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Wadena Star Wars fans flock to the Cozy

Star Wars fans lined up outside Wadena's Cozy Theatre Thursday night for an advance screening of The Force Awakens.

Star Wars fans flocked to Wadena's Cozy Theatre over the weekend to see the highly-anticipated new film "The Force Awakens."

Despite chilly temps and gusts of wind Thursday night, fans began standing in line outside the Cozy before the box office opened at 6 p.m. for the advance screening at 7 p.m. Quincer showed the film on all three screens, offering more than 600 seats for the screening.

"It's good for the movie business when something big like this comes out," Cozy Theatre owner Dave Quincer said. "It re-energizes people and gets them excited about going to movies again."

Quincer showed the Star Wars movie on two screens at the Cozy for the next six days it showed, which meant more than 400 seats available for every showing.

The Force Awakens was scheduled to be at the Cozy for four weeks, a requirement for theaters that wanted to show the movie opening weekend.

Quincer is a Star Wars fan himself and said the film franchise has a very loyal following.

"It's basically like a cowboy movie set in space," he said about the plot of the series. "I think anyone could like these movies."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens did well across the country over the opening weekend.

It generated a record $238 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over the weekend as fans of the space saga packed theaters, according to Walt Disney Co estimates on Sunday.

The first "Star Wars" film in a decade took in a total of $517 million at box offices around the world, Disney said.

Domestic sales eclipsed the previous $208.8 million record set by dinosaur adventure film "Jurassic World" in June.

"Force Awakens" is the seventh installment in the epic science-fiction franchise created by George Lucas in 1977. Disney bought producer Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012.

Fans of the series reveled in the chance to revisit the "Star Wars" galaxy at the weekend. Some dressed as Jedi or Sith, carried lightsabers and cheered when classic characters such as Princess Leia or Chewbacca appeared on screen.

Theaters added showtimes to meet demand, Disney said.

This report included information from Reuters Media.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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