The Force is Strong in 2015

Breaking ticket records

Illustration+by+Quinton+Prunty

Quinton Prunty

Illustration by Quinton Prunty

Elliot Johnson, Cactus Contributor

Just before the end of 2015, on December 18th, the next chapter in the Star Wars saga is coming to theatres. Fans have been anticipating the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens since Disney first announced its production in 2012. Since Episode IV was released in theatres, back in 1977, it has picked up quite a following over the decades. Star Wars has become an iconic pop culture phenomenon, with fans spanning over generations.

While opening day is set for Friday, December 18th, it’s becoming more common to have movies shown the Thursday night before. On October 19th, the debut of a new trailer, shown during Monday night football, was the spark that caused the movie (which has yet to even come out) to break sales records across the nation. Within hours of the pre-sale release, theatres were selling out their Thursday night show times.

Two of the most popular ticket booking websites, Fandango and MovieTickets.com experienced extremely heavy traffic the first few hours. Fandango’s website actually went down because they were getting so many visits. Even with the website’s inconvenience, the company mentioned that, “For Star Wars, we have already sold eight times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder” (The Hunger Games in 2012).

IMAX theatres sold about $6.5 million worth of tickets in just 24 hours. Major box office hits such as The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Avengers each only made about $1 million in their pre sales with IMAX; Star Wars has surpassed them by a landslide.

AMC Theatres, one of the most popular theatre chains in the country, reported that sales for Star Wars have broken their records as well, by selling 10 times more than the previous record holder.

With the hype from the trailers and ticket pre sales, fans are wondering if this will be a classic like Episodes IV-VI, or a dud like Episodes I-III. J.J. Abrams, director of such films as Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, is directing the new film, and no major plot details have yet been revealed.

The heroes of the first films, played by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are all reprising their roles as Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker. They will be joined by the new heroes from the Star Wars universe: Finn and Rey, played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.

Along with new heroes, comes a new villain; Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, was unveiled as the new Sith enemy when he wielded his red lightsaber in the teaser. While there has been little to no mention of these character’s roles in the movie, fans have been making speculations by what has been shown in the teasers and trailers.

The anticipation for the new film is evident when looking at how the sales of tickets are going. I, for one, bought my ticket the night they were announced. As a fan of both Star Wars and J.J. Abrams, I am nothing but excited myself.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);