The long-anticipated movie Fifty Shades of Grey was finally released on Valentine’s Day weekend, and as expected topped box office sales for the weekend. Unexpected however, is the state that far surpassed the rest of the nation in ticket sales for the kinky flick.
Mississippi sold four times more pre-sale tickets than anywhere else in the United States, according to a report from Fandango. The predominantly conservative state was accompanied by Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Alabama in the highest number of tickets sold for the film.
The romance novel has topped bestseller lists globally, and is notorious for going into explicit sexual detail and descriptions of bondage and sadomasochism. The franchise has been criticized for everything from its graphic sexual nature, to accusations that it promotes abusive relationships and domestic violence.
The film has even been denounced by the American Family Association, with the group pleading for the public to not see the movie.
It is therefore surprising to see the demand peak higher in southern states — which traditionally tend to hold toward more Christian and conservative family values — compared to the rest of the country.
According to a report from The Washington Post, the movie features 20 minutes of sex, and has been banned from screening in Malaysia due to alleged pornographic content.