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All the Films That Opened Against a Star Wars Movie and How They Did

Updated January 28, 2020 24.9k views13 items

What studio would be foolhardy enough to make one of their films open against a Star Wars movie? You'd actually be pretty surprised by the movies that tried to take on the legendary series. Even though the Star Wars franchise has been a box office juggernaut from the onset, other films have still bravely premiered the same day as a Star Wars opening. Some of those movies have actually done pretty well - others have crashed and burned faster than the Executor during the Battle of Endor.  

But why does this happen? Why do films go up against the most powerful movie franchise in the world? There are many reasons. Some studios think their movies will appeal to an audience uninterested in Star Wars, and sometimes they’re right. Other films, however, are set up on those weekends to get dumped so nobody notices just how bad they are. 

    • Opened Against: A New Hope
    • Budget: Unknown
    • Opening Weekend Box Office (US): $1,728,060
    • Overall Box Office (Worldwide): $126,737,238

    Of course, no one expected A New Hope to redefine movies as we know it. So, putting a movie starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field against it didn’t seem like a big deal. It did very well, eventually spawning two sequels. 

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    • Opened Against: The Empire Strikes Back
    • Budget: $19 Million
    • Opening Weekend Box Office (US): $622,337
    • Overall Box Office (Worldwide): $44,391,156

    It seems like the people behind Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece didn’t mind contending with the sequel to A New Hope. It didn’t do so well in its opening weekend, but managed to accumulate a strong box office haul in total. The film's cult status has probably helped it a great deal over the years as well. 

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    • Opened Against: The Empire Strikes Back
    • Budget: Unknown
    • Opening Weekend Box Office (US): $1,476,425
    • Overall Box Office (Worldwide): $6,621,520

    While it's hard to judge the intentions of the filmmakers, maybe they thought a comedy might stand a chance against a sci-fi film. Unfortunately, in this case, they were wrong

    • Opened Against: The Empire Strikes Back
    • Budget: Unknown
    • Opening Weekend Box Office (US): Unknown
    • Overall Box Office (Worldwide): $1,817,720

    An early Jodie Foster movie co-starring Gary Busey, this film wasn’t meant to make a splash, so putting a small, character-driven movie up against Empire was probably an opportunity for counter-programming. 

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