Rogue One tickets have gone on sale, and consumer demand was so large that Fandango crashed. The film, which has a full title of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has been eagerly anticipated since it was announced several years ago.
Quite a lot is riding on the Rogue One ticket sales, as the film is the first of a series called the Star Wars Anthology, which also includes an upcoming untitled film centered around a young Han Solo. Consumer interest in Rogue One tickets gives Disney executives an estimate of how well future Star Wars Anthology films will do at the box office.
Luckily for the team behind Rogue One, ticket sales have boomed ever since they went on sale. Deadline reports that multiple online movie ticket sites were hit with huge demand by customers trying to purchase tickets ahead of time for Rogue One, which hits movie theaters on December 16.
Within the first 24 hours of tickets going on sale, the online traffic at Movietickets.com was dominated by consumers clamoring for Rogue One — in fact, 76 percent of all ticket sales on the site went to the upcoming Star Wars film. Fandango also saw a huge demand for Rogue One seats, and a spokesperson for the company told the press that “within minutes of going on sale, we sold hundreds of thousands of tickets.”
Fandango later crashed, much to the ire of Rogue One fans, and waiting customers were shuttled into an online waiting room to await their turn to buy tickets.
So, how do the Rogue One ticket sales stack up next to the excitement surrounding the release of last year’s Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens? With the release of Rogue One still a few weeks away, it is difficult to estimate exact numbers. Additionally, the two films are not on equal footing. While The Force Awakens is an established film in the Star Wars series canon that continues the stories previously told in the original six films, Rogue One tells a separate standalone story.
A good way to estimate the relative importance of the two films can be found in examining the Harry Potter films. The Force Awakens is similar to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II in terms of scope and importance to the main storyline. Rogue One, on the other hand, can be compared to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Rogue One is still a huge film, but it departs from the main storyline of the Star Wars films.
Will this comparison extend to the Rogue One box office figures? Early reports say probably. According to Forbes, the box office estimates for Rogue One are predicted to be huge, with the film opening to figures between $130 and $150 million domestically. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens opened to $248 million, breaking records worldwide.
With a box office haul as large as experts predict, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would be the Star Wars film with the second-highest opening weekend, second to only Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.
If the Harry Potter comparison is extended, then Rogue One($150 million) will open to a higher box office comparative to The Force Awakens($248 million) than Fantastic Beasts ($75 million) did to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ($169 million).
Fantastic Beasts, however, has been impressively long-lasting at the box office. According to Moviefone, the film made $65 million over Thanksgiving weekend, a drop in sales of less than 20 percent, which is exceedingly rare. It remains to be seen if Rogue One will be as leggy as Fantastic Beasts at the box office.
Of course, Rogue One ticket sales could surprise everyone and come even closer to The Force Awakens’ totals. Forbes reports that Disney CEO Bob Iger “was also quick to point out that online, the level of interest in Rogue One is as high as it was for last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which did bonkers numbers at the box office.” This could mean that yesterday’s huge online ticket sales for Rogue One are just the beginning.
Have you already bought your Rogue One tickets yet?
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]