LOS ANGELES: British Star Wars fans snapped up tens of thousands of tickets for the latest in the series — The Force Awakens — hours before advance booking opened in the United States. Although Disney is keeping the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens under wraps until the December 18 release, British movie theatre chains reported record business for advance tickets, underscoring projections that the movie will rake in about $2 billion globally. “It’s been our busiest day ever for online bookings in the UK,” British cinema chain Odeon said in a statement, acknowledging that some customers experienced booking delays.
British chain Vue Entertainment said it had sold 10,000 tickets within the first 90 minutes, with some customers facing issues purchasing online.
The movie, which brings back actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher who starred in the original 1977 film, is expected to gross about $100 million in North America alone on its opening weekend, Rentrak’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. He said the film could earn over $2 billion globally, bringing it in the league of the world’s two biggest-grossing movies, Avatar and Titanic.
Poster release, ‘sneak peek’ for new Star Wars movie
“This is maybe the most anticipated movie of the last 10 years,” Dergarabedian said. The Star Wars series, created by filmmaker George Lucas, has grossed more than $4.4 billion globally since 1977 with six films. Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Force Awakens is the first of three new Star Wars movies being produced by Disney since it purchased the franchise from Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 billion.
Fans have seen two teasers: an 88-second trailer earlier followed by a 2-minute trailer which showcased a new cast of characters led by newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2015.
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