Updated: February 5, 2015 6:11 PM ET | Originally published: February 5, 2015 3:56 PM EST

Excitement over the highly-anticipated film Fifty Shades of Grey is heating up in places few could have guessed. According to online box office Fandango, ticket pre-sales in Mississippi, where until recently it was actually illegal to sell sex toys, are four-times higher than the site expected.

And the Magnolia State isn’t the only Southern locale where pre-sale tickets are selling rapidly. In Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama — where the sale of sex toys is still banned — pre-sales are double what sellers expected.

“‘Fifty Shades’ is a true phenomenon all across the country,” said Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger in a press release. “It’s also a surprisingly hot seller in the South and Heartland, indicating that the anticipation for this film is across the board.”

Many of the states where pre-sales have exceeded expectations are among the most religious and Republican in the U.S., according to Fandango.

The movie based off the infamous “mommy-porn” series by E.L. James hits theaters just in time for Valentine’s Day. According to Fandango, shows in several cities are already sold out.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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