Fifty Shades of Grey got Manchester so hot under the collar that Odeon cinema-goers managed to glug more alcohol than anywhere else in the UK on the kinky movie’s opening night, MM can reveal.
Odeon Manchester not only sold more alcohol than any other Odeon in the UK but also managed to sell the second highest number of tickets during Fifty Shades of Grey’s opening weekend.
The latest figures reveal that Odeon Manchester sold more than £10,000 worth of alcohol, surpassing any other weekend in the company’s history.
Ticket sales were at a record high as Fifty Shades sold more than 14,000 tickets after three days, including the Gallery – the Odeon’s VIP experience.
Steve Gleave, general manager at Odeon Manchester, claims that the adaptation has become the best selling 18 certificated film ‘of all time’ and has ‘blown all records out of the water’.
He told MM: “We’ve had the record week in the Gallery, we’ve beaten Sex and the City 2 which is the previous busy film. It’s the busiest we’ve been since the cinema has been refurbished.
“We’ve done more than we have done in bar sales. The cocktails that the supervisors came up with were particular good sellers, especially the Fifty Shades of Grey Goose.
“We ran out of vodka about four or five times during the week. Normally what we stock, we double the estimate, but that went within the first two or three days.
“We knew there was a little bit of a niche in the market, but it was significantly higher than our predictions at the beginning of the year. Fifty Shades has blown all the records out of the water. It is the best 18 certificated film of all time.”
The Fifty Shades of Grey book series’ were hugely popular before the film adaptation, as they sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
The story depicts a sexual relationship between a college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young businessman, Christian Grey. It is notorious for Mr Grey performing acts of bondage on his partners.
Mr Gleave felt that despite the record high alcohol sales, the audiences did behave and there were barely any incidences of anti-social behaviour.
“Obviously because the film being an 18 crowd, and that audience where it was a lot of women going out, probably having a bit of a girly night out kind of leads itself towards a bit of alcohol sales,” he said.
“The great thing about it was that there wasn’t really any trouble. I think over the whole weekend there was only two or three maximum incidences were people were a bit too merry but certainly nothing beyond that which is fantastic to see.
“It just goes to show that it was drunk within reasonable moderation.”
While there were limited causes for complaint, Manchester is known to have an alcohol problem.
The number of people admitted to an NHS facility for alcohol-based treatment last year came close to 10million, costing Greater Manchester a reported £1.2billion.
Public Health England had revealed last year that the number of deaths from alcohol-related liver disease has risen by 40% across the UK over the last 12 years.
When asked about alcohol misuse in Manchester, Mr Gleave said: “We worked quite closely with the licensing authority when we introduced alcohol here. It’s something we spent a lot of time working with them on.
“But if you look at what we sell and our records sales, even in comparison to the bars we have in Manchester, it’s microscopic. Our battles are in other areas, the more positive impact is through sugar content, salt content, getting rid of the larger ones.
“I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but things like the pub trade seem to be on decline. Is that bad in regards to the fact that it doesn’t allow anyone to monitor it? Is the government actually doing the wrong thing in increasing VAT to the point where people no longer can drink in an environment where their friends are with them?
“Obviously being monitored by members of staff and instead that’s being pushed into the home. If you’re in home then it’s completely up to you isn’t it? You haven’t necessarily got a colleague or a friend that’s with you to say, maybe you’ve had a bit too much.”
Charity Alcohol Concern believes that the Government has a responsibility to put greater emphasis on alcohol education based programs and to bring in a minimum unit price for alcohol, which could save the nation billions in health spending.
The charity’s chief executive, Jackie Ballard, said: “The NHS is now facing an intolerable strain from alcohol-related illnesses. This is not just from readily-identifiable causes such as A&E visits and admissions for liver disease, but from a significant number of other conditions in which alcohol plays a major, but often underappreciated part.
“We urgently need action to prevent alcohol misuse. The first and most effective of which is for the Government to implement a minimum unit price, which has the potential to save the economy millions, and most importantly save lives.”
Image courtesy of Lucyb_22, with thanks.