Yesterday, you might have heard about a quaint little indie film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens that's due out in theaters this December. Disney, the production studio behind the film, dropped the first full-length trailer for the movie last night on ESPN during Monday Night Football (clever) and a couple of different things happened as a result.
First: the internet was flooded with GIFs ripped from the trailer and painstaking analyses of every single frame. Second: ticket sale sites like Picturehouse and Odeon, were brought to their knees as if a Sith lord was choking the life right out of them. The cause? Ridiculous amounts of traffic.
The moment that preorders for The Force Awakens went live last night thousands of people swarmed to various sites looking to buy tickets. The sheer number of people looking to snag spots in theaters for first night viewings far exceeded most theaters' expectations and, subsequently, a number of sites were temporarily crippled.
Within the first 90 minutes that they were available to buy, Vue, the third largest theater chain in the U.K., sold a record-breaking 10,000 tickets. Normally, a Vue representative explained to The Hollywood Reporter, it would take "weeks" to sell that many tickets to a single film, let alone minutes. Both Odeon and Picturehouse reported similar traffic loads that made it difficult for some customers to actually make their way all the way through the checkout line.
Eager Star Wars fans found similar roadblocks here in the U.S. with AMC Theaters, Fandango, and the Alamo Drafthouse all reporting experiencing an unusual amount of server pings last night.
All of this ultimately means one thing. This movie is likely to be crazily successful even if it's not particularly good (like the last three Star Wars films). These early sales figures come just hours after a handful of racist objectors called for a boycott of the film in protest of it starring a black man and a woman as two of its lead characters. Suffice it to say that even if that boycott's happening, it won't affect the movie's success all that much.