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'Star Wars' breaks pre-release sales record

A still image from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Source: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A still image from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

The next installment in the "Star Wars" saga doesn't hit theaters for another month, but it's already breaking records.

The film by sci-fi enthusiast and writer-director J.J. Abrams piled up more than $50 million in advance ticket sales — the largest pre-release of any film in ticketing company Fandango's history, outdrawing the first "Hunger Games," according to Variety.

Theater chains have been forced to add more show times to keep up with demand. While tickets are still available for regular showings on opening weekend, most Imax screening have sold out.

Tickets went on sale online in October, crashing several major theater websites including Fandango, Arclight and AMC Theaters.

Disney's "The Force Awakens" is slated to surpass Universal Studios' "Jurassic World's" mammoth $208.8 million debut last June, despite a notoriously competitive holiday season.

"I think most certainly it's going to break the all-time December opening weekend record," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, told CNBC in August. "We've never had a movie in North America open with over $100 million in December and this will happen with the next Star Wars."

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens on Dec. 18 in an estimated 4,000 theaters in the United States.

Read the full report from Variety.

Disclosure: Universal Pictures is a division of Comcast, the owner of CNBC.