"Fifty Shades of Grey" movie pre-sale big in AR

"Fifty Shades of Grey" movie pre-sale big in AR

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The popular book series "Fifty Shades of Grey" is releasing its big screen version next weekend on Valentines Day. Arkansas is at the top of list for pre-sale tickets.

Tickets are selling fastest in the south, and The Hollywood Reporter expects the movie to bring in more than $45 million its opening weekend.

Many are surprised of the strong sales in what some consider the Bible Belt, but the much talked about book now movie is getting some buzz.

Region 8 theaters are preparing for the crowd.

"We are expecting sell out theaters, hopefully that night," said Alan Crader, general manager at Paragould Cinema 8. "At least three auditoriums and hopefully about 500 people, roughly."

Paragould Cinema 8 has already sold 150 to 160 tickets for its special premiere Thursday. Movie site Fandango reports the south has higher ticket sales and Crader believes it.

"We have another theater and it's also located in Nebraska and with talks with them, they have only sold 10 to 12 tickets for their pre-sale versus our 150," Crader said.

But not everyone agrees with the highly sexual film. Shauna Gassaway didn't read the book.

"As a Christian I choose what I read and what I watch," Gassaway said. "So to me, I feel like it's pornography in print. Therefore, I don't plan to see the movie."

"I read the first one and part of the second one, and I think they got very vulgar and they lead you into sinful desires," Erica Gilbow said.

But some will wait to watch it in the privacy of their homes, when it's released on DVD.

"The books are very personal, very sexual," Vonda Keasler said. "I don't have a problem with that. I have a little bit of a problem with seeing it on screen with a bunch of other people."

As ticket sales show, people definitely want to know more about Christian Grey. Paragould Cinema 8 expects the theater to be crowded from Thursday up until the end of the month.

Crader believes the books, like "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games," have a lot to do with the popularity

Keasler said she enjoyed reading the books because beyond the sex, it's about the story.

"It's a love story, and she ends up saving him, so it's all good," Keasler said. "I think they are really enjoyable."

With just one week before release, Crader said he has sold tickets to women of all ages and even men.

The movie officially premieres on Valentine's Day.

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