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If you were one of the many who made their way to cinemas last night to celebrate Back To The Future Day, congrats! You've just made history, as the turn out was impressive enough that it was the top event in theaters last night – raking in $4.8 million.
While that may not sound like anything earth shattering when you look at some of the opening day or weekend stats we put up on a weekly basis, The Hollywood Reporter put the news into perspective. It was mentioned that in the United States alone the trio of films banked $1.65 million for the evening, which put it on top of the charts for Wednesday. For comparison, The Martian made $1.57 million last night, ranking as the highest grossing current release.
So what does this say about Back To The Future? Well, naturally, the film's appeal is enduring enough that 30 years since its initial release its fanbase managed to flood the news with special events and news items. It's a phenomenon that's been very fulfilling to those who were a part of it, as every couple of years the anniversary of Marty McFly and Emmett "Doc" Brown's journey into the past and/or future has been a cause for celebration. But this year was particularly important, because in the film's universe it was the day Marty, Doc, and Jennifer – Marty's girlfriend – traveled to 2015. Naturally, if you were a Back To The Future fan with time on your hands, you were going to want to see these films on a big screen.
Which also brings the next reason why Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's brainchild did so well at the box office: there are generations of fans that didn't get to experience them on the big screen! While the 25th anniversary had a limited re-release of the initial 1985 film, last night's event encompassed all three films. Seeing as a huge amount of Back To The Future fans only got to see the films on home video or television, having that theatrical experience wasn't an opportunity to take lightly. It may not seem like it on the outside, but watching a movie that you've loved all your life on the big screen – for the very first time – is a uniquely rewarding experience.
Most importantly, the re-release of Back To The Future is a living testament to what happens when a film series is left to exist in its original time and incarnation. Despite several rumors, conversations, and the occasional nightmare involving Justin Bieber, the series has never been subjected to any "special edition" or "re-imagining" treatment. For 30 years, all three installments have stayed as perfect as they were when you first laid eyes on them. With so many other films expanding and revising their universes to become a player in the modern film market, whether justified or not, it's refreshing to know that so long as the guardians of the franchise have their way Marty and all he knows and loves will remain untouched.
Back To The Future is on DVD, Blu Ray, and Digital HD; as well as available through Amazon Prime's streaming service.