Bondage is hot right now.
That goes for the entire U.S., including the Golden Triangle.
Why do we say that? Well…
“Fifty Shades of Grey,” a racy movie about a bondage-infused relationship, earned an estimated $81.7 million over its debut weekend, according to Universal Pictures. It became the second-highest February debut ever, behind only “Passion of the Christ’s” $83.9 million in 2004.
Nick Carpou, president of domestic distribution with Universal, noting strong outings across the South, said the R-rated film had a “tremendous amount of interest from small-town exhibitors.”
According to Universal, North American audiences were 68 percent female.
In Mississippi, pre-ticket sales were nearly four times the average pre-show ticket sales, according to Fandango, which sells movie tickets online.
Pre-ticket sales at the Columbus Malco were “brisk,” Karen Scott, director of marketing for Malco Theatres, told The Dispatch last week. She declined to offer a specific number.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” the movie is based on a book with the same titled published in 2011. After it hit book stores, adult toy stores across the U.S. saw sexual paraphernalia sales grow 7.5 percent in 2013, according to market research firm IBISWorld.
A manager at Fantasyland Shop, an adult toy store on Highway 69 South, told The Dispatch the business has always sold a lot of the items that appear in the story, including Ben Wa balls, handcuffs, riding crops and masks. Ever since the book came out, though, the store has seen an uptick in bondage-related items, according to the manager.
Now that the movie is out and doing well, the store expects sales to jump even more.
Management at Senations, an adult store on Highway 373, declined to comment. Management at The Pony’s adult store on Highway 45 South did not return messages.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.