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We’re still two months away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and tickets just went on sale last night, but the J.J. Abrams-directed return to that far, far away galaxy has already broken multiple records, not to mention a lot of websites. Even at this early stage, The Force Awakens has already surpassed the mark for advance ticket sales for IMAX shows, on Fandango, and other retailers.
Last night, when tickets went on sale, multiple online retailers where overwhelmed by the demand and crashed—I saw reports from people who couldn’t score tickets online and went to purchase them in person. Even with the difficulties, various outlets report that the numbers are through the roof, breaking records left and right.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Force Awakens broke the record for advance sales on Fandango by more than eight times, leaving previous title holder The Hunger Games well in the rearview. Last night, MovieTickets.com saw traffic in excess of three times the previous high in the company’s 15-year history, and sales for the latest Star Wars are already four times that of the last Episode, 2005’s Revenge of the Sith.
IMAX presales for The Force Awakens topped the $6.5 million mark. Considering that IMAX has never had more than $1 million in presales on any given day, that’s a rather impressive feat in what is shaping up to be a long line of such triumphs. The movie is already taking over every IMAX screen in North America for four weeks after its initial release, so profits are only going to increase from here.
Across the country, movie theaters are continuing to squeeze in additional shows in order to meet what has become an overwhelming demand. I wonder how long it will take before they start bumping screenings of Sisters and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, the only two films brave, or foolhardy enough to open the same day as The Force Awakens. Maybe they already have.
Some industry experts who specialize in such things have already predicted that Episode VII could have the biggest global opening weekend ever. The early number that has been kicked around is $615 million, just for the debut, but with numbers being off the charts like they are, as mind boggling as that figure is, it seems totally possible.
Between tickets going on sale and the new trailer that debuted during Monday Night Football last night, Star Wars is currently dominating the pop culture landscape. I’m sure there are other things happening in the world, but you have to peek past The Force Awakens to see them. As we continue to get closer to the December 18 release date, this is only going to increase, so I hope you’re emotionally prepared for two more months of Star Wars build up.