UPDATE, 8:39 p.m. – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” didn’t just break pre-sales records, it eviscerated them.
The seventh film in the science-fiction franchise has sold more than $100 million worth of tickets, sources confirmed Tuesday to Variety. Those include showtimes through the New Year, but it is reasonable to assume that many of those tickets are for opening weekend showtimes.
This kind of numbers has box office tracking suggesting that “The Force Awakens” will do more than $200 million worth of business on its opening weekend domestically and could even surpass “Jurassic World’s” $208.4 million debut to establish a new record. Screenings start at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Despite the heady numbers, exhibitors and Disney, the studio behind the film series, stress there are still seats available and note that theaters are adding extra showtimes to meet demand.
“The Force Awakens” currently ranks as Fandango’s top advance ticket-seller of all time, while MovieTickets.com reports that the film has sold more than double the number of advance tickets to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” 33% more than “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” and 20% more than “Jurassic World.”
The previous record holder for pre-sales, “The Dark Knight Rises,” did $25 million worth of business in the lead up to its release.
MovieTickets.com also said Tuesday that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had comprised 91% of all sales on the site over the previous 24 hours and that total Monday sales had tripled the entire site total from three days earlier.
Disney distribution executive Dave Hollis issued a statement Tuesday night in response to the reports of more than $100 million in advance sales for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: “The advance ticket sales for ‘Star Wars: The Force’ Awakens’ are beyond what anyone could’ve anticipated, let alone for a December release, but with that said, theaters not only have millions of tickets available for this weekend, but they also in most cases have the ability to add shows and screens according to demand.”