Back to the Future's Lasting Legacy
October 21, 2023
This October 21st marks the 9th annual Back to the Future day. The day was first celebrated in 2015 to commemorate the date in which Marty McFly traversed the space-time continuum in Back to the Future Part II.
With a mix of adventure, comedy, and sci-fi powered time-travel, Back to the Future first hit theaters in 1985, and became an instant hit. Characters like Marty McFly and Doc Brown became household names, and before long the franchise began to leave a lasting mark as one of the most iconic and influential films in Universal's history.
The Back to the Future Film that Started It All
With the original 1985 film premiering at #1 in the box office during its opening weekend, the momentum of an excited fanbase led the initial theatrical run to gross an approximate domestic box office gross of $210 million. Critical acclaim garnered the film numerous Golden Globes and Academy Award nominations, including an Academy Award win for for Best Sound Effects Editing. It became the highest-grossing film of 1985, and in 2007, the United States Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. The film is also ranked #1 on RottenTomatoes ‘Favorite 80s Movies’ list.
The Back to the Future Trilogy
After the success of the initial film, two sequel films, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990) were released. In the second film, the characters traveled into the "futuristic" world of 2015, and in the third film, they go back as far as 1885. The sequel films found more commercial success and further cemented the powerhouse title as not just a single smash-hit movie, but as a fully beloved franchise. Continuing the run of on-screen time-travel, an animated series of the same name ran from 1991-1992.
Bringing Back to Future to Life at Universal's Theme Parks
Back to the Future: The Ride first opened at Universal Studios Orlando in 1991, before also landing in Universal Studios Hollywood in 1993, and Universal Studios Japan in 2001. The ride was designed in collaboration with Steven Spielberg, picking up where the film trilogy left off as fans race through time to retrieve the stolen DeLorean time machine. While the rides have since closed, their legacy lives on through exclusive ride video-footage that can be seen as bonus-content on recent DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the films.
Back to the Future Hits the Stage
A musical theater production based on the original film was developed. Back to the Future: The Musical included new music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, and a book by the film’s original creators, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. The show premiered at Manchester Opera House in February 2020, ahead of a 2021 West End production and 2023 Broadway production.
Back to the Future in Video Games
In addition to its theatrical successes, stage productions, and theme park rides, fans who still can’t get enough can engage with the franchise through exciting new video games and digital offerings.
SYBO, the mobile games studio behind the most downloaded game of the past decade, Subway Surfers, has launched a limited-time Back to the Future in-game bundle purchase inspired by the iconic trilogy available through October 31.
Funko has revealed the latest lineup of Digital Pop! collectibles inspired by iconic characters from the timeless Back to the Future franchise. Each of which these will be available on Oct. 17 via the Droppp.io platform
FuturLab and Square Enix Collective revealed their heaviest collaboration yet. The Back to the Future Special Pack is coming to PowerWash Simulator.
How to Celebrate Back to the Future Day
This year, fans don’t have to look hard to find ways to celebrate Back to the Future Day. At home, fans can stream all three films on Peacock or, they can celebrate in theaters with a special screening of the original film. Presented by Fathom Events and Universal Pictures, Back to the Future returns to theaters nationwide on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. local time.