It appears that 2002 is the year that’s going to make online movie ticketing companies into viable businesses.
First it was “Spider-Man”; now sites such as AOL Moviefone, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com are benefiting as auds flock to see “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.”
Fandango reported Monday that it sold $5.5 million worth of tickets for the opening weekend of the sci-fi saga’s latest installment, repping roughly 5% of the pic’s B.O. bow. Since May 3, moviegoers bought over 820,000 tickets to the film through the site. At times on Friday and Saturday, Fandango sold in excess of 14,000 tickets per hour, or nearly four tickets per second.
Similarly, MovieTickets.com sold 758,000 tickets, representing $5.3 million in sales, as of Sunday. Company was selected by Lucasfilm to be the exclusive ticketing service for StarWars.com.
Although Moviefone doesn’t disclose sales figures, the company reportedly sold several hundred thousand tickets for the pic over the weekend. Pic has yet to reach the top ticket-selling status on the site, still trailing “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”
” ‘Star Wars’ is a watershed event in online ticketing,” said Art Levitt, prexy and CEO of Fandango. “Even before we began selling tickets for the movie, hundreds of customers emailed us wanting to buy tickets. A record number of those fans bought tickets in advance from Fandango, and we broke records for monthly, weekly, daily and hourly sales.”
Fandango.com sells ducats for 7,200 screens belonging to the Carmike, Century, Cinemark, Edwards, Loews and Regal theater chains. Rival MovieTickets.com reps the AMC Entertainment, National Amusements, Famous Players, Hoyts, Marcus and Consolidated circuits.