‘Fifty’ frenzy: Some fans get sneak peek at controversial film

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CLEVELAND-- 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is turning into fifty shades of green!

The much-anticipated movie officially opens Valentine’s Day weekend, but Thursday night some fans got a sneak peek of the film.

Premiere events were held across the country and locally at theaters including the Capitol Theatre on W. 65th Street in Cleveland.

The movie is based on the hugely successful racy trilogy by author E L James, which sold over 100 million copies.

The film is expected bring in from $50-$60 million domestically during its debut weekend.

The erotic romance is about a young college grad named Anastasia Steele who is pursued by a billionaire businessman named Christian Grey; he's a man with unique sexual tastes.

Visits to the emergency room, with sex-related injuries doubled and sex toy sales tripled since the books were released, and already some theaters in other cities have warned people to leave that stuff at home.

*More on Fifty Shades of Grey*

But fans say it’s not just about the sex. One woman attending a premiere in Cleveland said, “It was certainly more comprehensive than that. There’s a lot going on in terms of romance, emotions, and a lot of sadness a lot going on.”

In fact, some of the scenes might be upsetting for some viewers, especially victims of sexual violence. “My fear with this movie is that survivors may see some element of their own experience on the screen, and then see people being entertained by it. That really minimizes the pain they’ve experienced,” said Sondra Miller, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center CEO.

She said that’s why some organizations have started the #50dollarsnot50shades movement.  People have been donating $50 to domestic violence and rape crisis centers, including the Cleveland center in lieu of seeing the movie.

Miller said one in five women will become a victim of sexual violence in their lifetime in Ohio alone. She said if people do see the movie, she hopes they have discussions afterward about the difference between healthy safe sex and intimacy and rape and sexual abuse.

“I hope viewers really understand the distinction,” said Miller. “If you consent to an activity at a time, that’s different than consenting every time, or to every activity.”

Author E L James has commented on social media sites about the criticism of her characters, the movie and books. She posted that she doesn’t see the connection to domestic violence.

Fans also said they don’t think of the storyline that way either. And they want people to give the books and movie a chance before judging anyone.

But if anyone does have a negative reaction or wants to speak to someone, they can contact the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center hotline 24 hours a day at (216) 619-6192. Click here for more.

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