'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' Tops Box Office With Drive-In Theaters

Darth Vader
'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' dominates box office sales through drive-in theater re-release. | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a clearly classic for a reason! Decades after its initial release in 1980, the film is once again topping box office sales.

According to Deadline, the Star Wars sequel clocked in an estimated $175,000 at 483 locations nationwide this past weekend. Oh, and gross sales are only projected to skyrocket from there. The site reports the flick would likely end the weekend with sales raking in between $400,000 and $500,000.

Due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 and movie theaters being shut down, the re-release from a galaxy far, far away arrived in drive-in theaters only, but that didn't stop Star Wars fans from arriving in drones. The decision was seriously a big deal, seeing as it was the first time it hit theaters since the film's February 1997 re-release.

According to Box Office Mojo (per Deadline), The Empire Strikes Back held the number one spot at the domestic box office for eight weeks following its May 21, 1980 release. From there, the franchise installment raked in another $67.6M when the 1997 edition arrived.

What's most interesting, perhaps, is that Disney completely commanded box office sales this past weekend, taking over the top three spots in viewership. Right behind Star Wars came Marvel’s Black Panther at number two, and then Pixar’s 2015 film Inside Out at number three. Disney is the reigning king in terms of drive-in sales, which really does make sense considering most parents are desperate to find activities for their kids this summer!