NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, November 20, 2015, 1:32 PM
That’s no moon…it’s the record-breaking early box office haul for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Four weeks before theater doors open for the first screening of the sci-fi flick, the movie has already passed the$ 50 million mark in pre-sales in North America alone.
That’s double the size of the previous record-holder, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which netted $ 25 million in pre-sales in 2012.
“For a movie to have sold this many tickets before a single frame of film has been seen by any potential movie goers is staggering,” Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Rentrak.
Online ticket seller Fandango announced that the movie has already bested the site’s previous early sales record held for three years by “The Hunger Games.”
“Unlike any other movie, this is appealing to everyone from three years old to people old enough to have seen the original ‘Star Wars’ movies in theaters,” Fandango managing editor Erik Davis told the Daily News. “In the era of online ticket sales, we haven’t seen a movie like this.”
The “Star Wars” pre-sales have been buoyed by unprecedented demand for IMAX screenings starting on Dec. 17, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with a higher ticket cost than for regular screens.
‘Avatar’ holds the all-time domestic box office record with $ 760 million.
‘Jurassic World’ notched a record $ 208 million opening weekend record.
Industry experts believe the seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise has a good shot at tossing two previous box office record holders down the proverbial Death Star exhaust shaft.
Though there has never been a movie released in December to cross the $ 100 million mark in its debut weekend, expectations are high for “The Force Awakens” to pass the opening weekend record of $ 208.8 million earned by “Jurassic World” earlier this year.
Of course, the Rancor Beast-sized prize would be to unseat the all-time box office champion, “Avatar,” which earned $ 760 million domestically.
But Dergarabedian points out that “The Force Awakens” is opening at the same time of year as “Avatar” and runner-up “Titanic,” leaving the movie a potential path to rampage through the box office charts through January.
“The stars seem aligned for this one,” he says.