Are you a true Star Wars fan? How much would you be willing to pay to go see “Star Wars” on opening night? It turns out, many people are selling and buying tickets for thousands of dollars.
A few websites are allowing users to sell tickets well above face value. In 29 states across the country including California ticket scalping is illegal. According to California Penal Law, Section 346 states: “Any person, who without the written permission of the owner or operator of the property on which an event is to be held or is being held, sells a ticket of admission to the entertainment event, which was obtained for the purpose of resale, at any price which is excess of the price that is printed or endorsed upon the ticket, while on the grounds of or in the stadium, arena, theater, or other place which an event for which admission tickets are sold is to be held or is being held, is guilt of a misdemeanor.”
If you are found guilty of this crime your sentence could carry a fine as high as $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
There are three problems I see with this:
- This is only a one time event, there will never be another opening night. It is unconscionable how people can charge what they are for tickets especially in today’s economy. You would have never seen this 16 years ago when “Phantom Menace” debuted.
- It is a flat fee so no matter where you sit in the theater, you are paying the same price whereas if you go to a sporting event or concert, the closer you seat the higher price for a ticket you will pay.
- It is a crime and these websites are doing absolutely nothing to prevent or stop these transactions from being made. I will show you the sights I visited and the prices that are being charged. Last week, when the trailer was released during halftime 16 million people watched it as it aired. Another 112 million people viewed it on YouTube in the first 24 hours causing this frenzy that occurred.
I contacted Fandango and they sent me a statement. It says:
“This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” In fact, Fandango traffic surged to 7 times its typical peak levels, propelling Fandango’s advance sales for “Star Wars” to a record-setting first day of pre-sales. For “Star Wars,” we have already sold 8 times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder.”
“Movie theaters are continually adding new show times on Fandango to meet the phenomenal demand. The enthusiasm for this year’s most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on December 18.”
*Fandango’s first day pre-sales record was previously held by the first “The Hunger Games” in 2012.
Some of the results that I found:
(2) Opening Night event at Disneyworld: $1,000
(4) Tickets at Disney AMC: $4,500
(1) Boston Common AMC 11p Showing: $2,499
(4) Tickets for Premiere Show 7p $9,999.99
(5) Tickets 3D showing Irvine CA: $550
Craigslist: (these listings were from LA County)
(1) ticket El Captain Pre Opening Night 10:25p $200
(2) tickets first show front and center (Arklight) $800
(1) ticket 3D first show 7p Arklight $400
(2) tickets TCL Chinese Theater IMAX $240
(2) tickets Cinepolis 7p show $300