Star Wars: The Force Awakens Slashes Through Previous U.S. Presale Ticket Record With $100 Million Haul

Nearly four decades after the original Star Wars movie met the silver screen, fans new and old are lining up in record number to see the newest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In North America alone, pre-sale tickets have now topped $100 million, obliterating the previous $25 million record for The Dark Knight Rises in 2012.

At least half of that tally is from pre-sale tickets for the flick's opening weekend -- following a premiere earlier this week in Los Angeles, Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out Thursday night in select theaters and then releases generally the morning of December 18 (Friday).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

You might be surprised to learn that opening weekend tickets are still available despite the record shattering pre-sale orders. Part of the reason why is because theater owners have been adding more play times to keep up with the tremendous demand. However, don't stress if you can't make an opening weekend screening -- theater owners who play Star Wars: The Force Awakens must agree to keep it in the mix for four to five weeks, so you don't have to worry about it disappearing anytime soon.

Of course, the longer you wait, the higher the chance of running into a spoiler. You can bet there will be plot twists, one of which is likely to involve Luke Skywalker. Mark Hamill's name appears on marketing materials, but his face is curiously missing on movie posters. There's also a teaser scene in the trailer that shows a hooded character with a mechanical hand reaching out to R2-D2.

Star Wars Force Awakens

If you need help avoiding spoilers, there's a new extension for Chrome called Force Block that uses a "smart pattern detection" to determine if a page has spoilers and blocks it entirely if it does.

Disney has to be happy with the initial response to the new flick. It paid a hefty sum -- $4.05 billion -- back in 2012 acquiring Lucasfim Ltd and the Star Wars franchise, about half of which was paid in cash. With an opening weekend that could bring in as much as $220 million, it has a chance as surpassing Avatar's record world-wide box office gross of more than $2.7 billion.