It’s official: the force is still strong with the Star Wars series.
The latest and reportedly final trailer for JJ Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens was viewed more than 112m times online during its first 24 hours online, according to Lucasfilm. Factor in the 16m viewers that watched the trailer on ESPN’s popular Monday Night Football show in the US, and the tally stands at 128m views.
By comparison, the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, until then the most watched of 2014, tallied 93m views on YouTube over the course of the whole year.
The first teaser for the blockbuster, which premiered around this time last year, hit 55m views in 24 hours – less than half the number the new trailer achieved. The second trailer, which debuted in April, received 88m views during the same timeframe.
As soon as the new trailer went online, the film went on to obliterate records for advance ticket sales at US and UK cinemas, leading to many early screenings being completely sold out and several ticket sites to crash under the high demand. American retailer Fandango said JJ Abrams’s film sold more than eight times as many tickets on its first day of release – Monday – as the previous record holder, 2012’s The Hunger Games.
In the UK, where tickets went on sale earlier in the day, Star Wars studio Disney said a record 200,000-plus tickets were sold in 24 hours, beating marks for Skyfall, Spectre, The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey. The unprecedented demand on both sides of the Atlantic, almost two months prior to the release of Abrams’ film, is leading to speculation that The Force Awakens might challenge Avatar for the mantle of highest-grossing movie of all time.
Abrams’ film is also predicted to smash the world record for biggest global box-office opening weekend, currently held by Jurassic World after the dinosaur disaster epic’s $524.4m opening weekend in June.
The Force Awakens opens 16 December in France and the following day in the UK, before going US-wide on 18 December.
This article was written by Nigel M Smith, for theguardian.com on Friday 23rd October 2015 19.51 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010