Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Destroying Box Office Records Already

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 - 5:55PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 - 5:55PM
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Destroying Box Office Records Already
It's not even out for another 2 months, but already Star Wars: The Force Awakens has started breaking records at the box office. After tickets for screenings went up on pre-sale and theater sites around the world, those exact same pre-sale and theater sites begun to crash as they struggled with the sheer weight of traffic coming from Star Wars fans eager to secure their seats for opening night. 

These crashes weren't caused by a lack of preparation, though. Demand was just far higher than expected, and since the closing hours of last night numerous theater chains have apologized for the service blackout. Alamo Drafthouse issued a lengthy apology to patrons, saying "Last night, we had the single biggest simultaneous surge for movie tickets our industry has ever seen," before closing with the remark "We tried to be ready for this hugely important day, and we missed the mark."



Alamo were not alone, but their statement sums up a series of events the likes of which this industry has never seen, and may never see again. When we reached out for comment from Fandango they gave us the following statement, essentially confirming that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a box office juggernaut that looks set to smash every record that stands in its path.

Opening quote
This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." In fact, Fandango traffic surged to 7 times its typical peak levels, propelling Fandango's advance sales for "Star Wars" to a record-setting first day of pre-sales.  For "Star Wars," we have already sold 8 times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder." * "Movie theaters are continually adding new show times on Fandango to meet the phenomenal demand.  The enthusiasm for this year's most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on December 18. 

*Fandango's first day presales record was previously held by the first "The Hunger Games" movie on February 22, 2012.

Closing quote

Other sites, such as AMC, have seen sales nearly 10 times that of what the previous record holder took in. The Jennifer Lawrence-led Hunger Games went on to earn $152 million during its domestic opening weekend, while Jurassic World currently holds the record with a domestic opening just shy of $209 million. But with many IMAX and 3D screenings of The Force Awakens sold out, even Jurassic World's gargantuan hall could be made to look minuscule by the time the Star Wars hype train rolls in to town.

Estimates had previously suggested that The Force Awakens could take in as much as $2.2 Billion in global box office, which would be just shy of Avatar's $2.7bn. And while it's still too far out to get an accurate handle on the potential of The Force Awakens, the reasons that JJ Abrams' movie can't beat James Cameron's smash are getting fewer and fewer in number.

It wouldn't be fair to talk about this news without offering the disclaimer that pre-sales are in no way representative of overall box office performance. Good ol' fashioned word of mouth is still a crucial tool in generating box office dollars. Avengers: Age of Ultron was widely thought to crush records after strong pre-sales, but a less than overwhelming reaction from fans saw Joss Whedon's sequel struggle to meet Marvel and Disney's expectations. We don't know what is going to happen when December 18th comes around, but we can't wait to find out.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens