Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi Returns To The Top 5 At The Box Office 40 Years Later

It was, in some ways, a rather uneventful weekend at the box office — or so it seemed on the surface. We had a repeat of the prior weekend, with "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" once again taking the top spot (now for the fourth week in a row) with very little drop-off. The animated flick has already crossed $1 billion worldwide, becoming just the fifth movie of the pandemic era to do so. Meanwhile, "Evil Dead Rise" once again came in at number two, dropping just 50% to add $12.2 million domestically. Globally, it sits at $86 million and will soon pass "Evil Dead" 2013. Most interesting of all though: "Star Wars" is back in the top five on the charts.

Yes, Disney decided to re-release "Return of the Jedi" in theaters to honor the film's forthcoming 40th anniversary and, as it turns out, audiences still really love the original trilogy. Per The Numbers, the 1983 blockbuster added $4.69 million (from just 475 screens) to its ever-growing total. It now sits at $479 million globally through its various re-releases, most notably the 1997 "Special Edition" 20th anniversary release, which was a huge deal. If nothing else, it shows that there is still a pretty healthy appetite for "Star Wars" in theaters.

George Lucas' finale to the original trilogy actually pushed "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" (which added just over $4 million in its fifth weekend) out of the top five. That film's disappointing run is truly starting to stall out at $194 million globally. Against a $150 million budget, this is not what Paramount or Hasbro had in mind, especially since the fantasy flick earned very positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. So it goes sometimes.

Several newcomers struggle to get it done

Moving onto some new films that quietly hit theaters over the weekend, Lionsgate's "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." rounded out the top three with an okay-but-not-very-good $6.8 million start. Based on Judy Blume's seminal book of the same name, the film has earned downright stellar reviews (read our review here), yet didn't manage to connect with a wider audience. Against a $30 million budget, it will need good word of mouth to turn a profit in theaters — although this one could do well on VOD in the long run. Still, it's not going to be a breakout hit theatrically, that much is certain.

Lionsgate actually released two films this weekend, with the World War II action flick "Sisu" also debuting. It landed at number 10 with a modest $3.25 million. Though, against a $6.5 million budget, this one should be just fine in the long run. Most interesting, the take was just enough to push Sony's much more expensive biopic "Big George Foreman" out of the top 10, with the boxing film landing at number 11 with just $3 million. This one will not be riding the coattails of "Creed III," it seems.

The Indian blockbuster "Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two" snuck in at number eight with $3.81 million. Nothing to write home about, but it proves that Indian cinema post-"RRR" truly does have a place in North America, which is good. Unfortunately, the much-acclaimed "Polite Society" from Focus Features absolutely tanked, earning just $800,000 on 927 screens for a miserable $862 per-screen average. /Film's own Ben Pearson reviewed it out of Sundance, giving the film an 8.5 out of 10. It's simply not great news for interesting, original movies, the film's reported $35 million budget now looming very, very large.

And the rest...

In more positive news, "John Wick: Chapter 4" landed in the number four spot with another $5 million. Its global total now stands at $402.1 million, making it Lionsgate's biggest movie ever not connected to "Hunger Games" or "Twilight." Meanwhile, Ben Affleck's "Air" continued to put up solid numbers, taking in $3.98 million. Again, Amazon isn't going to turn a profit in theaters, but $75 million worldwide to date is nothing to sneeze at, which should help set it up for a better run on Prime Video in the coming weeks.

Circling back to bomb city, Guy Ritchie's war film "The Covenant" took in just $3.6 million in its second weekend, falling to ninth place. The $55 million-budgeted MGM release has earned just shy of $13 million in total domestically, which is just plain terrible. This one is going to go down as a big loss for all involved, sad to say. Looking ahead, we've got a big one hitting theaters this upcoming weekend in the form of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which means Mario is finally going to have to give up the throne. The bigger question for Marvel's latest will be how it legs out — not so much the opening weekend though, as that's guaranteed to be big.

Top 10 movies at the box office for April 28 — 30, 2023:

1. "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" — $40 million

2. "Evil Dead Rise" — $12.2 million

3. "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." — $6.8 million

4. "John Wick: Chapter 4" — $5 million

5. "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" — $4.69 million

6. "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" — $4.09 million

7. "Air" — $3.98 million

8. "Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two" — $3.81 million

9. "The Covenant" — $3.6 million

10. "Sisu" — $3.25 million