Advance ticket sales from Star Wars: The Force Awakens show that the blockbuster film is already raking in the big money, with an estimated $100 million tickets being sold thus far, and up to $60 million of those tickets being reserved for the opening weekend.
Despite the massive ticket sales for the new Star Wars movie, the Hollywood Reporter stated that Disney has declined to comment so far on the numbers, most likely, according to Bloomberg, in order to manage expectations to avoid any disappointment that could come if it doesn’t perform as expected.
Of course, Disney does want to ensure that there are as many seats open as possible so that no fan walks away disappointed by not being able to see the flick on opening weekend. And in order to do that, theatres are adding in extra screenings to accommodate the demand. Also, all theatres that run Star Wars: The Force Awakens are required to do so for up to five weeks in their deal with Disney studios, so fans will have plenty of time to check the movie out in theatres.
It is expected that, by the time the movie rolls out, up to $120 million in advance ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be sold. This blows the previous record setter, 2012’s Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, which sold $25 million in advance tickets, out of the water.
Both Fandango and Movietickets.com have reported record advance ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens through their websites. For Fandango, this is their top pre-sale performance in the company’s 15-year history, while, according to Variety, on Tuesday alone, 91 percent of all ticket sales on their site for the previous 24 hours were for The Force Awakens.
Advance ticket purchases aside, research suggests that the latest entry in the Star Wars movie franchise, The Force Awakens, will debut at somewhere between $180 million and $220 million in North America, roughly in the same ballpark as the debut for last summer’s Jurassic World movie, although many are expecting Star Wars to eclipse that record.
Although, yes, Disney will cash in big time thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so will a number of other companies that have been given Star Wars licensing, including Mattel, Lego, and Hasbro.
According to CNBC, Stephanie Wissink, who is a toy industry analyst, in the next year it is expected that toy sales will reach $2 billion, far exceeding box office revenue for the Star Wars movie. She outlines why Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be such a boon for toy makers.
“What’s different about Star Wars is that it’s not just traditional toy consumers, it’s not just mom and dad, or a young boy buying into the category. This is ultimately a collector, plus a parent that’s buying for nostalgic value, plus a parent buying for their children seeing the films for the first time.”
And, of course, movie theaters themselves will benefit tremendously from the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to a senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian at Rentrak, a company that monitors box office sales.
“This is the definition of a blockbuster, people lining up around the block Star Wars could be the real cherry on top of the cake of a record box-office year for movie theaters. That says that the movie theater is still alive and well despite the fact that there are so many options for entertainment at home and on the small screen.”
As of now, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled to be released in 4,100 theatres in North America, with 392 of those being IMAX and another 3,300 being shown in 3D, according to Variety. And given advance ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, those theatres will also be selling lots of popcorn, as well.
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