Continuing a longstanding tradition of box -office graciousness, the Star Wars franchise has conceded its hard-fought throne atop the “biggest opening weekend” leaderboards to a corporate cousin. Avengers: Infinity War, currently sitting at $257,698,183 (a cool $10 million higher than Star Wars: The Force Awakens), has passed its Disney friends and ascended to record-breaking heights.
With that come humility and camaraderie, which is especially easy to do when the money’s all coming back to the same coffer, but also has a long root in the friendship between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
First, look at Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy’s Twitter congratulations to the Avengers:
Sweet, no? This isn't the first time this has happened, though. This first came about in 1977, when Spielberg ran a full-page ad in Variety congratulating his pal Lucas on Star Wars supplanting his Jaws at the box office:
This went back and forth, when E.T. passed Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back passed them both. Then James Cameron got into the mix, earning a coveted piece of Lucas artwork when the former’s Titanic took out Star Wars:
Turns out Titanic had a pretty good grip on things for a bit (besides on navigation and continued buoyancy), and those taking and overtaking its spot didn’t share the same tongue-in-cheek inclination for cross-industry niceties. That is, until 2015, when Jurassic World passed The Avengers and the tradition kicked off again. Then Force Awakens passed the dino film and the torch was passed a final time before last weekend’s laser-baton was passed between Rey and a guy who can shoot rays out of his hands.
If the top-tier tradition continues taking place, there’s every possibility the Star Wars film wrapping up the most recent trilogy could nab another congrats from Spidey and crew. With Avengers 4 possibly retaining the throne next year, it might be as fast a back-and-forth as in Lucas and Spielberg’s heyday.