Star Wars fans crash cinema websites as tickets for The Force Awakens go on sale
The Force has awoken, and the first order of business was crashing the internet.
Tickets went on sale for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 10am Tuesday morning. The seventh installment in George Lucas' much beloved and obsessed-over franchise, it will premiere in New Zealand at 12.01am on Thursday, December 17.
Within minutes of the ticket release, Reading Cinema's website had broken down due to heavy demand, and cinemas such as Wellington's The Embassy were already approaching sold out for midnight sessions.
"It went live, everyone logged on and it's crashed the system," a Reading spokesman said.
Sales for all sessions of the Thursday release were going well before the site crashed, he said, but the midnight shows were proving the most popular.
Reading's Courtenay Place cinema is scheduled to show three midnight sessions, in 2D, 3D and Gold Lounge, with more shows likely to be added.
The spokesman said the last time he remembered demand for a film peaking this high was in the run up to Avatar.
The Kiwi Twitterverse was also buzzing in the wake of the release, with Star Wars trending in New Zealand.
Chris Parker was already in preparation mode: "Time to break out the lightsaber and Jedi garb - midnight tickets for STAR WARS are booked!"
Given all Star Wars clones are Maori. Why can't we have lightsaber taiahas? :( And just imagine a clone army haka.— James Sullivan (@ZaphodHarkonnen) October 19, 2015
James Sullivan has a particularly important question on his mind: "Given all Star Wars clones are Maori. Why can't we have lightsaber taiahas? :( And just imagine a clone army haka."
Some were gloating about New Zealand's superior time zone: "I guess I'll be seeing Star Wars at one of the first public screenings. 12am on the Thursday here is early Wednesday morning US time," Matt K Ward said.
Others were stuck in a ticket booking vortex.
Got my ticket to the Star Wars film. If I had a light saber, I'd be brandishing above my head and dancing like a Gungan. Oh wait, I do...— Neil Miller (@beerlytweeting) October 19, 2015
"Nooo!! Distinct lack of Star Wars tickets on @embassytheatre website is causing a disturbance in the force :(" said Arowin.
Combination fronts of entertainment news was buoying up Miss Kiwi Chris: "Oh.My.God. yeessss!!! Star Wars tickets & a Gilmore Girls revival series on Netflix?? Today is amazing."
And Damien Sharkey was continuing his Star Wars specials streak:
"As has been a tradition dating back to 1997 for Star Wars special edition got tickets for midnight screening of #TheForceAwakens WOOOOP."
The countdown to December 17 begins.