Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Analysis

Opening Day Huge for Sith

By John Hamann

May 20, 2005

Hey George, how many billion are you worth now?

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Box office analysts were amazed yesterday when huge box office numbers were announced from midnight screenings of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. With record grosses of $16.5-$17 million already announced from late-night showings, a huge opening day figure was to be expected, but would it be enough to move past Shrek 2 as the biggest one day grosser ever? Yes, yes, yes.

The figures are in, and the Thursday gross for Episode III is a record-breaking $50 million from 3,661 venues and about 9,400 prints. That's good for an amazing one-day theatre average of about $13,650. That beats Shrek 2's one-day record of $44.8 million, and wallops The Matrix Reloaded's opening day record of $42.5 million. It hammers the opening day of Attack of the Clones, which took in $30.1 million, although the second portion of the new trilogy opened on about 500 less screens. Most impressively of all, Episode III's single day total surpasses Hitch's opening weekend total. Hitch (another 48 hours or so) holds the record of being the largest opening weekend of 2005.

The question now is whether Episode III can beat the four-day record set by The Matrix Reloaded, which sits at $134 million. Too many times films like this have been huge on opening day, only to fizzle as the weekend continues. The Matrix Revolutions grossed $24.3 million on its first day, but was only able to muster $83.8 million over its first five days. Expect a huge drop in tomorrow's numbers to about $30 million. >From there, I'd put the weekend at $100 million, and the four day total at $150 million - not bad for a film that cost $115 million to make. While hard news from abroad is not available yet, The Hollywood Reporter did publish a story this morning about huge overseas draws as well.

I'll be back tomorrow to report on Friday's box office, and give a better estimate for weekend and four-day totals for the blockbuster.



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