May 25, 1977: Star Wars – Episode IV Released
1977 – in a theater not too far away…
Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) was first released to theaters. Opening weekend sees $6 million of the $11 million budget in return, however, the longevity of the movie has grossed over $797 million (for Ep. IV only). This surpassed Jaws as the nominal highest-grossing film and remained that way until being surpassed by E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in 1983. Add to that, George Lucas was the first movie maker to keep the rights of the toy creation – netting billi0ns in revenue. The film starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness, among others.
Star Wars: A New Hope was followed by Empire Strikes Back, then in 1983, the Third (technically 6th) movie in the series – Return of the Jedi – was released. That had a budget of $32 million and netted $23 million opening weekend and $656 million worldwide.
Of course, George Lucas also released Episode I: the Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Happy 35th anniversary to a historic franchise!
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 25
- Phillips electronics released the Laservision
- CERN holds the first World Wide Web conference
- Google Street view is launched in the US
- A signed Steve Wozniak Apple I sells for $671,000