The actual release date for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is still over two weeks away, but the film is apparently already setting sales records for 2016, although no exact first-day figures have been released.
According to Deadline, the websites Fandango and Movietickets have both sold more seats for “Rogue One” in the first 24-hours that tickets have been available than they have for any other film released over an equivalent time period this year.
Fandango in particular was deluged by the demand with fans reporting half-hour-long waits and time out errors as they attempted to score tickets, although the company was at pains to stress that reports of the site crashing were not technically accurate.
A Fandango spokesman stated that “similar to ticketing for a highly popular concert event, a ‘waiting room’ in the checkout process was established to accommodate customers as quickly as possible. We were able to continuously serve a record number of customers throughout the night, despite some intermittent slowdowns — and in order to meet the incredible consumer demand, our exhibition partners continue to add new showtimes for opening weekend.”
Deadline also reports that sales have been similarly brisk for the IMAX version of the film. The company behind the format announced that “Rogue One” had already provided its second-highest day of pre-sales ever. The only film that has surpassed the upcoming “Star Wars” title is its immediate predecessor “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which took in $6.5 million when its tickets first went on sale in 2015.
While “Rogue One” is not expected to beat “The Force Awakens” at the box office, its sales benchmarks are expected to play an important role in shaping Disney’s approach to “Star Wars” films set outside of the main trilogy going forward.
As Deadline reports, “[the] buzz is that Disney insiders are giddy about the results, with a number of folks in exhibition surprised at the high sales.”
Set outside of the main sequel trilogy that began with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One” is set just before 1977’s “Star Wars” and details the Rebel plot to steal the Death Star plans from the Empire. Directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) from a script by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, “Rogue One” stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna and Riz Ahmed.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens on December 16.
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