In 1975, the Steven Spielberg directed Jaws topped the Godfather and the Exorcist to become the number one film in North America and the world. Two years later, George Lucas' Star Wars surpassed Jaws to become the world's most successful film. SW remained on top until the release of Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982. In 1993, Spielberg's Jurassic Park became the highest grossing film in world history, but was # 2 behind E.T. in North America. E.T. remained the # 1 film in N.A. from 1982 to 1997. In 1997, the Special Edition of Star Wars reclaimed the # 1 position in North America and Spielberg bought an ad in Variety Magazine congratulating the return of the Force as the most successful film in N.A. Here is the ad that George bought in Variety Magazine congratulating James Cameron for the unprecedented success of Titanic:
Episode 1 will have an extremely difficult task surpassing Titanic as the world's highest grossing film . . . start saving your money now. Watch Ep 1 as many times as you can in 1999!!!!!