie ever made, this will mark the eleventh time that The Empire Strikes Back has topped the box office, having held onto the title for eight weeks when it was first released in 1980, with the 1997 Special Edition also reaching number one and staying there for two weekends.

The theatrical experience itself might never be the same again following the pandemic, but this nonetheless goes to show that fans are still more than willing to turn up to see Star Wars on the big screen regardless of the circumstances.