(Reuters) – The upcoming installment of the “Star Wars” franchise tops moviegoers’ lists of most anticipated films of 2015, ticket seller Fandango said on Tuesday in what Hollywood watchers expect to be a banner box office year for studios.
“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” highlights a year of big-budget franchise releases that includes runner-up films “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.”
Those films are expected to push challenge 2013’s record year of about $11 billion in U.S. ticket sales. This year so far, films have grossed $9.4 billion domestically, according to boxofficemojo.com.
The new “Star Wars” film, which will be the first produced by Walt Disney Co, is set to be released on Dec. 18 and the reboot of George Lucas’ sci-fi universe will be directed by “Star Trek” filmmaker J.J. Abrams.