It goes without saying that the Star Wars film franchise is one of the most popular ones that we have seen in Hollywood’s history. And in this Lottoland’s article, we’re going to have a look at the budget of all the Star Wars movies as well as how much they’ve made upon their release.
The Star Wars series was on a break after this somewhat mixed reception to the latest movie that was The Rise of the Skywalker, something that failed to meet Disney’s lofty expectations. The Disney streaming service, Disney Plus provides an outlet for new Star Wars content without the weight of a potential box office failure. However, we are here to talk about how much each Star Wars movie cost and how much they made at the box office.
Despite all that, Star Wars movies remain some of the most beloved of all time for having one of the most riveting storylines, engaging characters, as well as really cool concepts and costume designs.
How much has each Star Wars movie made?
1. Star Wars
Budget: $11 million
Worldwide box office: $775,512,064
Even after 43 years since its release, the first-ever Star Wars film is still one of the most financially successful films to date. Upon release, Star Wars had earned over $2,556,418 in its first six days of release, which would equal $10.8 million in 2019. Star Wars had smashed several records at that time, including the highest-earning film in North America after six months of release, eventually earning about $220 million during its initial theatrical run. It would later be released internationally in 1978, of which the total amount now equals $775,512,064.
2. The Empire Strikes Back
Budget: $18 million
Worldwide box office: $547,975,067
Compared to the $1.5 million Memorial Day opening weekend at the first Star Wars did, The Empire Strikes Back earned over $4.9 million during the weekend. However, the film ended up earning a total of $547,975,067.
3. Return of the Jedi
Budget: $32.5 million
Worldwide box office: $475,306,177
Upon its release, Return of the Jedi grossed over $309.3 million in Canada and the United States, and over $166 million in other territories, for a global total of $475.3 million. These box office earnings were made against a production budget of approximately $32.5 million. This was because Lucas was given more money from the studio and poured his heart and soul into the third and final installment of the original trilogy. It gave a fitting end to beloved characters, including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa, and saw the long-awaited defeat of the Empire against the Rebel Alliance.
4. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Budget: $113 million
Worldwide box office: $850,035,635
Our next entry in this Lottoland’s article includes one of the prequel trilogy movies in the form of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Released over 115 countries worldwide, the film reached about $849 million, making it the second most financially successful movie of 2005, right behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Despite the relatively smaller production budget compared to its two predecessors, Revenge of the Sith was one of the finest entries in the series thanks to its heavy amount of lightsaber action and intense storyline, especially the birth of the insidious Darth Vader himself.
5. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Budget: $115 million
Worldwide box office: $649,436,358
Next up is the middle entry of the prequel trilogy series, Attack of the Clones, which did $649,436,358 at the worldwide box office. Despite being a box office success, Attack of the Clones’ performance was not on par with its predecessor, The Phantom Menace. However, like the first movie, AOC was also heavily criticized due to Lucas’s new approach to writing and Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker.
6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Budget: $115 million
Worldwide box office: $1,027,044,677
The Phantom Menace was the start of a brand-new chapter in the Star Wars movie franchise depicting the events before the first movie was released back in 1977. With a production budget of $115 million, a fantastic cast, and some groundbreaking special effects, George Lucas was so sure that he had found another hit in his hands. Unfortunately, in its entirety, the movie was a disappointment to many fans, especially when a new character by the name of Jar Jar Binks was given more screen time for whatever reason.
7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Budget: $200 million
World box-office: $1,056, 057,720
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a gamble for the newly acquired Star Wars franchise. Helmed by relatively inexperienced, but highly rated, Gareth Edwards and set just before the first Star Wars film released in 1977 it was the first live-action theatrically released Star Wars film not part of the main saga. Almost the entire last third of the film was reshot, but it still managed to rake in over $1 billion at the box office. Both critics and fans enjoyed the nostalgia and appearances of Darth Vader in all his glory.
8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Budget: $245 million
World box-office: $2,068,223,624
With this much hype as Avengers: Endgame and Avatar had by the time they were released, the same type of hype was also generated by The Force Awakens, which many consider the return of the Star Wars film franchise to greatness. The movie gave diehard fans a reason to see original characters, including Luke, Han, Leia, and new characters, including Kylo Ren, Ray, Finn, and Poe Dameron. At over $2 Billion, The Force Awakens is the highest-grossing Star Wars movie of all time.
9. Solo: A Star Wars Story
Budget: $275 million
World box office: $393,151,347
Solo is the film that broke Disney’s confidence in Star Wars movies at the box office. With an estimated budget of $275 million, it is one of the most expensive movies of all time. However, anything that could have gone wrong in movie production went wrong on Solo: A Star Wars Story. The directors were fired for creative differences, the main cast reportedly did not have much chemistry, then it was released the week after Deadpool 2 and a month after record-breaking Avengers: Infinity War. Unfortunately, even veteran director Ron Howard could not save Solo, even if it is a solid entry to the franchise.
10. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Budget: $275 million
World box office: $1,074,144,248
It may be the third entry in the sequel trilogy, but it was a commendable send-off from Disney to the Skywalker saga after JJ Abrams was given a massive $275 million budget. Even if fans and critics did not all enjoy this entry to the series it was very profitable bringing in over $1 billion worldwide.
11. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Budget: $317 million
Worldwide box office: $1,333,539,889
And finally, finishing our list in this Lottoland’s article is perhaps the most expensive Star Wars movie ever made, but also infamously, maybe the most divisive as well. The fans just couldn’t comprehend many of the creative decisions that transpired in this movie, including what became of old favorites like Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Those scenes still haunt the fans even to this day after three years since its release.
Star Wars Disney Plus Shows
Disney has now changed their Star Wars strategy to produce content for its streaming service Disney Plus. The Mandalorian was a rousing success, but the other two shows The Book of Boba Fett and Kenobi received mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.
Andor is set to arrive in August 2022, with more movies potentially on the way in 2023 from Taika Waititi, and a Rogue Squadron film from Patty Jenkins. Disney, like other streaming services, does not release viewing data, so there is no way to know how successful the Disney Plus releases are. But they are investing in the Star Wars brand, with multiple projects including fan favorites getting their own shows.