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‘Rise of Skywalker’ is getting terrible reviews, but ticket pre-sales are hot anyway

Published Dec 18th, 2019 6:30PM EST
Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker tickets
Image: Disney

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The first reviews of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are starting to hit the web, and — let’s just say, it might be a good idea to grab some popcorn and prepare yourself, because Episode IX is no doubt going to stir up all kinds of arguments once it hits theaters this weekend. Here’s a sampling: This is the last of a saga that should have ended a long time ago, according to The Atlantic, which blasts the movie as “incoherent.” From The Associated Press, The Rise of Skywalker is “distinctly unsatisfying” and a “sour end to a grand saga.”

As of mid-day Wednesday, the movie had already earned a decidedly rotten 57% Tomatometer score from review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes — and yet it also shouldn’t come as a surprise that early ticket sales, nevertheless, are pretty strong.

In fact, according to movie ticket company Fandango, its “Fanticipation Movie Buzz Index” shows The Rise of Skywalker tracking on pace with pre-sales for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with the former already representing more than 70% of Fandango’s daily ticket sales. The index calculates scores based on an algorithm measuring Fandango advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, as well as social media engagement.

Early reviews notwithstanding, a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 millennial moviegoers has also found that:

  • 83% claim to be taking a break from social media to avoid all spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
  • 73% have seen every single film in the “Star Wars” franchise.
  • And nearly half plan on seeing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the big screen at least twice during the holidays.

“As the journey nears its end, Skywalker is forging a new empire of fans who can’t wait to experience the terrific finale of the nine-film Skywalker series, stuffed with action, adventure, humor, heart, inspiration, new heroes, plus the welcome return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis. “Seeing a ‘Star Wars’ film on the big screen is a family holiday tradition, and according to our survey, fans will return to the theater multiple times over the next few weeks for repeat Skywalker viewings.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.