'Force Awakens' in fans as Star Wars set to hit theaters

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (WPVI) -- Perhaps if you live in a galaxy far, far away you haven't heard the news. But a new Star Wars movie will hit theaters nationwide on Thursday.

Die-hard fans across the region are taking every opportunity to show their excitement over the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Advanced movie ticket sales are unprecedented. Theaters across the country have sold eight times the number of Star Wars tickets as the Hunger Games, which held the previous record.

Thousands of shows are sold out, but you may be surprised to hear that there are still many tickets available - even for Thursday night when the movie opens nationwide.

You'll find no bigger fan than Rocco Legrine, who is the husband of Action News anchor Tamala Edwards. Rocco has tickets for shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday!

He explains, "Tomorrow when I'm finished working, I am going to see the movie with my brother-in-law, and have a good time. And Friday, I am going to go with my wife and have a good time. And then there will be no kids, so Saturday morning I will take the boys, and if they act up, I've already seen the movie so I can enjoy myself."

And you can still get tickets to see the movie without paying the $100 or more some are asking for on Craigslist.

Erik Davis from Fandango tells us, "Theaters are scrambling to add more show times every single day. So if you get sold out when tickets first went on sale - keep going."

On Wednesday afternoon, Ray Fallon bought tickets in Cherry Hill for Thursday night's 9 p.m. showing. He has high hopes for the film.

Fallon says, "I hope it has heart, I guess, which was really lacking in the prequels. I want them to care about the story and not just the spectacle."

A few theaters, including King of Prussia, are holding marathon showings starting with a run of the prior movies beginning at 4 a.m. Thursday and ending with the new film at 7 p.m.

So far, critics think fans are really going like what they see.

Erik Davis says, "It's exactly the Star Wars movie that people want it to be."

At a lot of theaters these days its assigned seating, so you probably won't see the long lines like in years past.

And before you decide to wear your Darth Vader mask and carry your lightsaber, many, if not all, movie theaters are prohibiting masks, props, face paint, and even pretend weapons.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.