49. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg made a bet on how popular Star Wars would be
As it turns out, Steven Spielberg had more confidence in Star Wars than George Lucas did. The two both worked on iconic movies around the same time, but Spielberg seemed to have a better grasp on what would do well. When George Lucas was visiting Steven Spielberg on the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the two made a bet. Spielberg bet Lucas that Star Wars would be the more popular film of the two.
Over time, Spielberg has made bank on this bet. The deal was that whoever won the bet would get 2.5% of the other’s film. So if Spielberg won (which he did), he’d get 2.5% of Star Wars and vice verse for Lucas and Close Encounters.
While Steven Spielberg was right about the success of Star Wars, I don’t think even he realized how popular it would be and would continue to be over the years. However, he’s one smart man for going along with that bet. According to Business Insider, this bet could have easily made Spielberg around $40 million. That’s a good chunk of change for him and a ridiculous amount of money to the rest of us.