Movie studios have traditional tracking numbers, which can give them ideas weeks ahead of time how their films will perform when they finally open. And while we occasionally get glimpses of those in the press, we mostly rely on something a lot more public and people-oriented: pre-sales at online ticket sellers like Fandango and Fandango in particular is good about sharing their data, and when they promote strong sales, it usually indicates a hit its on its way. It happened for The Hunger Games and Les Miserables among many others, and now it's boding incredibly well for the weekend's biggest, most visually dazzling release, Gravity.

We got an idea last week that Gravity was in good shape heading into its opening weekend, but now that the audience is speaking with its ticket-buying dollars, the future looks even brighter. According to Fandango Gravity is selling more tickets than Argo was days before its opening last year, and even more than Bullock's summer hit The Heat; Argo opened to $19 million and of course went on to win Best Picture, while The Heat had a huge $39 million opening and eventually made $224 million worldwide. That comedy hit proved that Bullock's huge The Blind Side ($309 million worldwide) wasn't a fluke, and allowed Warner Bros. to invest heavily in Gravity's marketing, confident that audiences would turn out to see Bullock (not to mention her equally famous co-star George Clooney).

Even better, 91% of Gravity's ticket sales are for 3D showings, suggesting that moviegoers are listening when people like us tell them that it's an absolute must-see in 3D. We're pretty much universally crazy about the movie around here, with both Sean and I writing raves about it, but it's the kind of thing that, if you don't see it on a gigantic screen and with the 3D that director Alfonso Cuaron carefully crafted, you're really not seeing it the right way. There's probably nothing better you can do with your weekend than going to see Gravity, so head to Fandango (or ticket retailer of your choice), buy some tickets, and see the future of movies at your local theater.

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