The Original Movie Poster Blog's First Birthday!
This week marks the first birthday of the Original Movie Posters Blog - sixty-nine posts showcasing movie poster history, movie poster artists (old and new) and the latest in movie news.
Thank you for reading and for being a part of it!
In celebration, this week we are going to take a look at this rare and intriguing Star Wars poster.
The Star Wars First Anniversary / Birthday Poster
In the days of digital download, streaming and blu-rays, even the biggest blockbuster only gets a couple of months in your local cinema or movie theatre. It wasn’t always that way.
Initially released in the U.S. on 25th May 1977, Star Wars (now known as “A New Hope”) opened with a limited run of 43 cinemas. It took over $1.5M in its first weekend.
The wider release, this time at 757 cinemas, was a couple of months later, on 15th July. This time the first weekend took $6.8M.
A month later, this astonishing film was still taking $6M a week.
By November 1977, it was still the top ranked film in the U.S., showing in over six hundred theatres and taking over $2M a week.
At the close of the year, seven months after its initial release, it had taken $196M and was still going strong in over four hundred theatres. Imagine that today!
Star Wars' Cumulative Box Office in 1977
Come May 1978, one year after opening, Star Wars could still be seen in around one hundred cinemas across the U.S. and Lucasfilm decided to commemorate the occasion with a special movie poster.
A few designs were considered, including a sketch by Ralph McQuarrie of Artoo delivering a cake with 365 candles, before a simple image that included the Kenner Star Wars toys was selected.
Only distributed to theatres still showing the movie in May 1978, this is now a very rare and highly sought after poster.
It features eleven of the twelve toy figures produced by Kenner. Which one is missing?
Apparently its small size threw out the balance of the image, so it was removed for the final photograph!
Who could have predicted that over forty years later, one movie, set ‘A LONG TIME AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY…’ would have such an impact on popular culture. Amazing.
Thank you to all our readers and customers. Here's to the next year of the blog!
Adam and the Art of the Movies team.
(Our thanks to Box Office Mojo for the stats used in this blog post.)