The Empire Strikes Back is the number one movie at the box office this weekend. It's been 23 years since the sequel to A New Hope was at the top of the box office. Movie theaters are gradually starting to reopen their doors across North America after closing down at the beginning of the year. However, most of the big chains have not even attempted to open their doors again, due to current case spikes popping up all over the country.
There are less than 500 theaters currently open in the United States, which includes drive-ins, so the box office looks a lot different right now than it did during this exact time last year. While the weekend totals have yet to be officially tallied, The Empire Strikes Back is estimated to have taken in between $400,000 and $500,000 after taking in an additional $175,000 on Saturday. This was more than enough to take the top spot this weekend. As of this writing, the domestic total for the popular sequel is $290.4 million.
The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters again back in 1997, which showcased the changes that George Lucas had made to the original trilogy. Many hardcore Star Wars fans, were and still are, angry about these changes and wish Lucasfilm would release the original theatrical versions of the beloved movies. With that being said, the 1997 edition of the movie added another $67.6 million to its domestic total, which is something any studio would be more than happy to earn at this point in time.
Disney also took the second and third spots this weekend with Black Panther ($110,000) and Inside Out ($106,000), respectively. Last year at this time, Spider-Man: Far From Home was still taking in millions of dollars, while cinema fans were anxiously awaiting Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to open in theaters. A lot has changed since then and it's unclear when we're all going to get back to some form of normalcy at the moment, though Disney and Warner Bros. are pushing for it to happen next month with the release of the Mulan live-action movie and Christopher Nolan's Tenet.
At this time, it is looking more and more unlikely that Mulan and Tenet will be released this summer, or even this fall. Warner Bros. has moved Wonder Woman 1984 to the fall, though it remains unclear if it will stay there. Regardless, there are still a lot of people who are willing to go back to the movie theaters, which is proven by people heading out to Disney World this weekend for the grand reopening. For now, we're just going to have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks as to when more theaters will open up. The Empire Strikes Back news was first reported by Deadline.