While movie theaters in many states remained closed, those that have reopened, along with drive-in theaters, have been able to gain an audience by replaying classic films as essentially all new releases this summer have been postponed. Because of this, one classic has made its way to a very familiar top spot in the box office rankings. Twenty three years after its 1997 re-release and more than forty years after its debut, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has been the highest-earning movie of the week after being played in 483 theaters across the country, per CinemaBlend.
This weekend, The Empire Strikes Back made an estimated $500 thousand. While small in comparison to the $4 million opening weekend numbers in 1980 and the near $22 million of its 1997 opening weekend, this news is promising and important in predicting the future of the movie theater industry. It shows us that, with limitations or in other, non-truadional theaters, people would still want to buy tickets to watch their favorite films, in any capacity. With all of the worry regarding the future of movie theaters, these numbers provident least a glimmer of hope for the future of theaters during the pandemic and later on.