Buzz builds for new 'Star Wars' film: 'Within minutes ... we sold hundreds of thousands of tickets'

Move over, “Moana.” There’s a new hot ticket in town. 

Despite Disney’s latest animated tale scoring an estimated $81 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, it was an upcoming Disney release that had the internet abuzz Monday morning.

Ticket sales for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” began at 9 p.m. Pacific time Sunday, and fans hoping to score seats online to the first film in the Star Wars Anthology series were faced with extended wait times as vendors grappled with increased demand.

Though there was some Twitter buzz that popular online ticket outlet Fandango crashed during the process, the retailer opted instead for a queue system to stem the user surge.

In a statement released to The Times, the company said, “Last night, Fandango saw extraordinary demand for tickets to ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.’  Within minutes of going on sale, we sold hundreds of thousands of tickets.

“Similar to ticketing for a highly popular concert event, a ‘waiting room’ in the checkout process was established to accommodate customers as quickly as possible,” the statement added. “We were able to continuously serve a record number of customers throughout the night, despite some intermittent slowdowns — and in order to meet the incredible consumer demand, our exhibition partners continue to add new showtimes for opening weekend.”

To celebrate the start of ticket sales, the film released a new TV spot titled “Breath.”

The 30-second look at the film is not only underscored by the sounds of what are assumed to be Darth Vader’s respirator but it also contains a shot of the Death Star featuring someone who looks an awful lot like Grand Moff Tarkin in the foreground.

Starring Felicity Jones, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" opens in theaters on Dec. 16.

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libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire

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