France Box Office: 'Star Wars' Soars In Paris on Opening Day

Star Wars the Force Awakens New 3 - H 2015
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Disney France reports they have pre-sold 500,000 tickets for the first two weeks of release.

Tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens were off to a flying start in Paris, with 36,360 admissions for 2 p.m. screenings in the city and its suburbs, one of the best showings of all time.

That’s below 2007's Spider-Man 3, which comes in at No. 1 with 83,126 sold, and this year's Spectre, which holds second place with 58,780 tickets sold.

But the numbers put Force Awakens well above Star Wars Episode III, which sold 31,910 tickets for the first screenings in Paris and its suburbs.

Looking at the city itself, Force Awakens had a slightly weaker opening, with 16,415 tickets sold. This puts it below Star Wars: Episode III, which opened with 16,457 tickets at the 2 p.m. Paris city screenings. 
But this actually bodes well for the film, says Rentrak France's general manager Eric Marti.  
"The film seems to attract even more people in the suburbs than in Paris," he says. If the trend continues, "it's a good sign, since the rest of France is more similar to the suburbs than to the Paris inner city with regards to cinema attendance."
Spider-Man 3 is also the top citywide opening since analysts have compiled the numbers, with 27,995. It went on to sell 6,320,256 tickets in 2007.

The second-best opening was James Bond installment Spectrewith 22,510 first-showing Paris sales just weeks ago. The film has so far sold 4,178,522 tickets, despite being impacted by theater closures in Paris and general suppressed numbers on its opening weekend following the terrorist attacks that shook the country.

Nearly 900 eager viewers awoke for the first 9 a.m. screening at Paris' largest cineplex in the Les Halles shopping center, with 898 tickets sold, reports Rentrak France.

Force Awakens will be on more than 1,000 screens in 759 theaters across the country.

On Tuesday, Disney France reported that they have pre-sold 500,000 tickets for the pic's first two weeks in theaters, but had left many tickets available for fans to have a shot at first-day and weekend screenings.

That doubles the previous record held by Fifty Shades of Grey, which pre-sold 250,000 tickets ahead of its release earlier this year. The romantic saga went on to sell 4,043,310 tickets.