And it's off! Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith hit busy theatres at midnight on Wednesday with suprising force.
Midnight Box Office Numbers for Episode III
Summer Box Office Strikes Back
By John Hamann
May 19, 2005
The Hollywood Reporter says the final installment in the George Lucas epic grossed between $16.5 and $17 million *from midnight screenings only*. That's why studios love fanboys. Midnight showings were available at about 2,900 screens according to Fox's president of domestic distribution.
As Reagen Sulewski reported yesterday at BOP, midnight screenings for event films like this one usually rake in about $5-7 million. Revenge of the Sith has benefited from an increased number of fanboys since 1999, good reviews, and an increase in ticket prices. Star Wars Epidsode III now has an excellent chance to beat the one-day box office record currently held by Shrek 2 at $44.8 million. Attack of the Clones grossed $30.1 million on opening day in 2002, but that number also included midnight showings. The third in the series should have no problem beating that number.
At this point I'm not sure if this is excellent news for the blockbuster, or if fanboys for this one were just more ravenous than usual.
Check back tomorrow when I'll have the box office numbers for the Sith's first full day of release.