(PCM) Stars Wars: The Force Awakens is still about two months away from blowing minds in theaters, but that hasn’t stopped the highly-anticipated film from breaking ticket sales records.
The seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens won’t open in theaters until December 18, but advance tickets are already on sale through Fandango and other ticketing sites.
The tickets went live just a little before Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Pictures debuted the new trailer during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” and fans were incredibly quick to flock to the sites and overload their servers, causing crashes and significant slow-downs. The new trailer has already racked up 25 million views on Youtube.
“This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’” Fandango said in a statement. “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.”
The previous record holder is The Hunger Games, which went on to gross over $690 million worldwide when it opened in 2012. Already, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has outsold the first day advance sales of The Hunger Games eight times over. “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,” the statement continued.
The Alamo Drafthouse also experienced technical difficulties after its site was flooded with ticket buyers. Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League released a statement explaining that despite the precautions and massive amount of preparation the Alamo Drafthouse undertook, their servers could not handle the astronomic amount of Star Wars fans trying to buy advance tickets.
The statement, in part, reads:
“Last night we had the single biggest simultaneous surge for movie tickets our industry has ever seen…that surge exposed weaknesses in our ticketing infrastructure, and that of Fandango, Regal, AMC and Cinemark, not to mention other exhibitors across the globe who also crashed…The Alamo Drafthouse has been preparing for this hugely important day for the past nine months…We spun up 40 simultaneous servers and were monitoring the load to instantaneously add more if needed…
“The massive onslaught of simultaneous users, however, exposed an unforeseen flaw in the ticketing infrastructure itself…We apologize for making what was supposed to be a joyous day a big hassle for Star Wars fans…we hope to see you all at the Drafthouse for The Force Awakens in December…Our goal remains: watching The Force Awakens at the Alamo Drafthouse will be the best possible fan experience.”
Directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, The Force Awakens sees the return of Lawrence Kasdan, the script-writer behind Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.
Taking place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars Harrison Ford, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong, and Miltos Yerolemou.
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