Moviegoers are already hot for "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Universal Pictures' bondage-flavored Valentine's Day gift to cinemas doesn't open for nearly a month, but is already the fastest selling R-rated title in Fandango history.
The online ticketer reports that the adaptation of E.L. James' steamy best-seller has supplanted "Sex and the City 2" for the honor. It's also outpacing other R-rated hits such as the second and third "Hangover" films and "Gone Girl."
"Fifty Shades" is having the biggest first week of ticket sales on Fandango for a non-sequel film since the first "Hunger Games" movie debuted in 2012. The demand is causing theater owners in all fifty states to offer new showtimes.
Although based on a literary phenomenon, "Fifty Shades of Grey" represents something of a risk for Universal. Sexually charged films haven't been in vogue since "Basic Instinct" and "Fatal Attraction" pushed boundaries in the late 1980s and early 1990s. To that end, the studio seems to be emphasizing the love story elements of the story in its promotional materials. Apparently love means always needing to have a safe word.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in the film about a literary student who falls for a billionaire with a kinky side. "Fifty Shades of Grey" debuts on Feb. 13.