“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has established a new record, bypassing “The Hunger Games” as to move the most tickets in its first day on sale, Fandango reports. It didn’t just surpass that picture, it shattered its benchmark, outselling “The Hunger Games” eight times over. Traffic to the online ticketer’s site surged to seven times more than its peak level in less than 24 hours.
“This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’” Fandango said in a statement. “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 Dec. 18.”
There are already sellouts, particularly in Imax screenings, and to meet the demand, movie theaters are continually adding new show times, the online ticketer reports.
MovieTickets.com did not release any data, but “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is currently the top selling film on its site. It represents 95% of sales over the past 24 hours. Interest in the film was so intense that both MovieTickets.com and Fandango reportedly crashed for some users.
The first full-length trailer for the film debuted on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. It appeared in conjunction with tickets going on sale. That footage has been viewed nearly 12 million times on the official “Star Wars” YouTube channel.
The film is intended to kick off a new trilogy of pictures and brings back cast members from the first film, such as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, along with new stars Adam Driver, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. J.J. Abrams directs the film. There are also planned spin-offs and origin stories expected to debut in the coming years, as Disney and Lucasfilm hope to embrace the Marvel model of building a cinematic universe.
George Lucas Not Happy With Direction of Star Wars
Star Wars creator George Lucas doesn’t seem too fond of the approach to the latest title in the film series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In an interview with Charlie Rose, via IndieWire, he discussed the franchise’s legacy and also shared his thoughts about the new film.
Lucas sold his franchise to The Walt Disney Company for $4 billion in 2012. In the interview, he discussed filmmaking and his career, his Star Wars films (referring to them as his “kids”), the Star Wars sale, the current box office blockbuster and his diverging vision from Disney for the franchise.
“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,'” Lucas said of Disney. “They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing.”
Lucas also said Disney wasn’t interested in his ideas for sequels. “They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway, but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. And I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up,” he said. “And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way and let them go their way.'”
As for how Star Wars: The Force Awakens turned out, he would have approached it differently, as he contended he did when the franchise was in his hands. “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie, I worked very hard to make them different,” Lucas said. “I made them completely different – different planets, different spaceships to make it new.”
Donny & Marie Osmond Rent Texas Theater, Give Away Free Tickets To “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Screening
ABC News / People
For “Star Wars” fans in Gainesville, Texas, Donny and Marie Osmond had the ultimate hook up. The two gave away free tickets Thursday to see the latest installment, “The Force Awakens,” the following day.
The celebrity duo rented out an entire movie theater so fans could see the film with them and their band. Donny announced the winners, 18 in total, on his Facebook page, adding that the “contest was a huge success.”
Donny told People magazine how he and his sister came up with the idea.
“So I had this idea last week,” he said. “Marie and I are on our Christmas and we have a day off between traveling from Tulsa to Gainesville, so I thought what are the chances that we could get some private theater owner to let us do a screening? I thought let’s do a social media campaign because so many people want tickets and they can’t get them.”
The Osmonds said they were inspired to do a contest surrounding the box office blockbuster because the original characters from the 1977 film made their TV debut on their long-running variety show, “Donny and Marie.”
“[Creator] George Lucas asked us to introduce these characters,” Donny recalled. “Little did I know, these characters that I’m singing and dancing next to were going to change the world.”
Marie added, “We were there in the beginning! Who knew that it would me so incredibly huge?”
The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News and Lucasfilm.
Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Darth Vader And Others Visit Los Angeles Children’s Hospital
Mark Hamill visited the hospital Dec. 11 with R2-D2, Darth Vader and other characters as part of the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative, Entertainment Weekly said Tuesday.
Watch The Cast of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Sing “Star Wars” Medley With Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon and The Roots join Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford for an a cappella tribute to “Star Wars.”
Bullied 8 Year Old Girl Gets Support From Other Star Wars Fans
CNN – Nicolette Molina’s daughter Layla Murphy is fascinated with “Star Wars.”
The 8-year-old found some of her father’s old toys around her Norfolk, Virginia home and immediately fell in love with that galaxy far, far away.
Of course, she’s hardly alone among kids and adult fans worldwide, but many of those fans don’t have to deal with school bullies.
It all started after she moved to a new school.
“At this new school Layla started coming home more quiet and less of herself, and started asking not to wear her shirts or R2-D2 jacket,” Molina said.
Just as things were looking grim, the “Star Wars” fan army deployed to help Layla strike back.
Layla had taken photos recently at a fan convention with “Star Wars” fan Jason Tuttle, a member of the charitable fan group the 501st Legion (which has worked with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Fisher House and local hospitals).
When he saw those photos that Molina posted on his Facebook page, Tuttle encouraged Layla’s fandom and sent patches, stickers and trading cards to Layla.
Molina told Tuttle about her bullying problems, and subsequently, the 501st fan community came together in support of her on Facebook earlier this month.
“A lot of the Star Wars community and fans are supportive, and a lot of the females can relate and had similar experiences in their own childhoods,” said Molina.
People started sending Layla more and more “Star Wars” gifts.
Not everyone was encouraging, however.
“A lot of people outside the community immediately attack our parenting, saying we should have instilled more confidence in her on our own. I even had one man suggest I teach her to fight.”
“Star Wars” fans, on the other hand, have taught Layla confidence.
Hers might be a familiar story to those who remember Katie Goldman, whose fight against bullying inspired “Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day,” held annually in December.
Layla now feels loved and accepted in her stormtrooper uniform, and recently got a chance to meet one of her heroes, “Weird Al” Yankovic, who has two “Star Wars” parodies in his repertoire.
An added bonus, Molina said, is that Layla enjoys surprising people who expect to see a boy behind the stormtrooper mask.