While Avatar and Titanic still stand as the highest- and second-highest-grossing films of all time, respectively, some analysts are wondering if Star Wars: The Force Awakens will dethrone them with the widespread appeal of humming lightsabers, dizzying aerial dogfights, and the increasingly rare sight of Harrison Ford smiling. Although Disney is downplaying expectations, no one expects the film to be anything less than a massive hit.
So, it’s no surprise that in the U.K..—where The Force Awakens tickets went on sale earlier today—several cinema chains are reporting a significant uptick in business. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vue, the U.K.’s third-largest theater operator, is claiming that it sold 10,000 tickets in the first 90 minutes they were on sale. A Vue representative said that normally it would take “weeks” for sales to reach that level.
However, the level of interest is wrecking havoc on certain U.K. cinema websites: Odeon and Picturehouse cinemas both cited technical problems on their sites as a result of increased traffic. While discussing the difficulties, a Picturehouse spokesperson called the demand for the film “unprecedented.” Representatives of Cineworld also said their customers are having trouble purchasing tickets online. In response, many Star Wars fans have taken to Twitter to complain about service problems and make tenuous comparisons between certain websites and the former planet of Alderaan.
U.S. tickets go on sale tonight after a new trailer airs during Monday Night Football, so you too can look forward to absurd loading times while trying to buy your ticket. We suggest you start crafting your Twitter complaints now. Instead of the usual, “Hey AMC website, do or do not. There is no try,” consider less obvious jabs like, “If I entered that magic tree on Dagobah, I’d face Fandango,” or, “I’d rather be bullseying womp rats than waiting on Cinemark to take my money.” You could also create a photoshop meme of Han frozen in carbonite, floating in front of the Landmark Cinema website (throw in a spinning wheel for added effect).
Perhaps such complaining won’t be necessary, considering that U.S. tickets don’t go on sale until late in the day, which might mitigate the sales rush. But you still need something creative to do, because the websites showing the new Star Wars trailer will definitely crash.