Avengers: Endgame crashes ticket sites as cinemas brace for new record

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LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) - Early demand for Walt Disney's Avengers: Endgame tickets crashed websites and set records on Tuesday (April 2), underscoring predictions that it will deliver the biggest opening weekend of all time later this month.

AMC Entertainment Holdings, the biggest US cinema chain, could not handle the traffic when tickets first went on sale.

Fandango, a top ticket supplier, also struggled to meet demand and had to put customers in lengthy queues before they could order.

Even with the glitches, Endgame broke Fandango's first-day US sales record, topping Star Wars: The Force Awakens from 2015.

Disney's Marvel Studios also released a new trailer for the film, helping stoke excitement.

AMC likened its website crash to the moment in the previous Avengers movie when villain Thanos kills half the people in the universe.

"We want everyone to be able to grab their Avengers: Endgame tickets, but it looks like we've gotten Thanos' snap," the movie chain told customers on Twitter.

Regal, another cinema chain, said sales were outpacing all previous Marvel movies.

Within eight hours of tickets being offered, Endgame had doubled the entire first week of Avengers: Infinity War last year, Regal said in a statement.

Box Office Pro is forecasting opening-weekend sales of US$265 million (S$360 million) in North America for Endgame, which opens on April 26.

That would exceed the record US$257.7 million set by Infinity War.

Box Office Pro also projects US$645 million for the film's full domestic run. That's short of the US$936.7 million record set by The Force Awakens, another Disney film, according to Box Office Mojo.

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