When it comes to scooping up tickets for the latest installment of the “Star Wars” franchise, the market force is strong with this one.
Not long after tickets for “Star Wars: Force Awakens” went on sale last week nationwide, two months before it will hit theaters, seats to the film’s premiere in Boston began vanishing like a lightsaber going back into its hilt.
Now, resale prices on websites like Craigslist and eBay are climbing, with some sellers asking as much as $300 for three seats.
The highly-anticipated movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, who is known for his “Star Trek” reboot and the enigmatic TV show “Lost,” is set to open in the United States and Canada on Dec. 18, with many theaters showing it a night before.
The film continues the franchise first made famous by George Lucas, which kicked off in 1977, with “Star Wars.”
Marc Pugliese, of Amesbury, said he didn’t intentionally buy extra seats with the goal of making a profit. But when two friends bailed on him for the opening night of the film, he turned to Craigslist to get rid of his excess tickets.
“May the force be with you,” Pugliese wrote on Craigslist, trying to entice potential buyers.
He quickly got an offer — $100 for both, much higher than the original $12 retail price.
“I thought I could see what I could get for these,” he said. “When I listed it, I didn’t think I would get that much. I figured people would just see it the next day.”
Other people on Craigslist are asking for much more. Three tickets for the first showing at AMC Framingham are going for $100 each.
A much more modest reseller is only hoping to get $30 for a pair of tickets to a showing at the AMC Loews Boston Common theater opening night.
Even seats for the night after the general premiere are in high demand.
Nick, who didn’t want to give his last name, is selling eight seats to a showing in Woburn on Saturday, Dec. 19. He plans to sell each ticket for $50, after he found out a friend had already reserved seats for Nick and his family at a different theater.
“To be honest, I wasn’t planning on selling them,” he said. But he figured, “Why not?”
The attorney general’s office on Tuesday pointed to advice it issued during the recent visit to the United States of the pope, warning people to protect themselves and beware of phony tickets.
Jared Gordon, a film professor at Emerson College and longtime “Star Wars” buff, said he’s not surprised that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to see the film on opening night. He said people are paying for the experience, so they can be surrounded by fans with a shared passion for a cultural phenomeneon that has trascended generations.
“It’s not just some ticket. You are buying a ticket to a cultural experience. This doesn’t happen too often — it’s beyond a film,” said Gordon. “This is a participatory ritual, and it’s fun to be around other people excited about the same thing as you are.”
Steve Annear can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.