:sigh: I can’t believe I’m having this argument, but some guy and I are debating the original release of Star Wars on May 25th, 1977 and how it was received by the public.
He claims that it was a slow opener, that for the first week or two that there were very few patrons and the movie built in popularity just through word of mouth. He claimed there was no media mention of the movie before it came out (nor up until three weeks after), that every critic under the sun panned it, and that it wasn’t even scheduled for nationwide release, Fox hated it that much.
I almost told him he was so full of shit that he squeaks while walking. I did tell him that he ought to do some independent research and not depend upon the PR flacks of Cinemascape (or whatever magazine he got this from) who apparently are trying to recast the history of SW into a Star Trek “the fans kept it alive” story.
The problem is that he is more of a SW buff than I am (I think the entire series is kinda silly), but I know he is wrong in his arguments. The movie was a monster hit from Day 1, when it premiered at Mann’s Chinese Theater. I was 10 at the time and I remember seeing Walter Cronkite talking about how the lines stretched "around the block"to see this new movie that just opened “earlier this week” and getting very thrilled at the clips shown. I told him that it might not have had a wide break it’s first week (NY and LA possibly) but I bet the grosses per theater were huge.
Anyway, can anybody point me to a source where I can get historical weekly box office data for 1977? Variety.com has a free 30-day subscription, but I don’t want to give them my credit card # (which you have to do to sign up) unless I’m certain they would have this info.
Thanks in advance!