“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is breaking records and it’s still a month to go before the hotly anticipated space opera opens in theaters.
Insiders confirm that the seventh film in the hugely popular franchise has generated more than $50 million in advance ticket sales.
Fandango tells Variety that the picture is the biggest pre-seller in the history of the ticketing company, trumping the first “Hunger Games.” Most Imax screenings have sold out, but outside of those premium formats, there are tickets remaining to many shows on opening weekend. Theater chains are continually adding extra showtimes to keep up with demand, a Fandango spokesman said.
MovieTickets.com, the country’s other major online ticketer reports that advance sales for Star Wars represent the most tickets ever sold for one film by the company when compared to all other films at the same point in roll out.
The excitement surrounding the new “Star Wars” is a mixed blessing for Disney, which is trying to reboot the series and kick-off a new trilogy and spin-off adventures. While it doubtless is galvanized by the reception, it must also massage expectations.
Pundits are already predicting that “The Force Awakens” will sprint past the $208.8 million earned by “Jurassic World’s” debut to score the biggest opening in history. But no film has ever opened to more than $100 million in December and the Christmas movie-going season is competitive one. At the very least, “The Force Awakens” seems destined to eclipse the $85 million bow of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” to set a new benchmark for December openings.
Another major question is what kind of multiple will it have on its opening weekend. “Avatar,” the highest-grossing film of all time, opened to a respectable $77 million, but what made it a phenomenon was its endurance. Its debut was just 10% of the film’s $750 million global gross, whereas “Jurassic World’s” kick-off was 32% of its $652 million stateside haul.
It’s too early to give a sense of how many theaters “The Force Awakens” will screen on, but sources predict it will be on at least 4,000 theaters.
The Wall Street Journal first reported “The Force Awakens'” record sales.