Movie News & Reviews

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ ticket sales are strong in Fresno area

Interest in tickets for the first screenings of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shows no signs of fading.

Audiences won’t be able to see the film from director J.J. Abrams until Dec. 17, but they have been buying tickets at brisk pace since they went on sale Oct. 19. There are tickets available for the early showings in the Fresno area on Dec. 17, but screenings are beginning to sell out.

There are 23 screenings of “The Force Awakens” scheduled for Dec. 17 at the Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 & IMAX and nine of those have already sold out, including the first two IMAX screenings. Your earliest option for the large format now is at 1:55 a.m.

At the new Maya Cinemas Fresno, Lawrence J. Porricelli, vice president of the company, says the sales have been so brisk at the company’s Fresno multiplex that there are already seven screens being devoted to the movie opening night.

“I don’t know if I have ever seen anything this intense,” Porricelli says. “There was a lot of interest in the last ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie, but that didn’t match the intensity of interest for the next ‘Star Wars’ movie.”

Interest is huge everywhere. The online ticket site, Fandango, reports that tickets for “The Force Awakens” are selling eight times faster than the previous first-day pre-sales record holder. That record was set in 2012 when tickets for the first “Hunger Games” movie went on sale.

“The Force Awakens” tickets sales have remained the top seller on Fandango since fans could start buying them. After the first night of sales, Fandago released this statement: “This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” 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.

Fandango expects the “phenomenal demand” to continue until the movie’s debut.

Major feature films now open on approximately 4,000 screens. “Jurassic World” opened in 4,274 theaters. If the sales number continue the way they were going, “The Force Awakens” would break all records.

You can be part of that record-breaking effort, just don’t wait too long to buy a ticket.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1