UPDATE: Tonight while everyone was sleeping off their Thanksgiving dinner, advance ticketing platform Atom Tickets dropped news about a Rogue: Star Wars Story promotional tie-in, and in doing so, revealed when U.S. advance tickets are set to go on sale: It’s Monday, Nov. 28, a week after tickets became available in the U.K. Fandango also revealed on their blog the advance tix date, further noting that the start time would be 12:01 am on Monday. Movietickets.com and Regal will also have plenty of tix stash available on Monday.
We heard from our sources the other day that news would break on Black Friday as to exactly when Rogue One tickets would become available stateside. The pic hit tracking boards on Tuesday, with projections indicating the Gareth Edwards-directed prequel which takes place immediately before 1977’s Star Wars would notch the second best December opening record of $100M-$140M, right behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens which also owns the best domestic opening record of all-time with $247.96M. (If reviews are massively high for Rogue One, hands down, it beats that tracking range).
Last year with Force Awakens, advance tickets were available online in late October, with the massive demand crashing several servers. Before the J.J. Abrams movie opened for previews on Dec. 17, industry estimates figured that the long-awaited Episode VII had collected an estimated $100M in advance sales, with many purchased for Christmas day. Disney’s decision to move back the advance sales date for Rogue One is a keen one, which fuels and appeals to pent-up demand.
The Atom Tickets promo goes as follows: When fans purchase tickets with their app, beginning Nov. 28, they will be able to buy exclusive Rogue One products digitally through Atom’s innovative mobile ticketing app and website (hoodie, t-shirt, and a limited edition placard). “This venture marks Atom Tickets’ first entry beyond movie tickets and concessions,” states the release. Atom Tickets’ novelty is that it provides theatergoers with the opportunity to purchase tickets as a group, and nudge their friends to plan trips to the multiplex. In addition, one also pre-purchase concessions.
“Disney strives to bring the highest-quality theatrical experiences to audiences, and Atom has developed an innovative, social approach to ticketing that enhances that trip to the movies,” said Dave Hollis, head of distribution at The Walt Disney Studios in a statement. “Through the Disney Accelerator Program, we were aware of and excited by Atom’s potential to offer filmgoers not only ease of use but a little something extra – and it’s hard to name a more deserving fandom to kick it off with than Star Wars.”
“Bringing together ticketing and merchandise has always been part of the Atom vision, but we never could have imagined that we’d launch with one of the biggest film franchises of all time,” said Matthew Bakal, executive chairman and co-founder, Atom Tickets. “It’s been an honor to work with Disney through the Accelerator Program and we’re thrilled that they’re entrusting us with this exclusive Rogue One: A Star Wars Story product offering for the ultimate Star Wars fans.”
“With this exciting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story product offering, we’re introducing legions of Star Wars fans to the innovative Atom platform,” said Ameesh Paleja, co-founder and CEO, Atom Tickets.
PREVIOUS, Nov. 22: Advance tickets for Disney/Lucasfilm’s Rogue One – A Star Wars Story aren’t on sale yet in the U.S., but they went on sale Monday in the United Kingdom. Rumors are that soon after Thanksgiving we’re apt to see a big announcement from Disney — either this weekend or early next week, according to several sources. When reached for confirmation, Disney was mum about the on-sale date. Nonetheless, tracking suggests an opening between $100M-$140M, which would make Rogue One the second-best debut for December after last year’s all-time record of $247.96M set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Unlike last year, when Force Awakens ticket sales went on sale in late October, shutting down a number of advance ticket servers, Disney by comparison is maintaining a crunched window prior to the Rogue One‘s domestic opening on December 16. UK cinemas open their doors on December 15 for the Gareth Edwards-directed prequel, which takes place before the events in 1977’s Star Wars. Advance ticket sales for Force Awakens last year were estimated at $100M, with many purchased for Christmas showtimes.
Tracking suggests that Rogue One isn’t as broad as Force Awakens, but that stands to reason because it’s a spinoff. Currently, it’s guy-heavy with 83% under 25 and 81% over 25 in total awareness. While females are currently 70% under 25 and 77% over in total awareness, but those numbers are expected to grow as that demo comes away from the Thanksgiving holiday. “It’s gonna be huge,” one rival distribution czar said today.
Some of our sources were concerned that Rogue One‘s release within a year after Force Awakens might create confusion among consumers as to where the story takes place in the Star Wars timeline. But with a projected opening like this, it’s pretty obvious that moviegoers know exactly when Rogue One takes place. Recently, Disney has been dropping a number of trailers focusing on the family heart of the story with Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso rebel protagonist and her father.
Social media monitor RelishMix reports that last year’s Star Wars pic was one of the top social titles of all time, tucked in with Batman v. Superman at 1.2B, Fast & Furious with 1.16B, Minions at 1.12B and The Avengers with 1B. The Force Awakens had a social media universe of 933M with an astounding 828M YouTube views and a massive viral video share rate of 31:1. Rogue One is still strong, though less, with an SMU of 330M, YouTube views at 195M and a viral share rate of 16:1.
Anita Busch contributed to this report.