The One Way J.J. Abrams Can’t Beat George Lucas

December 16, 2015, 5:29 PM UTC
Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Arrivals
J.J. Abrams poses with 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.
Photograph by Barry King—WireImage

Later this week, The Force Awakens, the latest installment in the epic Star Wars saga, will light up screens across the world, delighting geeks and non-geeks alike. When it comes to earning power, though, the J.J. Abrams-directed film won’t be able to hold a candle to George Lucas’ 1977 original for one simple reason — inflation.

Essentially, even though the movie is going to make buckets and buckets of cash, it can’t make up for the lowering in value of cash since 1977.

Explains writer Kyle Stock in Bloomberg:

A New Hope was a smash success financially, a bona fide blockbuster in the dawn of the blockbuster era. With cinemas screening the original Star Wars for most of 1977 and 1978, the film garnered $512 million in ticket sales. What’s truly incredible about that figure is that movie tickets in 1977 cost just $2.23 on average. That means about 230 million people went to see the film, slightly more than the population of the U.S. at the time. “It was an absolute phenomenon,” Dergarabedian said. “And it came just after Jaws, which kind of set up the blockbuster mentality.”

In today’s dollars, the first Star Wars is a $2.4 billion movie, slightly more than what Goldman Sachs expects from The Force Awakens.

The Force Awakens is out this weekend. May the Force be with you.