Saturday, November 7, 2015

Nobody Wanted to Book Star Wars

The myth of Nobody Wanted to Book Star Wars has been repeated ad infinitum. An excerpt from Steve Sansweet's book on collectibles highlighting the STAR WARS banner, which, I believe, now lives at Rancho Obi-Wan, had a colorful description of me ripping the heads of chickens. The excerpt said no one wanted to book STAR WARS. Not true. In my distribution file is a vintage note which I'm sharing. You'll see we had planned on 50 theaters opening STAR WARS on May 25, 1977. The limited release was going to be followed with other theaters releasing the film in June, July and Aug. 1977. This follows a staggered release pattern, which differs from what we see today of a film opening broadly, then several weeks later, disappearing.

It makes for better copy, me being the geek ripping chickens heads off with my teeth, and the wunderkin film nobody wanted... The distribution document is 14 pages long. Here are two more pages, of the 5/27/77 and 7/1/77 dates. What you don't see here is we had the number of media outlets tallied next to the 5/27/77 cities' names because we were planning in advance how to handle the advertising and promotion. We hadn't yet tallied up the number of media outlets for 7/1/77. As it turned out, we were lucky. We didn't need to do anything. After 5/25/77, people were knocking down our doors to get STAR WARS.

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