CARDIFF has been seized by a grand passion – as thousands prepare to see the long awaited Fifty Shades of Grey.
The adaption of E.L. James’ best selling novel, which charts the steamy romance of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, grabbed headlines with its shocking bondage themes. And Friday sees the long awaited release of the motion picture adaption of the book.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, the online film trailer alone has been watched almost 54 million times.
Watch the trailer, by Universal Pictures UK on YouTube here:
Cinemas across Cardiff have received pre-bookings since December for the film event, and booking lines for cinemas have been adapted to fast track people booking Fifty Shades tickets.
At Cardiff’s Vue cinema, team leader Angela Gray said: “It’s the biggest reaction I have seen in the three years I have worked here. For just the Friday and Saturday we have over 1,300 people booked in already.”
“Men and women have been booking in in big groups, we’ve had lots of bookings for 9 or 10 people at the same time. I would say its mostly women. The 5pm Valentines Day slot is especially busy, people want to see it and go out after.”
In preparation for the film the cinema has bought extra supplies: “We have ordered in rose wine and champagne – because that’s Mr Grey’s favourite. We don’t usually stock champagne so that’s especially for the film.”
Cinemas across Cardiff have scheduled in screenings from 9:30am on Friday to accommodate demand. “We only do that for big releases like The Hobbit,” explains Ms Gray. “I think the reaction to this has been more, especially considering this has an 18 rating.
“In fact there were some people who when they were booking said if it was a 15 rating they weren’t going to come see it, as it wouldn’t be true to the book.”
City centre-based Cineworld is expecting 4,000 people on Saturday night. The film will be shown every hour on the cinema’s two biggest screens.
One customer was making a booking for her and 11 friends and said: “It’s just a different, fun thing to do on Valentine’s Day for a group of friends.”
Tickets can be booked from the Cineworld box office at www.cineworld.co.uk/whatson/fifty-shades-of-grey?cinema=cardiff&date=all or by calling 0871 200 2000.
Vue cinema are still taking bookings at www.myvue.com/home/cinema/cardiff