Star Wars: The Force Awakens is generating “unprecedented ticketing demand,” according to the nation’s largest online ticket seller.
Fandango issued the first glimpse of ticket sales data for the hugely anticipated film. Fandango’s online traffic surged to seven times its typical peak levels, according the company, and pushed advance sales for The Force Awakens to a record-setting first day of pre-sales.
“For Star Wars, we have already sold eight times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder,” the company said.
The previous first-day sales record was held by 2012’s The Hunger Games.
“This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night,” Fandango said. “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 Dec. 18.”
AMC Theatres, the second-largest chain in the country with over 5,000 locations, said the film had broken its single-day advance ticket sales record more than 10 times over. It didn’t release specific figures, but said it sold out more than 1,000 shows nationwide within 12 hours.
Movietickets.com said traffic was three times higher than at any point in its 15 year history. Advance tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens were already selling four times greater than for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith over the same time span.
IMAX reported specific numbers, with the large-screen exhibitor saying it had sold a staggering $6.5 million in tickets since yesterday across only 390 screens in North America.
Several major theater chains and ticket sellers (Fandango included) crashed Monday night after tickets were made available.
Another seller, the Alamo Drafthouse chain, notably became the first to issue an apology to fans for their servers crashing despite months of the chain preparing for the sale.
Disney releasing the film’s latest trailer on Monday night doubtless helped fuel fan interest. So far the trailer has been viewed on YouTube 13 million times. Here’s EW’s breakdown of the final Star Wars tease before release on Dec. 18.
Contributing: Anthony Breznican