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‘If I Stay’ Leads Weekend Box Office Pre-Sales

Broken hearts are more powerful than big lugs.

The weepy “If I Stay” is leading weekend pre-sales, trouncing retro-noir “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” and the football drama “When the Game Stands Tall,” according to Fandango.

If I Stay” is currently responsible for 40% of weekend ticket sales on the site, while “When the Games Stands Tall” is hovering at 13% of purchases. The “Sin City” sequel is gunning for 10% of sales. Two holdovers, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are both responsible for 6% of tickets moved.

It looks like a lackluster box office weekend, but “If I Stay” is expected to top the charts with between $18 million to $20 million in receipts. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” should pull in $15 million and “When The Games Stands Tall” could make $10 million.

Movietickets.com, another online ticket seller, only reports daily numbers, but “If I Stay” is the big winner there too. It sold 18% of tickets in the last 24 hours, followed by “Guardians” with 13% and “Ninja Turtles” with 9%.

“If I Stay” centers on a young girl in a coma who must choose to live or die — her family has been killed in a car crash, but her boyfriend remains among the living. Like this summer’s sob-fest, “The Fault in Our Stars,” “If I Stay” will benefit from its origins as a hot literary property.

Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 “If I Stay” ticket-buyers on its site and found that 84% know the novel by Gayle Forman and 82% want the book’s sequel, “Where She Went,” to become a movie. Because nothing says “girls night out” like a comatose girl and her dead parents, 73% plan to see it with friends.

There’s also a pattern at play, as 77% report having seen “The Hunger Games” movies; 58% checked out “Divergent;” and 57% shed tears throughout “Fault in Our Stars.”

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