Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
September 26, 2020

The Empire Strikes Back

In all my years of writing articles about box office, I never quite thought I'd be commenting on the fact that Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back would win the box office. Yes, I'm aware that it happened back in the 1990s during a crappy January weekend. Nonetheless, this story shouldn't be a reality.

It is, though.

Keeping in mind that Warner Bros. refuses to give daily numbers for Tenet, our top film at the box office on Friday was the 40th anniversary (!) re-release of The Empire Strikes Back. I'm old enough to remember seeing it in the mall movie theater when it was released in 1980, as Star Wars was just about everything to kids back in that time. We loved Luke, we loved Leia, we loved R2-D2, and we thought C-3PO was a little mean and abusive. Also, Yoda was nifty.

With a $360,000 Friday result, The Empire Strikes Back seems likely to earn right at $1 million for the weekend. There is at least some anecdotal evidence to suggest that some places have removed Tenet from their theaters as other films are drawing more interest, so it'll be interesting to see what Warner Bros. does with their weekend box office report.

Tenet should win the weekend with a couple million at least, but you should know that whatever number they report is probably a lie. If they were *truly* hoping to be a long-term earner while having the box office to themselves, it's not going to happen in North America.

Two other movies finished over a hundred thousand according to current reports. The New Mutants continues to limp along, adding $328,000 to its coffers and possibly another million for the entire weekend. It all depends how many drive-ins are showing these films, and some of them are starting to close shop as the weather gets cooler.

Finally, Infidel earned $250,000, serving up content for a right-leaning audience.

Our next big release doesn't arrive until November, as Disney stays committed to releasing Soul on the big screen for now. We'll see if it stays that way.