Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Tops The Box Office For First Time Since 1997

The second Star Wars movie has returned to the top of the box office thanks to drive-in cinemas.


With cinemas currently closed around the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-ins are often determining which films top the box office, and it's not always new movies. This weekend, for the first time since its 1997 Special Edition re-release, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has topped the box office, Deadline reports.

The second Star Wars movie is expected to have earned between $400K and $500K across 483 locations across the weekend of July 10-12, which is enough for it to take the top spot. Black Panther and Inside Out are expected to land in 2nd and 3rd.

Other classic movies to top the box office over the last few weeks include Ghostbusters (July 3-5) and Jurassic Park (June 19-21). The figures they are earning are, of course, significantly less than a new movie would typically earn--before the pandemic, it was almost unheard of in the last decade for the top movie of any particular weekend to open to below $10 million.

New cinema releases continue to be delayed--Tenet was due in July, but is now scheduled for an August 12 release, and Wonder Woman 1984 is delayed until October.

Here are the top 5 film grosses worldwide for 2020 so far, according to Box Office Mojo:

  1. Bad Boys For Life ($419,074,646)
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog ($306,766,470)
  3. Dolittle ($223,343,452)
  4. Birds of Prey ($201,858,461)
  5. The Invisible Man ($125,678,485)

A new major Star Wars game, Star Wars Squadrons, is releasing on October 2 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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