By the mid-1970s, George Lucas had one hit and one bomb underneath his belt. American Graffiti earned $140 million worldwide in 1973, which helped clear the stain left by his characteristic movie debut, the sci-fi failure THX-1138, a film that made an atrocious $5,000 in 1970. So 20th Century Fox in all probability wasn’t enthused by Lucas’ want to movie one other sci-fi film, this one a incredible house opera within the model of the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials that Lucas cherished as a child.
Star Wars obtained an $11 million funds, and no stars, save Oscar-winner Alec Guinness. Fox feared that they had an area turkey on their palms when solely a handful of theaters booked it. So Fox acquired inventive and compelled theaters to point out Star Wars in the event that they needed to launch The Other Side of Midnight, their surefire summer season hit. Nonetheless, Fox anticipated Star Wars to get trounced when it opened within the early summer season of 1977 towards Smokey and the Bandit, starring one of many largest stars of the 1970s, Burt Reynolds.
Whereas Star Wars misplaced that weekend, it opened to a shocking $1.5 million in restricted launch — then demand saved rising. Star Wars warp-sped its technique to a mind-boggling $307 million throughout its initial 18-month run, a tally which has grown significantly throughout subsequent re-releases. At present, Star Wars is the second highest-grossing film of all time, adjusted for inflation. Not even George Lucas anticipated that.