“Star Wars” Continues to Break Records

Han Solo and Chewy are back for the latest incarnation of the “Star Wars” franchise. (Photo Courtesy of Twitter: @Forbes)

The force is definitely strong with this one. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continues to break records days after releasing both its final trailer and advanced tickets for the December opening weekend.

“Star Wars” has been the most anticipated movie of the year and arguably the most anticipated movie franchise in history for a long time, and fans finally got a chance to see new footage during Monday night football.

The trailer alone had garnered weeks of speculation and anticipation, and it did not disappoint.

After it premiered on ESPN, the trailer dropped online. The YouTube video was averaging roughly a million views an hour for the first 12 hours it was online, and as of now it has a little over 29.5 million views.

At its peak, the movie was being talked about on Twitter at about 17,000 tweets per minute, which is more than Jon Stewart’s final Daily Show episode (3,700) but less than the second Republican Debate (22,000).

It reached the most engagements of any trailer this year, beating its own previously released trailer from April.

But that wasn’t even the biggest “Star Wars” news Monday night.

Advanced tickets went online for the film about two hours before the trailer premiered, leading to record-breaking sales and website-damaging internet traffic.

The tickets went on sale at about 5 p.m. Pacific time, causing just about every “Star Wars” fan to flock to Fandango.com or MovieTickets.com to buy their tickets, both of which crashed multiple times over the course of the night.

Smaller theater chains across the country like Alamo Drafthouse and Arclight Theaters also had problems, and issued apologies the next day.

Taking Yoda’s advice, fans refused to merely try and give up. Once the websites were up and running many of the shows immediately sold out, especially IMAX screenings.

Before Monday, the IMAX Corporation had never seen single-day pre-sale tickets over one million dollars. “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Hunger Games” and “The Avengers” all shared that record. Star Wars made six and a half million dollars.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been breaking ticket sale records throughout the week with almost every major ticket vendor in the country.

Ticket revenue for non-IMAX screenings has not been released, but the ticketing websites did release their statistics.

Basically, the new “Star Wars” has annihilated all their first day sales records.

Fandango reported that “Star Wars” broke their previous first day ticket sales record, The Hunger Games, by eight times.

Movietickets.com said it broke their first day sales record also, and reported that it sold four times as many tickets as “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” 10 years ago.

Theater chain AMC sells tickets directly on their own website also reported that the movie beat their previous record by a factor of 10, and the movie has already sold out 1,000 shows in that specific chain.

So now that most of the shows have sold out for opening weekend, scalpers have taken to eBay over the past two days. Tickets are selling online for hundreds, in some cases thousands, of dollars. One seller is billing the event as a “VIP Experience” and will buy you and one guest a limo to the sold out Thursday night showing in Ohio for $10,000.

So as this record-shattering week for the film industry continues the most important thing to realize is that these are just the pre-sales. The movie still has roughly two months (57 days if you’re counting) until it’s released, and anticipation is only growing. The movie industry, if it hasn’t been already this past week, will definitely be awakened on Dec. 17.

Contact Staff Reporter Joe Salvato here.

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