15 Incredible World Records Set by Star Wars – May the 4th Special
Records are meant to be broken. And when you're the biggest space opera in town, breaking records is really second nature. That's why on this special May the 4th countdown video, we'll be taking a look at 15 Incredible World Records Set by Star Wars.
Number 15. Best-Selling Single of Instrumental Music
If not the most iconic theme music of all time, the Star Wars score is certainly up there with the likes of James Bond, Back to the Future, Chariots of Fire, and The Lord of the Rings. So it should come as no surprise that any form of the classic music would sell a ton of copies, even if it be an altered disco arrangement. Yes, you did hear right, as record producer Meco's 1977 release of “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” sold more than two million copies worldwide. This makes it the only instrumental single to have reached platinum status. Moreover, the album in which it featured, Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, even outsold the original movie soundtrack.
Number 14. Largest Entertainment Voice-Over Project
The term MMORPG isn't thrown around lightly, and Star Wars: The Old Republic certainly warrants the label “massive”. But no city, world, or universe can truly feel alive without thousands of non-playable characters to compliment the wave of active users. As such, BioWare went above and beyond to make their game as immersive as possible, hiring several hundred voice actors to record over 200,000 lines of dialogue!
Number 13. Most Prolific Video Game Series Based on a Licensed Property
Star Wars and video games go hand in hand. I mean, who wouldn't want to virtually live out their sci-fi fantasies, whether it be as a Jedi, Sith, Rebel pilot, or clone trooper? And those examples aren't even scratching the surface when it comes to characters and lore. The galaxy far, far away is a seemingly never-ending source of material. So unsurprisingly, Star Wars has produced the most video games based on a license. In fact, as of April 2012, a total of 279 Star Wars games had been released across 41 different platforms. And of course, this number has only continued to grow ever since.
Number 12. Highest-Grossing Space Opera Movie
It should come as no surprise that one of the Star Wars movies has become the highest-grossing of the space opera genre. But what may surprise you is that, before the release of Episode VII, this spot was held by none other than The Phantom Menace. Yes, the film everyone loves to hate was such a draw back in the day. Fans just couldn't wait to see what the galaxy far, far away had next in store, resulting in of a gross of $924 million by February of 2000.
Number 11. Largest Film Merchandising Campaign
1996 was a special year for Star Wars. Not only were we on the cusp of an all-new trilogy, but we were only one year away from the Special Edition re-releases of the original trilogy. Consequently, in May of that year, PepsiCo signed a deal with Lucasfilm to link their Pepsi, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, and Frito-Lay products with Star Wars. Such a wide scale merchandising campaign was unprecedented at the time.
Number 10. Most Successful Action-Figure Range
As we've already touched upon with video games, merchandising is a huge revenue stream for Star Wars. In fact, the only reason why Return of the Jedi concluded on a happy note was to boost toy sales. Also, Ewoks. Even one year after the the release of the original Star Wars, Kenner's range of toys sold more than 40 million units, which equated to over $100 million. Thirty years on, Kenner and Hasbro had generated more than $9 billion from their various lines of action figures.
Number 09. Most Successful Book Series Based on a Film Series
From toys to literature now, novelisations, original novels, reference books, children's books, and role-playing supplements have helped craft the Expanded Universe of Star Wars. In total, over 850 of these additional materials have been produced to date, resulting in more than 100 million sales thus far. Admittedly, many of these novels have been discarded as “Legends”, as of 2014, though this merely frees up space for an entirely new catalogue of stories and tales. So expect sales to increase even more!
Number 08. Most Spoofed Film Series
Given its monumental success and worldwide fame, Star Wars has become the ideal franchise to spoof. So whether it be full-length parodies, such as 1987's Spaceballs, and the “Blue Harvest” episode of Family Guy, or singular scenes across both the silver and small screens, Star Wars has been directly referenced in more than 150 feature films, and countless TV shows, comics, commercials, and online videos. And let's be honest, it'll be extremely hard for another saga to reach this same level of worldwide exposure and recognition.
Number 07. Most Oscars Won For Visual Effects
Even if you dislike Star Wars, for whatever reason (if so, why are you watching this video?), you can't deny the space opera's impact on the world, especially when it comes to film-making. The original trilogy, in particular, pushed cinematic boundaries to blow away audiences with its special effects. As such, American film special effects artist and supervisor Dennis Muren racked up an astonishing 6 Academy Awards for Visual Effects between 1983 and 1994. He also received two Special Achievement Awards for his work on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi respectively.
Number 06. Largest Simultaneous Premiere
We all know by now that the Star Wars prequels aren't the most loved movies in the world. Yet fans across the globe still clamoured to see Anakin's final step towards the dark side - how he finally became the universally revered Darth Vader. And Lucasfilm knew this all too well. As a result, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge the Sith was released simultaneously in 115 territories! As if breaking a world record wasn't good enough, the film-makers also profited a cosy international gross of $303 million.
Number 05. Biggest Opening Weekend Ever for a Re-Released Film
As touched upon earlier, 1997 saw the Special Edition re-releases of the original trilogy. But if you thought George Lucas and company would settle for only one world record during that period, then you'd be very wrong. Each movie saw another theatrical release to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Star Wars, to much fanfare. And while Empire and Jedi proved to be massive hits once more, it was Episode IV that saw most of the attention. A New Hope shone domestically between the 31st of January and the 2nd of February, 1997, but internationally it was unstoppable! Record breaking, in fact, as the re-release took $579,646,015 worldwide!
Number 04. Most Watched Movie Trailer
Ever since Disney bought the rights to Star Wars back in 2012, fans couldn't wait to see what they had in store for the universe itself, and for all of their favourite characters. This excitement was on full display when the second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens amassed an unbelievable 30.65 million views in the space of only one day. There truly has never been a buzz like it, either before or since.
Number 03. Fastest $100 Million Box Office Gross
Sticking with The Force Awakens, the much-anticipated seventh Star Wars instalment acquired $119,119,282 within 24 hours of its US release. This achievement surpassed the previous two-day milestone set by Jurassic World between the 12th and 13th of June, 2015. Unsurprisingly, Episode VII also became the fastest movie to gross $100 million and $200 million. The Last Jedi certainly has some big shoes to fill.
Number 02. Highest Box-Office Gross for a Screenwriter
No longer the proud owner of Star Wars George Lucas may be, but boy - did he make some coin from the franchise, or what?! $4.05 billion of Disney's fortune aside, Lucas has made an absolute killing from his sci-fi space opera to date. Such a profit is only bolstered by his other works, not the least of which being the Indiana Jones series. In all, George has grossed a lifetime total of $3.33 billion in box office receipts from his 15 movies. Lucas also possessed the world record for the highest box office film gross average for a male director. Though that was until 2014, when his average gross of $290.6 million per movie was surpassed by director Lee Unkrich, who has profited around $42 million more.
Number 01. Largest Fortune Made From a Film Franchise
In 1977, George Lucas made a bold decision: rather than taking a director's fee for Star Wars, he acquired the rights to all sequels and future merchandise. This risk payed off massively, as Forbes assigned him a net worth of $3.2 billion, in 2011, giving him the largest fortunate ever made from a film franchise. And while he has since sold the rights to Star Wars, it'll take something truly special to topple Lucas' record...
So, there we have it; 15 world records set by Star Wars. Were there any that we missed? Let us know in the comments below. If you enjoyed today's special, make sure to leave a like. And May the 4th be with you!
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