Bonkbuster Fifty Shades of Grey is whipping up a cinematic frenzy in West Norfolk with thousands of advanced ticket sales.
The Majestic Cinema in Lynn has already sold 2,500 tickets in the run-up to the film’s release today.
Normally the Tower Street cinema would be expect to see 1,000 pre-booked ticket sales.
The film has been closely guarded from prying eyes until its international premiere on Wednesday at the Berlin Film Festival, before a star-studded UK premiere in London’s Leicester Square on Thursday.
Owner of the Majestic Paul Jervis has been surprised with the reaction to the film.
He said: “It has been unprecedented. We put the tickets on sale 10 weeks ago and I have never known a film to sell out as quickly as this.
“We are up to 2,500 ticket sales and normally we would expect 1,000 advance ticket sales. It’s quite incredible.
“We have had a lot of group bookings.”
The film stars Dakota Johnson as literature student Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as the handsome and charming multimillionaire businessman Christian Grey.
The book by British author EL James raced to the top of the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, such was the clamour for copies of the paperback that Fifty Shades Of Grey outsold JK Rowling and Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code.
The film, which is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, has received a mixed reaction from the critics.
It is also proving a hit in Wisbech. Four screens at The Light cinema are already sold out for the opening weekend and the town’s Luxe Cinema reports an 85 per cent take-up already for the first ten days of the film’s run.
The Light Cinema has already sold over 1,700 tickets. A spokesperson said: “We knew Fifty Shades was going to be the first big blockbuster of the year, but even we were taken aback by the voracious demand from the people of Fenland.”
The Luxe at Wisbech expects to have screened to 90 per cent capacity by the time the film finishes its two-week run. A spokesman said: “This is a big film for us and will just about reach into our top 20 grossing films, with Skyfall top, followed by Les Misérables.”