As a strong indicator of fan anticipation for Friday's opening of Spider-Man 3, the film's advance ticket sales are surging on Fandango, the nation's leading movie ticketing destination. Fandango is reporting that Spider-Man 3 is currently:
* Selling six times as many tickets as Spider-Man 2 -- and two and a half times as many tickets as last year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest -- sold at the same point in the films' respective sales cycles on Fandango;
* Selling out dozens of Thursday, May 3 midnight shows around the country (many theaters have added 3:00 a.m. show times to accommodate the demand);
* Accounting for 94% of all weekly ticket sales on the site (as of Wednesday, May 2, 9:00 a.m. PT);
* Fandango's fastest-selling movie of the year so far.
In an online poll, Fandango asked moviegoers their thoughts about possible Spider-Man movies in the future. In responding to the poll, 58% of fans said they would not consider buying a ticket to a fourth Spider-Man movie with someone other than Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. Also, 52% of fans said they would not consider buying a ticket to a fourth Spider-Man movie if it were directed by someone other than Sam Raimi. On the other hand, 68% of fans said they would be interested in seeing a much-rumored movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit directed by Sam Raimi.
"'Spider-Man 3' has been dominating our ticket sales for several weeks," says Fandango VP of Marketing, Ted Hong. "Given the enormous popularity of the first two Spider-Man movies, and the fast pace of our ticket sales, 'Spider-Man 3' should be a great kick-off for a memorable summer season."
Fandango has recently added new features to its site so that it continues to be the leading movie destination on the Web. Among the additions are more extensive content in the form of commentator articles, blogs and interviews, expanded user ratings and reviews, and easily browsable collections of movie trailers, clips and photos. Not changed is Fandango's user-friendly interface for showtimes and tickets.
Fandango theater partners include the nation's leading exhibitors: AMC Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, Edwards Theatres, Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres, as well as American Cinematheque, Brenden Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, CineArts Theatres, Cineplex Galaxy Cinemas, Cobb Theatres, Colorado Cinemas, Hollywood Theaters, Kerasotes Theatres, IMAX, Majestic Crest Theatre, Premiere Theatres, R/C Theatres, and Wehrenberg Theatres.