'The Empire Strikes Back' has topped the US box office, 40 years after its first release, and 23 years after the Special Edition re-release.

Directed by Irvin Kershner, the follow-up to 'A New Hope' pulled in an estimate $175,000 across the US at 483 cinemas. While social distancing guidelines and shelter-in-place orders are still in place in many US states, some have allowed cinemas to reopen on a phased basis.

Per BoxOfficeMojo's figures, the re-release of 'The Empire Strikes Back' has brought its US total box office haul to around $290 million. Prior to this, the movie was No.1 at the box office on its initial release for a total of eight weeks, and was two weeks at No.1 when it was re-released in 1997.

Currently, the US cinema market is in freefall, with only drive-in theatres being able to stay operable given the recent surge of COVID-19 across the country. Meanwhile, here in Ireland, cinemas have reopened almost two months ahead of schedule.

'The Empire Strikes Back' is currently playing in a number of Irish cinemas, with many screenings of the sci-fi classic selling out. Unfortunately, no hard date is available on how the movie has done here in Ireland as ComScore, the media / analytics that tracks box-office data in Ireland and the UK, has suspended reporting for the forseeable future.