“Avengers: Endgame” doesn’t open until the end of April, but it’s already proving to be an unstoppable box office force. After breaking the Fandango record for most tickets sold on the first day of availability (a feat “Endgame” pulled off in just six hours), “Endgame” has now gone on to shatter the record for most tickets sold on the online ticket outlet in the first week. The company has announced “Endgame” sold fives times as many tickets in this period as “Avengers: Infinity War,” which currently holds the box office record for highest-grossing opening weekend with $257 million domestic. But “Endgame” did more than just break a Fandango record, it changed how the company operates.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Fandango president Paul Yanover said that in order to survive “Avengers: Endgame” tickets becoming available online, the company had to do something it’s never done before in its near 19-year history: Create a holding room and force users to wait until they can access the server and order tickets. Yanover said the company learned the hard way when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” tickets became available and the server became overwhelmed and crashed the Fandango website.
“You could tell from the first 15 minutes of tickets going online it was going to be bigger than ‘The Force Awakens,'” Yanover said. “Because we can’t increase our scale to respond to a three-hour window every couple of years, we created a system to have an orderly management of the situation. People had to wait — there’s nothing we can do about that — but nothing crashed.”
With “Endgame,” Fandango had to make a choice to either use a holding room strategy or face the inevitable outcome of the server failing and the website crashing. The first choice was clearly a better option, even if that meant fans would get irritated by having to wait on hold before being allowed to order tickets. While some fans complained on social media, the decision mostly paid off as Fandango survived the large volume of traffic and was able to handle ticket buyers for a 24-hour period without crashing.
Yanover told Business Insider that fans should never have to “wait” in order to buy tickets, but in the case of “Endgame” it was the only strategy that would allow fans to even buy tickets on Fandango in the first place. The film has now gone on to sell the most tickets in its first week of availability, which is adding fuel to buzz that “Endgame” could near a $300 million debut in the U.S. The movie opens nationwide April 26.