Box Office: 'Force Awakens' Flying Past Every 'Star Wars' Film Save the First
That's adjusting for inflation. Unadjusted, J.J. Abrams' reboot has already bested the six previous movies.
Even when accounting for inflation, Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on track to become the highest-grossing movie in the series — save for the first Star Wars, released in 1977.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, the blockbuster finished New Year's Day with a domestic total of $686.4 million, besting the original North American runs of Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back ($679 million), Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith ($510.8 million) and Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones ($447.8 million). All grosses have been adjusted for inflation.
And sometime over New Year's weekend, Force Awakens will leap past the original runs of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace ($730.4 million) and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi ($697.3 million). Again, that's adjusted.
George Lucas' first Star Wars earned a massive $307.3 million domestically in its original run, or roughly $1.2 billion when accounting for inflation. (The pic was later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.)
Most of the six Star Wars films were re-released. Accounting for inflation, the first Star Wars grossed $1.5 billion domestically; Return of the Jedi's total take in North America was $810 million; Phantom Menace, north of $777 million; Empire Strikes Back, $745 million; and Attack of the Clones with $460 million.
Force Awakens' domestic haul will rise to $740 million or more by the end of Sunday. At this pace, the movie is widely expected to earn $850 million or more in North America.
When not accounting for inflation, Force Awakens is easily the top-grossing Star Wars title of all time, both domestically and worldwide. Through Friday, the film has taken in $1.39 billion globally, including $704.2 million overseas.
It's virtually impossible to adjust international grosses for inflation. Unadjusted, Phantom Menace (1999) is the top earner among the previous six titles with $1.027 billion globally, including $474.5 million domestically and $552.2 million abroad, followed by Revenge of the Sith (2005) with $848.8 million ($380.3 million domestically, $468.5 million overseas) and the first Star Wars with $775.4 million ($461 million domestically, $314.4 million offshore).
Attack of the Clones (2002) topped out at $649.5 worldwide, ($310.8 million domestically, $338.7 million internationally). Return of the Jedi (1983) grossed $475.1 million all in ($309.3 million domestically, $165.8 million abroad), while the lifetime gross for The Empire Strikes Back (1980) is $538.4 million ($290.5 million domestically, $247.0 million overseas).