May 19, 2003, 12:00 AM

Matrix sets sales records at Fandango.com

Fandango reported today that it sold $8 million worth of tickets for "The Matrix Reloaded," about 6% of the $135.5 million in "Matrix" tickets sold during a four-day opening weekend.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

"The Matrix Reloaded" nearly broke box office records for opening weekends and was a boon as well for online movie ticket seller Fandango.com. Fandango reported today that it sold $8 million worth of "Matrix" tickets, about 6% of the $135.5 million in "Matrix" tickets sold during a four-day opening weekend.

While "The Matrix Reloaded" was second in opening weekend box office receipts behind "Spider-Man," it was the largest opening weekend for Fandango. The previous leader at Fandango was "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," which sold $6 million in its opening weekend.

Fandango began selling "Matrix" tickets two weeks before the opening. In the week before the movie opened, the movie represented 98% of Fandango’s ticket sales. The movie also set records in selling 1 million tickets and in processing five transactions per second at the peak sales period.

The movie’s opening was so widely anticipated that its sales set Fandango’s record five days before "Matrix" hit the theaters, Fandango reports. Future openings may continue to set Fandango records as the service continues to add theaters. Today, 200 United Artist Theatres will start selling tickets through Fandango.

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