November 24, 1999
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace will return to motion picture theatres across the United States and Canada for a one week run beginning December 3, 1999. One hundred percent of the box-office proceeds from this encore charity release will be contributed to local charities selected by theatre owners. This is the first time in history that total revenues generated from the exhibition of a film in movie theatres across the U.S. and Canada will be contributed to charitable causes.
When Star Wars: Episode I was initially released in May it did not have celebrity premieres. Instead, the film premiered in 11 cities as a benefit for local children's charities, raising a total of $5.3 million. Now, in the spirit of the holiday season, Lucas-film, Twentieth Century Fox and local theatre owners are coming together in approximately 350 cities in the U.S. and Canada to create this unique release to benefit 177 different charities.
"We are excited to see this grow from an idea to a reality that will benefit so many in need," said Gordon Radley, President of Lucas-film Ltd. "And we're delighted that so many companies have gotten behind an event that will bring attention and financial support to deserving causes in our communities.
"This is truly a unique event in the annals of the film industry, and we and our exhibition partners are thrilled to have this chance to give something back to our communities," said Tom Sherak, chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Domestic Film Group. "It has been gratifying to see so many people working so hard to bring off this exceptional undertaking."
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace was written, directed and executive-produced by George Lucas. Episode I is the first chapter in a new trilogy set a full generation before the original Star Wars trilogy. Star Wars: Episode II is currently in pre-production and is scheduled for initial theatrical release in the summer of 2002.