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The Force is strong in Star Wars‘ spiritual home.
With less than two days before its official release in the U.K., where much of the film was shot, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already blown advance sales records to pieces.
Vue, the largest cinema group outside of the U.S. with 804 screens in the U.K., tells The Hollywood Reporter that it has sold in excess of 355,000 tickets, arranging for an additional 200 screens for opening day, Thursday, and a further 100 for the opening weekend.
Phil Clap, CEO of the U.K. Cinema Association, said Vue’s figures come in addition to 500,000 advanced bookings at Odeon, the U.K.’s largest cinema chain, and those of other exhibitors, putting the total number of pre-sales “way beyond 1 million,” suggesting that The Force Awakens should already have earned, even by a conservative estimate, in excess of $10 million.
“With an average ticket price of maybe £7 [$10.60] or more, you can do the math,” he tells THR.
While the latest James Bond installment, Spectre — which held the previous advance sales record — may have recently fallen short in its efforts to top Skyfall‘s U.K. box office record of £103 million ($156 million), The Force Awakens now looks likely to become the most successful film in British history.
“The numbers far exceed anything we’ve seen before for any movie in the U.K,” said Clap.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has its European premiere in London on Wednesday and will be released across the U.K. on Thursday, with many cinemas putting on 12:01 a.m. screenings.
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