Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Pictures announced on Sunday that domestic Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticket sales would launch following the trailer debut on Monday evening. Before the trailer even aired on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” however, fans started noticing that tickets were already available at various sites and the rest is, as they say, history. The word got out quick and Star Wars fans went in droves to try to secure their tickets (get yours via this link), resulting in a lot of the sites to go down or run really slow.
Now, we have some of the results of the craziness that took place. Fandango tells us that their traffic surged to new, unheard of heights! “This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,'” the company said in a statement. “In fact, Fandango traffic surged to 7 times its typical peak levels, propelling Fandango’s advance sales for ‘Star Wars’ to a record-setting first day of pre-sales. For ‘Star Wars,’ we have already sold 8 times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder.”
Let us repeat. That’s 8 TIMES the previous first day pre-sales record holder, The Hunger Games, on February 22, 2012. Amazing. They added: “Movie theaters are continually adding new show times on Fandango to meet the phenomenal demand. The enthusiasm for this year’s most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on December 18.”
Presales for the highly-anticipated film are also breaking every IMAX record, as the Force Awakens ticket sales have generated more than $6.5 million domestically! The movie will open on about 390 IMAX screens in North America upon release.
Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse CEO/Founder, also released a statement regarding the fact that their servers couldn’t handle the incredible demand:
“Last night we had the single biggest simultaneous surge for movie tickets our industry has ever seen. The great news is that Star Wars fandom is as strong as ever. Unfortunately, that surge exposed weaknesses in our ticketing infrastructure, and that of Fandango, Regal, AMC and Cinemark, not to mention other exhibitors across the globe who also crashed.
But that is not a good enough excuse. The Alamo Drafthouse has been preparing for this hugely important day for the past nine months, and we thought we were ready. We spun up 40 simultaneous servers and were monitoring the load to instantaneously add more if needed. We hosted our static pages in a state-of-the-art cloud environment that could also instantaneously expand with demand. The massive onslaught of simultaneous users, however, exposed an unforeseen flaw in the ticketing infrastructure itself that we were unable to fix on the fly.
We tried to be ready for this hugely important day, and we missed the mark. In the moment, we tried to react as quickly as possible. We transitioned our sales to Fandango as soon as they were up and running again themselves. We apologize for making what was supposed to be a joyous day a big hassle for Star Wars fans. We commit to doing better in the future, but in the meantime Star Wars fans can purchase The Force Awakens tickets to all of our theaters on Fandango or in person at any Alamo Drafthouse location. You will still be able to buy the limited edition Magazine and Mondo pint glass through Fandango or at the box office while supplies last.
Again, we apologize for last night’s frustration, and we hope to see you all at the Drafthouse for The Force Awakens in December. We have many more Star Wars surprises and promotions to unveil between now and then! Our goal remains: watching The Force Awakens at the Alamo Drafthouse will be the best possible fan experience.”
Considering the traffic surge we saw on SuperHeroHype when the trailer went online, you really can’t blame them for this. They took some big steps to meet demand and yet still underestimated the power of The Force.
MovieTickets.com, meanwhile, told us that Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticket sales “produced the biggest first day sales of any title for MovieTickets.com. Last night MovieTickets.com saw traffic 3 times higher than the highest peak in the company’s 15+ year history… U.S. advance ticket sales for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” via MovieTickets.com continue to trend at number 1 with 95% of all tickets sold in the last 24 hours. Ticket sales to attend the Star Wars Marathon rank number 2.”
Impressive. Most impressive. Opening in theaters on December 18, 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and features a new generation of swashbuckling heroes and shadowy villains, as well as the return of fan-favorite smugglers, princesses, and Jedi.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, the highly-anticipated movie stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be followed on December 16, 2016 by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26, 2017, and the Han Solo anthology movie on May 25, 2018. No release dates have been announced for Star Wars: Episode IX or for the third anthology movie. It was recently confirmed, however, that Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow will be helming the third Saga chapter.
If the new Star Wars trailer isn’t enough to whet your appetite, be sure to check out our two-part Star Wars Canon Timeline, featuring every single “official” Star Wars story. Also, don’t miss our prediction of what Star Wars: The Force Awakens will earn at domestic theaters.
Did you get a chance to purchase The Force Awakens tickets? Let us know in the comments below!