The official press release from Fandango:
LOS ANGELES — Already the fastest-selling R-rated title in Fandango’s 15-year history, the highly anticipated movie version of E.L. James’s bestseller, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” is poised for a red-hot debut on Valentine’s Day Weekend. Fandango analyzed its pre-sales history, state-by-state, and discovered that “Fifty Shades” is selling significantly better than normal in many Southern and Midwest States. The top five performers include Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama. In Mississippi, pre-sales for “Fifty Shades” are nearly four times higher than expected on Fandango.
“‘Fifty Shades’ is a true phenomenon all across the country,” says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. “It’s a surprisingly hot seller in the South and Heartland, indicating that the anticipation for this film is across the board.”
The top ten states, where “Fifty Shades” pre-sales are much larger than expected, are ranked below:
1. Mississippi: 3.9x
2. Arkansas: 2.8x
3. West Virginia: 2.7x
4. Kentucky: 2.1x
5. Alabama: 2.0x
6. Louisiana: 2.0x
7. North Dakota: 1.9x
8. South Carolina: 1.8x
9. Iowa: 1.7x
10. Tennessee: 1.6x
The findings are based on a state-by-state analysis of advance sales patterns on Fandango. The company compared the pre-sales performance of “Fifty Shades” against the average and found surprisingly high numbers in the states listed above.
To date, there are hundreds of sold-out “Fifty Shades” showtimes from the first 8:00pm showtimes on Thursday, February 12, throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, in cities ranging from Tupelo, MS, Florence, KY and Chattanooga, TN to San Diego, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. Theater owners are continually adding new screens and posting new showtimes on Fandango to meet the fan demand.
At the end of December 2014, Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 ticket-buyers, asking them which 2015 films they’re most excited to see on the big screen. “Fifty Shades” ranked among the top four films, along with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” while “Fifty Shades” star Jamie Dornan was voted “Biggest Male Breakout Movie Star of 2015.”