The Star Wars franchise has become one of the most iconic and beloved franchises in movie history. But have you ever wondered how much it cost to make the first Star Wars movie? Let’s dive into the details of this classic film:
The Cost of Creating the First Star Wars Movie:
When George Lucas began working on his space epic, he had a budget of only $11 million. While this may seem like a lot of money, it was actually a relatively small budget for a film of this magnitude. The film was produced by Lucasfilm Ltd., and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Where Did the Money Go?
A large portion of the budget went towards creating the special effects that are now considered groundbreaking for their time. The film’s visual effects supervisor, John Dykstra, developed new techniques that allowed for more realistic and complex visuals than ever before.
Another significant expense was building sets and creating costumes. The production team spared no expense when it came to designing and constructing elaborate sets such as the Death Star, Mos Eisley Spaceport and others.
The Cast and Crew
The cast was relatively unknown at the time, which kept labor costs down. However, there were still notable expenses associated with hiring actors such as Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness.
The crew was also made up of experienced professionals who were paid accordingly for their expertise in areas such as cinematography and sound design.
The Return on Investment
Despite its relatively small budget compared to today’s standards, “Star Wars: A New Hope” grossed over $775 million worldwide after its release in 1977. This made it one of the most successful films in history at that time.
The success of “A New Hope” paved the way for two sequels – “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” – as well as a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, and multiple spin-off films. These subsequent films have earned billions of dollars at the box office.
While $11 million may seem like a small sum by today’s standards for creating such a blockbuster film, it was actually a risky investment for Lucasfilm Ltd. However, the success of “Star Wars: A New Hope” not only paid off financially but also created one of the most beloved franchises in movie history.