"Sex and the City" tickets sell at brisk pace

Fri May 30, 2008 6:32pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With Friday's opening of "Sex and the City" shaping up as a big girls-night-out event at U.S. movie theaters, industry analysts say the film seems poised to set a new box office standard for "chick flicks."

Estimates for the film's first weekend in North America range from $25 million to $40 million, and one leading tracking service, Los Angeles-based Media By Numbers, estimated a Friday-through-Sunday tally in the mid-$30 millions.

Online ticket retailer Fandango reported "Sex and the City" was accounting for 90 percent of its advance sales, with tickets being snapped up at the rate of seven per second.

"At this fast pace, we expect to sell out more than 1,000 'Sex and the City' showtimes by day's end," said Fandango CEO Rick Butler. "The advance ticket sales are nothing short of extraordinary for a female-driven comedy-drama."

"Sex" already has grossed nearly $12 million in overseas business since mid-week, including more than $7 million in Britain, nearly $3 million in Germany and $1.3 million in France, according to studio figures.

The film is based on the hit HBO television series of the same name starring Sarah Jessica Parker as a fashion-conscious, Manhattan magazine columnist, Carrie Bradshaw, writing about urban romance and the singles scene.

Carrie and her three best pals -- Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha -- are all picking up their lives where they left off when the TV show went off the air in 2004.

An online survey of more than 10,000 moviegoers buying tickets from Fandango found that 94 percent were women, and that 67 percent planned to attend the movie this weekend with a group of female friends.   Continued...

<p>Sarah Jessica Parker arrives during the "Sex And The City" movie premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York May 27, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>