Though it seems box-office records break every other month, when inflation is taken into account there is really nowhere near as much change with classic movies from decades past doing the kind of business modern blockbusters often can only dream of.
That doesn’t mean they can’t put in an impressive showing though. J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has already topped all six previous movies in the franchise at the U.S. domestic box-office in unadjusted numbers.
However, THR reports that even with inflation taken into account, ‘Force’ is on track to become the highest-grossing movie in the series aside from the very first in 1977. At the end of New Year’s Day, the U.S. total for ‘Force Awakens’ stands at $686.4 million.
In comparison with the rest of the series with their totals adjusted for inflation, it already sits above “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” ($447.8m), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith ($510.8m), and “The Empire Strikes Back” ($679m). By the end of the weekend, it will pass “Return of the Jedi” ($697.3m) and “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” ($730.4m).
However it remains far behind the original 1977 film which made $307.3 million in its initial run, a figure that works out to roughly $1.2 billion in adjusted dollars. With the re-releases added on, that jumps to $1.5 billion for the first while the others (bar ‘Clones’) all jump above $745 million.
Sadly, adjusting international grosses for inflation is virtually impossible due to differing rates of inflation around the world and lack of records.