How Much Money Did George Lucas Make From the First Star Wars Movie?

George Lucas is a name that has become synonymous with the Star Wars franchise. The man behind the creation of one of the most successful movie franchises in history, George Lucas’s story is one of rags to riches. In this article, we will delve into how much money George Lucas made from the first Star Wars movie.

Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars: A New Hope, released in 1977, was the first movie in the Star Wars franchise. The movie was directed and co-written by George Lucas himself. At the time of its release, no one could have predicted the massive success that it would become.

The Budget

The budget for Star Wars: A New Hope was $11 million. This may not seem like a lot by today’s standards, but back in 1977, it was a significant amount of money.

The Box Office

Despite some initial skepticism from studios and critics alike, Star Wars: A New Hope became an instant hit. The movie grossed $775 million at the box office worldwide. It was a record-breaking amount at that time and surpassed Jaws as the highest-grossing film ever released.

Lucas’s Earnings

George Lucas’s earnings from Star Wars: A New Hope were substantial. According to reports, he earned $150,000 as a writer and director fee for his work on this movie.

However, where George Lucas really made his fortune was through his decision to retain ownership of all merchandising and sequel rights to Star Wars. This decision proved to be a masterstroke as it allowed him to make millions of dollars through merchandise sales and future sequels.

According to reports, George Lucas made over $5 billion from merchandise sales alone since 1977. He also made additional profits from sequels, prequels, television shows, and spin-offs.

The Impact of Star Wars

The success of Star Wars: A New Hope was so great that it spawned a massive franchise that continues to this day. The impact that the movie had on popular culture cannot be overstated. From toys to video games to theme park attractions, Star Wars has become a cultural phenomenon.


In conclusion, George Lucas made a substantial amount of money from the first Star Wars movie. While his initial fee for writing and directing the movie was modest, his foresight in retaining ownership of all merchandising and sequel rights proved to be a shrewd business move. He went on to make billions of dollars from merchandise sales alone and continues to profit from the ongoing success of the Star Wars franchise today.