Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spielberg still cashing in on Star Wars bet

Steven Spielberg still makes money from Star Wars thirty years after coming out on top in a bet with movie mogul pal George Lucas. Lucas was so convinced his first Star Wars film would be a flop in 1977, he bet Spielberg a percentage of the take his sci-fi epic, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind would be a bigger film. Spielberg recalls, "George came back from Star Wars a nervous wreck. He didn't feel Star Wars came up to the vision he initially had. He felt he had just made this little kids' movie. "He came to Mobile, Alabama where I was shooting Close Encounters on this humongous set and hung out with me for a couple of days. "He said, 'Oh my God, your movie is going to be so much more successful than Star Wars. This is gonna be the biggest hit of all time.' "He said, 'You want to trade some points? I'll give you two and a half per cent of Star Wars if you give me two and a half per cent of Close Encounters.' "I said, 'Sure, I'll gamble with that, great.' And I think I came out on top of that bet. "Close Encounters made so much money and rescued Columbia from bankruptcy. It was the most money I ever made, but it was a meagre success story. Star Wars was a phenomenon and I was the happy beneficiary of a couple of points from that movie which I am still seeing money on today."

5 comments:

Jim said...

AWESOME!!!

Steve said...

Canny little bugger!

Michael G Clark said...

Bugger! If only I'd made that deal with Pete Jackson when he offered!

paulhd said...

Didn't Lucas do this deal with a few directors? Seem to recall reading he fell out with John Millius when Millius wouldn't give the points back after Star Wars was a hit and Big Wednesday flopped. All wallet that Lucas.

Chris Battle said...

One of my Dad's friends worked for Lucasfilm back in the early 80's and told us that after the first Star Wars was such a big hit, every employee got a nice big bonus. Everyone-- janitors and all.