Part of the fun of a new sensation like Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in dissecting the numbers. We’ve spent a lot of time sharing how amazing Wookiepedia has expanded in the wake of the film’s release as well as discussing the box office receipts for the movie but when peeking through the numbers something puts things in perspective. No matter how big this film ends up being, it’s a blip compared to the original Star Wars: A New Hope when you adjust for inflation. Especially considering that there was no Star Wars nostalgia in 1977. There was no marketing machine pushing the envelope in terms of global saturation. There was nothing except a little movie that proved the universe wrong.
As of this writing The Force Awakens has already become the number three grossing film of 2015. In a week. It’s going to crest $400,000,000 by the end of Saturday. It’ll be well over $800,000,000 globally by then. It’s bonkers. Until you look at the first film adjusted for inflation.
If Star Wars: A New Hope were a 2015 product based on ticket sales, the film would have pulled in $1,485,517,400 domestically. Add the rest of the world and the number is astronomical. In theory The Force Awakens could eventually do $1,500,000,000 domestically. It’s not impossible but it’s seriously improbable. It’d have to double Avatar‘s numbers. It’d have to double $760,507,625, which is the current high water mark in history. That’s all, just do double the business of the very best ever. That’s perspective. Disney has put the full weight of their energy into making this latest installment the film event of the decade and it’s not even in the same galaxy as the original film in terms of butts in seats.
Granted, in 1977 we didn’t have the television choices we have. We have hundreds of channels to keep us grafted to our couches. Back then had nowhere near as many distractions and forms of entertainment at our fingertips. But we have more people. A lot more. There are 100,000,000 more humans in America than there were in 1977. And we are very well-read and savvy culture. We embrace the buzz and hype and the watercooler discussion alone makes The Force Awakens a must-see part of the cultural spectrum. And while when the smoke clears this new juggernaut may have torn asunder all the known world records of the box office it will still gaze longingly at what George Lucas and his underdogs pulled off all those many years ago. It’s good too. Star Wars: A New Hope deserves that perch. Well, until realize that Gone With the Wind‘s blows it away by $200,000,000 when you account for inflation.
But there are no Jawas in Gone With the Wind so it’s instantly disqualified.
Source: Box Office Mojo