The Force Is Strong With Return Of The Jedi 40th Anniversary Box Office

For theater owners, this may come as a surprise, of course, but welcome as the Force remains strong with the star wars franchise, following the very successful reissue of Return of the Jedi on the occasion of his 40th birthday. In news that will be music to the ears of The Walt Disney Company, audience demand to travel to a galaxy far, far away is still soaring as the 1983 film that closed the original star wars The trilogy opened to $4.7 million over the weekend, which scored a stunning average of $10,300 per screen.

The film opened in 1983 with a return of $252.5 million as audiences flocked to witness the climactic battle between Luke Skywalker (Marc Hamil) and his father, Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). The film is estimated to have sold over 80 million tickets in its first theatrical release.


The film’s plot saw the Rebel Alliance make a final push against the Empire, which had secretly built a second Death Star on the forest moon of Endor. The film featured parallel plot points of Luke embracing his destiny as a Jedi and finding the conviction to confront his father only to ultimately turn him away from the dark side, despite the influence of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), while on the surface of the forest moon, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) attempt to bring down the deflector shield protecting the Death Star for a final assault, with the help of the native Ewoks.

Star Wars Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford Han Solo
Picture via Disney

RELATED: ‘Return of the Jedi’ Hosts 40th Anniversary Theatrical Run

The future of star wars is the key to disney

At Star Wars Celebration Europe earlier this month, Lucasfilm and Disney made huge announcements about the future of the franchise, including the reveal of three new theatrical films – one of which would be a direct sequel to The Rise of SkywalkerEpisode IX at Jediof episode VI. Although the Skywalker saga is over, there are more than enough threads to pull to keep fans coming back in droves.

Two other films, one about the origin of the Jedi from James Mangoldand another that will conclude the arc of the television series that began in The Mandalorian, will accompany this film. The first of these releases will mark the first theatrical release star wars release in at least 6 years. Disney will therefore be delighted to see such public commitment to the re-release of a 40-year-old film. While nostalgia is naturally a key factor, it shows that the demand for star wars on the big screen is still there.

You can check out the original trailer for Return of the Jedi downstairs. The film is currently showing in theaters.

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