While nowadays everyone and their secret evil helmet-wearing father associates Star Wars with “enduring blockbuster franchise,” there’s no way 20th Century Fox could have known in 1976 whether or not its expensive sci-fi epic would land with audiences. Unless you had asked the studio’s vice-president of domestic distribution, the late Peter S. Myers, who wrote an almost unbelievably enthusiastic memo about the film six months prior to its release. He knew. To say Myers was a Star Wars hype-man would be an understatement. “I am saying the picture should get better treatment than Godfather, King Kong, Jaws, Poseidon or Towering Inferno,” he proclaimed in the telegram, unearthed by StarWars.com. He even declares “it is quite possible Star Wars will emerge as the all time box office champion.” Now, that’s some foresight! I imagine Myers writing this epic telegram while hyperventilating with excitement into a paper bag, a bag which he then fills with thousands upon thousands of dollars. That must have been one big bag.
See the full memo below: