BY ANDREW STEWART
With "Sex and the City 2" set to launch nationwide a week from Thursday, Warner Bros. and New Line's femme-driven romp is seeing high advance ticket sales, especially from upscale multiplexes. Pic will benefit from an early Memorial Day weekend opening, making it a five-day weekend.
As with the first installment, femmes are turning the opening into an event, planning Cosmo-soaked escapades for opening weekend.
Gold Class Cinemas has pre-sold approximately 8,000 tickets in the past two months, with some 2,700 tickets for private events. Gold Class is one of several circuits, including ArcLight Cinemas, that will cater (literally) to femme auds when the comedy sequel opens wide May 27.
Mark Mulcahy, VP of marketing for Gold Class, described the bow as a "perfect storm" for upscale exhibs, some of which will serve "Sex"-themed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres during the film. Mulcahy said Gold Class, with six locations nationwide, has already sold approximately 1,500 of its "SATC 2" cocktails, including a Flirtini drink, along with more traditional Cosmopolitan and Manhattan offerings.
"It's the exact place where you can picture Samantha and Carrie going to see the film," Mulcahy said. "Having a Cosmo while you watch the film or having a Chinois chicken salad roll just adds to that experience."
Likewise, Arclight is offering party packages for moviegoers 21 and over, which includes two drink coupons and unlimited appetizers. Exhib plans to extend the offer through May 30, while some advanced tickets for Gold Class are already reserved through the film's second weekend.
The first "Sex" installment opened with $57 million the week after Memorial Day weekend in 2008 for a domestic cume of $152.6 million. Most insiders expect the sequel to outpace its predecessor given the longer weekend and increasing anticipation among femmes.
According to online ticketing service Fandango, "SATC 2" is slightly ahead of the first film in advanced ticket sales during a comparable sales cycle. "SATC 2" repped the top-selling title for the company Wednesday, with 37% of its total sales.