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50 Shades trades kinky for serious cash

14/02/1015 Movie anthusiasts line up at Sterkenikor's Sterland Mall for the eagerly awaited movie "Fifty Shades of Grey." Picture: Phill Magakoe

14/02/1015 Movie anthusiasts line up at Sterkenikor's Sterland Mall for the eagerly awaited movie "Fifty Shades of Grey." Picture: Phill Magakoe

Published Feb 16, 2015

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SCREENINGS of Fifty Shades of Grey over Valentine’s weekend are on track to be the biggest opening yet in South African cinema history, banking well over R10 million at the box office.

The Valentine’s Day screening of the highly anticipated movie trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, broke Ster-Kinekor records. The company announced yesterday that it achieved its biggest box office for a single day in its history. It surpassed the previous record by 47 percent.

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Nu Metro’s senior marketing manager, Charlotte Archer, said they couldn’t release final figures yet, but that the film’s opening had been “phenomenal”, with many shows sold out.

Archer said that Nu Metro claimed around 40 percent of the market, with Ster Kinekor holding 60 percent of the more than R10m ticket sales for the opening weekend.

Fifty Shades of Grey is based on the erotic novel written by British author EL James and centres on the characters of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

 

 

In the movie, Steele is a literature student while Grey is a successful wealthy businessman. The pair begin a love affair.

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Ster-Kinekor marketing executive Doug Place said Saturday was a day of breaking records for the company.

Fifty Shades of Grey was advertised as “the hottest cinema experience this Valentine’s Day” to which you can “treat your date”. “In addition to it being the biggest box office for one day, it was also the biggest Valentine’s Day and the busiest Saturday in terms of attendances at our sites countrywide, beating the previous record by 14 percent.”

Place said most of the bookings for Saturday’s screenings were made by users of the SK App. He said: “While Fifty Shades of Grey certainly led the way to these record-breaking heights, there were strong box office performances from other titles, too, on the Ster-Kinekor circuit.”

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Other movies that spiked sales were the family favourite SpongeBob SquarePants, followed by Kingsman: The Secret Service, for those who preferred a different kind of “action” on the big screen on Valentine’s Day.

To keep up with the demand, extra screens were opened, said Place.

“We opened extra screens throughout the day in an attempt to keep up with the ongoing demand for the hottest cinema ticket in town. In fact, we opened up a screen at Brooklyn Mall at 11.50pm on Saturday to satisfy the late-night lovers on the most romantic day of the year.”

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