Rocketing ticket sales turn Star Wars III into hit
Updated: 2005-05-23 08:56
With audiences of more than 2,500 watching "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" since its premiere, Ye Xueying, deputy general manager of Guangzhou-based Warner Jinyi International Cinema, was in a good mood when asked to predict total box office sales.
"It is expected that box office receipts will total 2 million yuan (US$240,000), a record high since the cinema was opened early this year," Ye said.
"Almost all seats have been occupied since the film's debut on midnight May 19."
The cinema opened two halls with 1,000 seats in total for the new episode's premiere.
Tickets sold before the film opened made more than 200,000 yuan (US$24,000).
This cinema is not alone. Many others in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, are also expected to receive a high box office revenue for the sci-fi saga.
At Shiyigong Cinema, one of the city's oldest cinemas, an audience of nearly 1,500 watched the premiere.
Tickets were selling for 20 yuan (US$2.4) in the cinema.
By yesterday, tickets valued at 1.6 million yuan (US$181,000) had been sold, sources with the Guangzhou Zhujiang Cinema Circuits said.
Posters to draw in crowds have been hung in all affiliated picture houses. "The real blockbuster of the year has arrived in the city, with estimated box office receipts reaching more than 8 million yuan (US$960,000)," said Ye.
On Saturday, fans waiting in line at the Feiyang Cinema were guessing the plot.
Film buff Liang said he watched the first episode in 1984, and had forgotten a lot about the plot.
"I was excited then. Tonight reminds me of that," he said.