Earlier this month at Star Wars Celebration, fans gathered from around the world to celebrate A New Hope's 40th Anniversary. Throughout the past four decades, this first Star Wars movie was often at the top of the all-time box office charts, first beating Jaws, becoming the first movie ever to make more than $300 million domestically. Now it seems a new era is upon us. For the first time ever, Star Wars: A New Hope was knocked out of the all-time domestic box office top 10 by Disney's live-action blockbuster Beauty and the Beast.
Last weekend's $9.9 million take brought Beauty and the Beast's domestic total up to $471 million, surpassing the $460.9 take of A New Hope, according to Box Office Mojo. The first-ever Star Wars movie earned $307.2 million during its original theatrical run back in 1977, plus an additional $15.4 million during a 1982 theatrical re-issue, and $138.2 million from the 1997 Special Edition theatrical release, for a total of $460.9 million. That final tally would be topped later in 1997 when James Cameron's Titanic earned $600.7 million during its original theatrical release, and over $2 billion worldwide.
It's always possible that LucasFilm and Disney could bring A New Hope and the rest of the original trilogy back for another Star Wars theatrical re-release, which could put A New Hope back into the top 10. Then again, even if the first Star Wars movie does find a way back into the top 10, its return may be short-lived. Star Wars: The Force Awakens currently sits atop the all time domestic charts with $936.6 million, although its $2.1 billion worldwide tally still could not surpass Avatar's $2.7 billion mark. The Star Wars spin-off Rogue One has also made its way onto the all-time domestic top 10, in seventh place with $532.1 million. With new Star Wars movies arriving every year for the forseeable future, it's possible that there could be a day when the all-time top 10 is strictly comprised of Star Wars movies.
Fans will get to see the second installment of the new sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in theaters this December. Next year will bring the franchise back to its roots in May, with the Han Solo spin-off, hitting theaters May 25, 2018, the date which marks the 41st anniversary of A New Hope. Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters in 2019, with a third spin-off, which has been rumored to center on either Obi-Wan Kenobi or Boba Fett, slated for release in 2020. As of now, those are the only movies that have been confirmed, but LucasFilm is already developing even more spin-offs as we speak. It certainly wouldn't be surprising to see all of these movies finding their own spots on the all time domestic top 10, but we'll have to wait and see.
As for Beauty and the Beast, it will also surpass another Star Wars movie soon, the 1999 prequel A Phantom Menace, which currently resides in ninth place with $474.5 million. While most fans likely won't shed any tears for the prequel getting closer to being knocked out of the top 10, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope's drop from 10th to 11th place represents the end of an era, but its incredible box office run is still an amazing feat to this date. When adjusted for inflation, A New Hope's domestic tally equates to an amazing $1.5 billion today, the second highest all time behind the classic Gone With the Wind, which earned $198.6 million in 1939, for an adjusted domestic gross of $1.78 billion.