'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Advance Ticket Sales Cross Historic $100M
J.J. Abrams' tentpole begins rolling out in North American theaters Thursday night.
Year-end holiday advance ticket sales for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens have crossed $100 million in North America, an unheard-of number, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
That includes $50 million to $60 million in advance ticket sales for the film's opening weekend. Force Awakens, which held its world premiere Monday night in Los Angeles, begins rolling out Thursday night before playing everywhere Friday morning.
Disney continued to decline comment on advance tickets sales. In recent days, theater owners have been adding screenings of the film to accommodate demand, with studio insiders stressing there are still plenty of seats available over opening weekend. In order to play the movie, theaters have to commit to carrying Force Awakens for four to five weeks.
The previous record-holder for advance ticket sales was The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 with $25 million. Sources say Force Awakens sales could even be north of $120 million.
On Tuesday, online ticketing service Fandango reported that Force Awakens has become the company's top-selling title in the company's 15-year history in terms of advance ticket sales, outpacing such record-setters as Avengers: Age of Ultron and this summer's Jurassic World, which debuted to a historic $208.8 million domestically.
MovieTickets.com also reports record advance ticket sales, saying Force Awakens has sold more than double the number that Age of Ultron did and 20 percent more than Jurassic World.
Tracking services suggest Force Awakens will debut in the $180 million-$220 million range in North America. December isn't known for huge openings, since many consumers are distracted by holiday preparations and holiday travel the weekend before Christmas. Rather, holiday titles can have huge multiples, thanks to the stretch between Christmas and New Year's weekend being the most lucrative corridor of the year in terms of moviegoing.