'Attack of the Clones' Eclipses 'Empire'

by Brandon Gray
July 9, 2002

Men in Black II may have set a new opening record and Spider-Man may have crossed the $400 million mark, but the Fourth of July weekend saw another milestone as the middle of the new Star Wars trilogy surpassed the middle of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones climbed to $291,297,397 after 53 days, topping the $290,475,067 total of The Empire Strikes Back (a.k.a. Episode V) to rank as the 14th highest grossing picture of all time.

The Empire Strikes Back took three releases to reach its lofty sum. Opening on May 21, 1980, it earned $209,604,524 in its initial run. A 1982 re-release pulled in $13,276,241, while the 1997 special edition re-issue added $67,594,302 to the picture's coffers. However, Empire's first release alone would equal about $450 million today adjusted for inflation, or about 50% higher than Clones.

Overall, Empire's gross would adjust to over $560 million today, making it the 14th most popular movie of all time. Clones stands as the lowest ranking Star Wars picture on the all time adjusted chart, but it would come in at a still phenomenal No. 77.

Clones is poised to pass $300 million before it leaves theaters, ending its run at No. 13 in raw grosses and No. 74 in adjusted grosses.

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