More moviegoers are lining up to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens than the film has Stormtroopers. MovieTickets.com says its advanced tickets purchased for Star Wars: The Force Awakens currently accounts for 91% of all sales on the site during the past 24 hours and Monday’s sales were three times the entire site total from last Friday. The J.J. Abrams directed film is also Fandango’s top advance ticket-seller as they report it has obliterated all records, outselling all previous titles in the company’s 15-year history at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle. It accounts for 90% of sales. It must be noted that there is some cross-over between Fandango and MovieTickets.com, but nonetheless, The Force Awakens is on a stellar trajectory.
“There’s a lot to be excited about when you see the kind of advance sales we’ve seen on this film, in December no less, but with so many screenings available and the ability of exhibitors to expand based on demand, anyone who shows up at the box office to find a showtime for this weekend will be able to find one – more than once if they are so inclined,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution head.
According to industry trackers, the film could break all Thursday preview records with a box office take of anywhere from about $50M and counting, easily flying past Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, which took in close to $44M. This traditionally is a big travel and shopping weekend, so trackers are thinking that this film could have a three-day of $130M-$150M.
One has to remember that the pre-sale numbers actually apply to the full week and not just one day. The biggest pre-sales were for Thursday, followed by Friday and Christmas Day , according to our sources.
Star Wars is a franchise that always seemed to change the rules, and this time around is no different. Some Deadliners saw it last night as daring as it is nostalgic. As one tracker put it, “You know how Star Trek had the marketing campaign ‘This Isn’t Your Father’s Star Trek‘? Well, let’s put it this way, this is your father’s Star Wars.”
At this point in the sales cycle, MovieTickets.com is noting that The Force Awakens has sold more than double the number of advance tickets as the recent blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron (which took in $191.2M in its opening weekend in 4,276 theaters), 20% more than Jurassic World ($208.8M in 4,274 theaters), and a third more than the previous Star Wars installment, 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. That installment had an opening of $108.4M, bowing on a Thursday in May in 3,661 locations. Worldwide, Sith tallied up a cume of $846.9M.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is opening in 4,100-plus theaters (see the breakdowns here).
“After years of fevered anticipation, the biggest advance ticket-selling movie in Fandango’s history finally reaches theaters this weekend,” says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. “The box office figures and audience reaction for this exciting, shocking, and crowd-pleasing blockbuster will be staggering.”