Movie Earnings: E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

A Film Out of This Planet?

The E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a classic movie that everyone has watched and loved! And for those who haven’t taken the time to watch it, we can give you a hundred reasons to do it now. 

Released in 1982, the film is known as part of the Sci-Fi culture and one of the best works by the great director, Steven Spielberg. For decades in the industry, it continues to be a reference in several films in the same genre or many others. 

As of today, the film can feel a bit outdated and boring, but it is expected considering how old it is. Therefore, you will need to look at it based on the decade and how it was set according to the resources available at the time. 

The concept of E. T. and how they have turned out to be part of most recent films in the industry didn’t appear with this movie, but it sure made it more popular in record time. 

Additionally, the cast made it much more enjoyable and perfect for the audience it was made for and even transcended in what it achieved among all the viewers and fans of the film and the director. 

Not sure about it yet? We will be diving into some of the details that will convince you this film is a big success you cannot continue missing. 

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Plot & Cast: Is It Worth Watching?

We get it, aliens and sci-fi aren’t for everyone, but again, this film is a classic you can regret missing above other movies in the industry today. 

If you are someone who is here for the extra information we have to share, like salaries and how popular the film was, you may not be that interested in the plot and cast. However, it will help you have the entire picture. 

For new ones, you will want to watch them after this.

We are presented with a harmless extraterrestrial entity that is left behind by its secret visitors and becomes stranded on Earth in an unfamiliar environment. 

The marooned creature is fearful and alone. A young boy named Elliott discovers him and decides to give him a name: E.T. and develops a bond with the strange visitor.

As the bond grows, it will become stronger naturally. However, as our blue planet becomes a prison filled with dangers and government agents, Elliott and his rescue team must quickly find a way for the intergalactic guest to be reunited with his family. 

Even though this will mean Elliott will lose a dear friend, he is willing to guarantee his safety. 

Things start to go even worse when E.T. gets very sick, and the young boy also suffers from it due to his special connection with the visitor. When the task force arrives, things get very serious, and any plan will be going downhill.

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Although the premise and basic plot of the film aren’t that attractive when first read, it brings more surprises, which makes the film worth your time by being unexpected in every single part thanks to how this Steven Spielberg’s touching tale is built.

Additionally, it has a great cast, and some of the members are great figures in the industry. 

In the main one we have people like: 

  • Henry Thomas as Elliot.
  • Drew Barrymore as Gertie.
  • Peter Coyote as Keys.
  • Dee Wallace as Mary.
  • C. Thomas Howell as Tyler. 

Others like Rika Eleniak, K. C. Martel, Sea Frye, and Robert MacNaughton also took part in this exciting sci-fi adventure.

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Going Behind Cameras – Film’s Production

Sci-fi films usually take a lot of work due to the effects and scenography. This hasn’t changed during all this time due to all the settings and different elements required for a movie. 

When E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial was in production, lots of adjustments and changes needed to be done, thus, a large team was required. 

When it comes to the director, we mentioned that Steven Spielberg handled it, but the film was written by Melissa Mathison and produced by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy. 

When it comes to other roles, Allen Daviau was the one in charge of cinematography while Carol Littleton was handling edition. 

Finally, John Williams took care of the music, and companies like Universal Pictures and Amblin Productions were the ones involved in making it happen. 

The first of the companies handled the distribution and played an important role in the movie’s success.

Now, with the team assembled for production, when did everything start for the film? 

Unlike many people believe, its development started way back when Spielberg had an imaginary alien companion during his parents’ divorce in the 60s. 

The director’s life and difficulties throughout his early years influenced a lot in developing the concept and plot for the film, but it wasn’t until the late 70s that Spielberg would come with a more direct idea. 

After a long journey, the pre-production for E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial was set, and the official filming started in late 1981 in Los Angeles County. 

With lots of work and making sure the film was shot in chronological order to achieve a more convincing and emotional performance, it took 61 days to complete it. 

Fortunately, the result was amazing, and most of it was thanks to Spielberg’s vision of how the action, climax, and every scene in the film should be taking place while considering the child actors and their well-being.

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Talking About Numbers: Box Office & Critics

After all that information, we know you are here for the next part: how much it made and if the critics were really that good about the film. 

For the latter, most people know the film is praised by most magazines and critics, which is why we doubt this is a surprise for you. However, not everyone knows how much it grossed, considering it is quite an old film. 

For starters, the critical response was very positive since its premiere. Although not many were expecting an amazing film, it ended up receiving universal acclaim, and even people known for being hard in their critics gave the film not less than 4 out of 5 stars. 

The most popular sites like Rotten Tomatoes have an average rating of 9.3/10, and the fresh approval unique of the platform is set at 99%. 

Others like IMDb rate it with 7.8/10, with some reviews considering it a bit overrated. However, arguments consider the film to be unique not because of its effects but rather how it emotionally connects with the audience (yes, it will make you cry). 

But focusing on numbers (finally), the film exceeded expectations greatly. With a $10.5 million budget, it grossed over $700 million worldwide. 

During its premiere in 1982 at Cannes Film Festival’s closing gala, followed by its premiere in the USA, it grossed $11 million during its opening and was top 1 for six weeks straight. 

In the end, the international release came strong and almost reached the $1 million mark (this is without considering inflation). 

It ended up grossing $359 million in North America only and $619 million worldwide during the final week.

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Going back to critics and reviews, fans and people overall were very critical yet open about the film. It has positive reviews overall, and despite new additions during recent years, E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial has remained to be a great film for old and new generations. 

When it comes to awards, the film went home with four Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects. 

Other awards were also received and brought glory to the film and Spielberg. 

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Actors’ Salaries: Making Money as Much as the Film?

Although the film is old news, it remains part of the classic but also pop culture today. Pretty much what we have mentioned so far. As a result, communities and fans always share news about salaries, details, and more. 

Focusing on salaries is usually a tough topic to approach, even for recent films and their actors, since earnings are not always disclosed to the public. Besides, some are based on salaries without the usual percentage some cast members receive from the film’s success. 

Now, when it comes to E.T. reports, we have found out how child actors were paid minimum wage. This hasn’t been proven, but one of the main stars, Henry Thomas, has mentioned how he was paid the minimum wage. 

For other actors, salaries of about $5,000 were set at the time, but no details were found. 

The problem with child actors is that most of them don’t receive a fair paycheck for their work, and they are not usually eligible for deals about the film’s percentage and success like some adults. 

However, Thomas has mentioned his claim about the salary that he receives paychecks based on how the film continues to be a big success after all these years. 

Of course, what we must consider is that actors and actresses earn not only money but also exposure.

Some cast members like Drew Barrymore got the chances of their lives to act in several movies that actually brought their net worth to the millions. But Henry, despite being the main actor, wasn’t that lucky. 

As for other details, we are unable to provide you with more info as it hasn’t been disclosed, and for most people, salaries are indeed old news. 

5 Out of This World Facts About E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial

  • E.T. (the character) is a plant-like creature and doesn’t have a gender. Moreover, Elliott’s dear friend is over ten million years old.
  • Henry Thomas was hired on the spot due to his audition and how he expressed sadness while thinking of how his dog died.
  • The initial voice for E.T. was from Spielberg himself.
  • Spielberg and Melissa Mathison thought about making a sequel but then dropped the idea.
  • The original film and concept were based on a family terrorized by aliens, but it changed to a friendly movie and focused the first idea into another, “Poltergeist.”

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Written by Dame Cash

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