Advance ticket sales for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are pacing with 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the same point in their Fandango cycle. We heard from other exhibition sources that a $200 million-plus opening is within reach. Also working greatly in favor of business this weekend: 15% of K-12 schools are out on break Friday, with another 79% colleges. Those numbers jump to 96% and 97%, respectively, by Monday.
When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker tickets went on sale on Monday, October 21, the pic was beating all other Star Wars installments in its opening hours, while Atom Tickets, which only covers a small share of the online ticket business pegged to millennials, reported it saw the company’s second-best first-day sales behind Avengers: Endgame.
No one is expecting Thursday night previews to be at the level of Force Awakens, which made $57M and recently was unseated by Avengers: Endgame ($60M) as the best domestic preview night of all time. The Last Jedi earned $45M in previews, while Rogue One in 2016 did $29M and Solo $14.1M. Expect Skywalker‘s Thursday night, which kicks off at 5 PM with fan shows at 450 locations and 6 PM for nationwide previews, to be around the Last Jedi range.
Reviews hit tonight at 12:01 AM PT, and if its great word of mouth, then all these low-wattage projections go out the window. Skywalker repped more than 70% of Fandango’s Tuesday morning ticket sales.
Skywalker is booked at 4,300 theaters comprised of 3,200 3D locations, 415 Imax screens, 850 Premium Large Format screens and 275 D-Box/4D locations. Additionally, 21 theaters in major markets will run nine-film Star Wars marathons (kicking off Wednesday evening, leading into the Thursday 5 PM showing of Skywalker).
Per a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 millennial moviegoers:
–91% are preparing for Skywalker by watching Last Jedi while 86% are watching Force Awakens.
–83% are taking a break from social media to avoid all spoilers for Skywalker.
–73% have seen every single film in the Star Wars franchise.
–Nearly half plan on seeing Skywalker on the big screen at least twice during the holidays.
“As the journey nears its end, Skywalker is forging a new empire of fans who can’t wait to experience the terrific finale of the nine-film Skywalker series, stuffed with action, adventure, humor, heart, inspiration, new heroes, plus the welcome return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando,” Fandango managing editor Erik Davis said. “Seeing a Star Wars film on the big screen is a family holiday tradition, and according to our survey, fans will return to the theater multiple times over the next few weeks for repeat Skywalker viewings.”