This post has been updated. See below for details:
"Magic Mike" is dominating online ticket sales, indicating that fans are preparing to go in groups to the male stripper movie starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey.
A spokesman for Fandango.com confirmed Tuesday that "Magic Mike" accounts for 36% of all ticket sales on the site, slightly ahead of "Brave," which is already in theaters, at 31%.
Among other movies opening this weekend, "Ted" is a very distant second place, at 4%.
[Update, June 27, 10:22 A.M.: As of Wednesday, "Magic Mike's" share of ticket sales on Fandango had spiked to 53%, the spokesman said. "Brave" was 17% and "Ted" 7%.]
The disparity is notable given that pre-release surveys of potential moviegoers -- known as "tracking" in the industry -- indicates that "Ted" should have a strong opening weekend. It's expected to debut to about $40 million, compared with about $25 million for "Magic Mike."
However, "Magic Mike" studio Warner Bros. has been encouraging women to see the movie with friends, a strategy that appears to be working based on the digital pre-sales. Moviegoers are more likely to buy tickets ahead of time when planning to go to a film with a large group.
Small groups or couples are more likely to purchase their tickets at the theater.
In some ads for "Magic Mike," Warner Bros. tells fans to "tell your boyfriend you're going to book club."