‘Avatar’ Pre-Sales Brisk, But Not ‘New Moon’ Brisk

Fandango officials say advanced purchases are closer in scale to those of “Star Trek,” which opened to $75.2M

Last Updated: December 17, 2009 @ 10:32 AM

It’s going to be big, but based on pre-sales, not “New Moon” big.

According to officials for advanced movie-ticket seller Fandango, James Cameron’s “Avatar” has represented 78 percent of its weekly sales going into the film’s midnight opening Thursday night.

Fandango officials say the movie is outpacing other big 2009 openings, including Paramount’s “Star Trek,” Sony’s “2012” and Warner’s “Terminator: Salvation,” but it’s lagging behind Paramount’s “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

In fact, while not divulging specific sales numbers, one Fandango officials told TheWrap: “Avatar’s” pre-sales can be favorably compared to those of “Star Trek,” which opened to $75.2 million last May.

While “Avatar” does not rank on Fandango’s list of all-time top pre-sellers, company officials did report several hundred sold-out showtimes, mostly at premium-priced IMAX 3D locations.

In terms of audience composition, Fandango officials said advanced sales are skewing 69 percent male, with 37 percent of surveyed buyers saying they plan to bring a significant other.

For its part, officials for rival advanced seller Movietickets.com said the film has represented 89 percent of its sales this week.

The movie is opening in about 2,100 3D locations and 1,200 2D theaters. Pre-release tracking for the movie suggest it will open to about $90 million over the three-day weekend period.