‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shatters Ticket Sales Records

Star Wars Trailer
Courtesy of Disney

The force is strong with the upcoming “Star Wars” sequel.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has established a new record, bypassing “The Hunger Games” to move the most tickets in its first day on sale, Fandango reports. It didn’t just surpass that picture, it shattered its benchmark, outselling “The Hunger Games” eight times over. Traffic to the online ticketer’s site surged to seven times more than its peak level in less than 24 hours.

“This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,'” Fandango said in a statement. “The enthusiasm for this year’s most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on Dec. 18.”

There are already sellouts, particularly in Imax screenings, and to meet the demand, movie theaters are continually adding show times, the online ticketer reports. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” presales also broke every Imax record, generating over $6.5 million. The film eclipsed “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Avengers,” which each earned around $1 million for their first reported presales.

MovieTickets.com did not release any data, but “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the top-selling film on its site. It represents 95% of sales over the past 24 hours. Interest in the film was so intense that both MovieTickets.com and Fandango reportedly crashed for some users.

The first full-length trailer for the film debuted on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. It appeared in conjunction with tickets going on sale. That footage has been viewed nearly 12 million times on the official “Star Wars” YouTube channel.

The film is intended to kick off another trilogy of pictures and brings back cast members from the first film, such as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, along with new stars Adam Driver, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. J.J. Abrams directs the film. There are also planned spin-offs and origin stories expected to debut in the coming years, as Disney and Lucasfilm hope to embrace the Marvel model of building a cinematic universe.

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  1. rossmitchell says:

    We new that was going to happen the force is strong with this one

  2. Ryan says:

    Is Avatar a great movie….. Nope, not really. That movie made 2.8 billion dollars. The question on everyone’s mind has nothing to do with box office. Of course this movie is going to make billions. So what. You could film a rotting tomato and put the title Star Wars on it & it will make billions. The real question is this movie going to be any good. Personally I think it’s going to be another rotten tomato.

  3. Brad says:

    @ Ashley and John.
    Hey, if you and the others want to stand and line and sit elbow to elbow with sweaty Star Wars fans on December 18, more power to ya. But I thought that the whole point was the film itself, this has turned into the hype – the ‘experience’ and the marketing actually surpassing the relevance of the movie itself. I am a big movie fan, and follow specific directors careers, and I have never stood in line opening night for a movie because I think it is irrelevant. And what other people think about it has little bearing on my experience either. I have seen throngs eat up movies as “awesome’ that are downright terrible, and movies that were reviled that I thought were pretty good. I do not think going to the new Star Wars at the end of January, or even February, deprives me of any experience of movie joy, it might deprive me of Star Wars nerd sweat, but I can live with that.

    • StarWarsFan says:

      @ Brad my god can you hear yourself? Seriously?! You sound like one of those pompous douche bag actors who for the lack of better word act like they know everything and are better then everyone else.
      Fine you don’t want to go on opening night, but guess what? Some of us are excited and want to be one of the first ones to see it. Wait as long as you like, he’ll don’t even go to see it but let me tell you, your whining on the Internet is in no way going to stop this film making BILLIONS, people from all over the planet loving it and ENJOYING it. Go back to the dark cave you crawled out from and wallow in your ‘I’m going to criticise others to sound better then them’ attitude and do us all a favour.
      We sure aren’t going to miss you on opening night when we are excited, sweaty, and HAVING FUN.
      No, wait why don’t you turn up and maybe us sweaty nerdy Star Wars fans can teach you how to have some fun.

      • Brad says:

        I did not say I was better than anyone, nor did I say I was on a campaign to stop the movie from making a whole lot of money. That was unusually harsh, and you hurt my feelings- for just a minute or two with that pompous etc talk.

        I think that the success of this movie is pretty inevitable, especially considering how much Phantom Menace made, even when most of it was endless dribble about galactic taxation. But Star Wars fans, as you name yourself indeed, have shown themselves willing to throw a lot of cash for almost anything that has that name on it, At least JJ is a considerable more talented director than Lucas. I think that chances are pretty good that this film will surpass the prequels in terms of reviews and box office.

        Have fun StarWarsfan

  4. ian says:

    i think we all knew long ago this will break all records – Titanic, Avatar, Wizard of Oz, you name it – when it’s all said and done this will be #1 of all time financially – i also recommend the movies “grand Canyon” by Lawrence Kasdan (it’s a bit rough/dramatic) but i think pretty good – its emotional but i have always thought a lot of his film, and of course Return of the Jedi -!

  5. Guest says:

    8 times?

  6. Fay11 says:

    Like you seriously couldn’t be bothered to add in Mark Hamill’s name in that last paragraph?!?
    You included three new cast members who are the main stars, and Mark Hamill is the lead of the OT. It’s Luke Skywalker dammit, show him some respect!!! :P

  7. brad says:

    You know people, if you see the movie at the end of January – it is the same movie that people see on December 18th. Geez

    • Does it bother you so much that people want to see it when it comes out? What you says makes sense but why does it bother you? Plus people would like to see it when it comes out so they don’t have to hear how great it was till “…the end of January”.

    • Jerome Maida says:

      Please do be quiet…People are excited about something..That is great for the film industry!

      • Ashley Robles says:

        Meant that reply to be to Brad :)

      • Ashley Robles says:

        It’s not just about seeing the movie but the experience of it. Waiting in lines and meeting others who love Star Wars just as much and being able to watch the very first showing. It may be the same movie at the end of January but it won’t be the same experience.

    • Anthony Budreau says:

      Yeah unless you wanna stay off social media for half a month, you might wanna see it within the first few days

  8. VadrEsq says:

    Well, I’m part of the hype then and proud of it. I bought opening night 7pm show, then the next 3 days as well to see at all my favorite theaters including City Walk IMAX and Grauman’s Chinese. GOONA BE EPIC! We (true Star Wars Fans) have been waiting for this movie for 30 years. Don’t let us down JJ, we’re counting on you!

  9. lisa t says:

    Whoever is in charge of the Star wars marketing campaign should get a medal!

    • nerdrage says:

      Disney should get a medal for taking Star Wars away from George Lucas. Imagine all the money he could have been making for years if he’d done movies with Hamill, Fischer and Ford like we all wanted. Oh well better late than never.

    • kev says:

      no they shouldn’t … they could have aired 2 minutes of black for the commercial preview and this movie would still break all kinds of records. No marketing needed for this movie at all.

  10. So pitiful they couldn’t employ some outreach tactics to handle the volume. The idea of fake “doorbuster” sales online is so dumb – it would’ve been so much higher than 8x if they had known what they were doing.

  11. The truth is Fandango and MovieTickets.com didn’t plan for this very well. Starting about an hour before the trailer hit and for about two more hours, both sites crashed seemingly endlessly. Error messages made it crystal clear that the problem was both brands’ servers. They couldn’t handle the volume. Both companies knew the demand would be off the charts–why not put the resources in place for their customers? They failed their customers and tainted the Star Wars/Disney experience. Disappointing.

    • CNU says:

      You really can’t plan for spikes like this, as preparing for traffic that is 5 to 8 times greater than your past highest peak would require expensive upgrades that would serve no purpose after the short period of heavy demand.

  12. jdog says:

    Don’t doubt it is the most ever, but I do doubt it’s a huge number (why wouldn’t they just publish a number?). Basically, when something is really popular on the internet, it crashes because it isn’t a simultaneous mass reach medium — it’s all one-to-one reach with limited bandwidth preventing it from being massive. Don’t think anyone will have trouble seeing this film when it is out — it will be in every theatre, have multiple screens in each theatre and although many will line up to be first, there will be plenty of available seats within a few days. Keep up the hype though.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      Fandango is owned by NBCUniversal. The site crashings due to demand is marketing PR gold, however which I can’t help but think might have been planned to some extent or at least hoped for by Disney. Of course, it drives demand even higher to a frenzied pitch.

    • brushrop03 says:

      How do you plan for something that did 8x more than the previous record holder? I’m sure they contacted their provider to get more bandwidth, but planning for those levels….not sure anyone expected that.

    • Han Solo says:

      There’s always one in every forum. Looks like your it…..you’ll be the only one going to see the chipmunks while the world sees Star Wars.

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