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Saga Number of tickets sold for each Star Wars movie.

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Binary_Sunset, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I'm biased in my lack of surprise because ROTJ is my favorite film, but it has the ultimate happy ending, I would guess that contributed.
  2. grimlockbedi

    grimlockbedi Jedi Master star 2

    Sep 16, 2006
    Very interesting, thanks Binary! Excellent way to look at it considering the magnitude of the films' success. Something this big would indeed have to be discussed within the parameters of the popultion changes.

    Curious: by ticket sales I assume you are referring to the number of tickets and not the dollar amount of the sales? I would think the former is of (more) interest here - i.e. tickets sold as a pecentage of population moreso than dollars as a percentage - just checking

    EDIT reworded second part
  3. Binary_Sunset

    Binary_Sunset Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 28, 2000
    Exactly so. All my numbers in this thread are dealing with the estimated number of tickets sold--NOT the dollars made. Inflation makes dollar amounts almost meaningless unless the movies compared were all released in the same year.
  4. shanerjedi

    shanerjedi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 17, 2010
    It's funny the fall off in the second films. Even the highly regarded ESB didn't fare that well compared with ROTJ. In fact, ESB and AOTC have many similarities with the %'s.


    Then we see a huge rally for ROTJ after the downturn of ESB. Less so with ROTS after AOTC.
  5. Binary_Sunset

    Binary_Sunset Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 28, 2000
    SW: 25.65%
    ESB: 23.16%
    ROTJ: 32.83%
    TPM: 30.88%
    AOTC: 18.04%
    ROTS: 20.01%

    Here are my guesses as to the causes of the above percentages:

    SW: Great word of mouth. Long lines. Lots of excitement in the air.

    ESB: Most people who saw SW also saw this since they liked the first SW so much, but a few didn't bother, figuring, "One Star Wars is enough."

    ROTJ: This one ends the story! It also answers the question discussed for 3 years: Is Darth Vader Luke's father? It also doesn't have a downer ending like ESB. It has a lot of the great stuff from the 1st SW: a cool shot of a Star Destroyer beginning the film, a Death Star, Luke holding Leia while swinging to safety, etc.

    TPM: A new Star Wars?! It's been 16 years since we've had a new Star Wars! Everyone and his dog went and saw it.

    AOTC: Many viewers of TPM were underwhelmed, and decided to not see the next two prequels.

    ROTS: Some of those who didn't see AOTC decided to see this movie because Darth Vader was in it.

    Of course, the above are all the merest guesses. I feel that my guess about ROTJ is the weakest of the bunch.
  6. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    You left out "Leia in a bikini". ;)
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  7. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    A couple of other points to add about ROTJ: I was in middle school when it premiered, and the discussion I remember had to do with Jabba the Hutt. I don't know whether the technology that created him was new at the time but people talked about it like it was some unique phenomenon. Also, Darth Vader unmasked.

    I was just thankful to get my first glimpse of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker. The film exceeded my expectations.
  8. DanteVader

    DanteVader Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 3, 2010
    One thing yet to come up in the statistical analysis of "then vs now" is the massive change in the number of available screens.

    There are currently more than 40,000 cinema screens in the United States (oldest stat I can find is a near doubling from 22,000 in 1987, surely even fewer in 1977) and on average 3 times as many films (from approx. 200 annual up to as many as 600) released every year.

    Times are so different over multiple eras, it seems unlikely any fair/accurate conclusion can be drawn here.

    Gone With The Wind, for example, was in theatres for 6 years, yet the numbers of screens available could probably be counted in 4 digits.

    Also needing to be considered is the number of showings available. You take 40,000 screens and multiply by 6-7 showings a day and at any given time there's 240,000-280,000 movies being played. Compare that to a world with 8000 screens, with films playing just once or twice a night (8000-16,000 at any given time) and I think the world's and times are just too different to ever successfully compare.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  9. Nordom

    Nordom Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 1, 2004
    A repost from another thread;

    I did a bit of number crunching myself to see how much was added in % to the original gross from each of the SE.
    ANH; about 45% in domsetic gross. Worldwide was hard as I could not find numbers from JUST the original overseas gross. But from the numbers I found, about 45% as well.
    ESB; 32% domestic and 37% worldwide.
    RotJ; 18% domestic and 22% worldwide.
    For TPM it looks to increase with about 10% over it's original gross, both domestic and worldwide.

    What I did was to take the gross from original realease ONLY, so for ANH and ESB I excluded the 82 re-release.
    Then I looked at how much the SE grossed and how many% that is of the original gross.
    Ex, ANH original dom. gross is 307 M$ and the SE added 138 M$. About 45%.


  10. Carbon1985

    Carbon1985 Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 23, 2013
    The reason that the Original Star Wars is so much higher then the Sequels/Prequels simply it was a phenomenon in 1977 unlike any movie because it appealed to EVERYONE. I remember EVERYONE I knew saw Star Wars atleast once, let alone multiple times (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, etc.) It consumed the summer of 1977, and what made it different then other phenomenons like Gone With the Wind, The Godfather and Jaws, is you could be 5 years old, 25 years old, 40 years old or 55 years old and still love the movie. I know so many people who saw SW in 1977, and never saw any of the sequels/prequels, and could care less that Darth Vader is Luke's father. They loved the original because it was a standalone movie of good vs bad. Movies like that appeal to the masses, whereas when you start making sequels/prequels, you start appealing to the diehard fans, but again, SW fandom is so big that the sequels/prequels still did pretty well at the box office, but NOTHING compared to the original.
  11. SweetZombieJesus

    SweetZombieJesus Jedi Padawan star 2

    Apr 12, 2013
    Star Wars (ANH) was a phenomenon, it changed the culture. People went to see it over and over and over. The closest thing we have seen in modern times is Titanic and Avatar, where they play month after month. I was a kid when ANH came out but I didn't get to see it until the 2nd theatrical run encore just before school started, so probably Labor Day weekend or somewhere around there.
  12. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    This is the only one of your fantastic numbers list (which BTW, I am LOVING!) that isn't correct, because you are omitting the international gross, which has a HUGE bearing on expense/returns stats.
  13. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    Wait, this list is just the original release, right? It doesn't include the SE re-releases? (Still a huge pity that the other 5 3D re-releases were cancelled...)
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  14. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    correct. Only original release, only domestic grosses.