A seemingly innocent afternoon out at the theaters would take an audience full of families ready to see SpongeBob SquarePants and tie them down in the bondage of Fifty Shades of Grey. At least, for a little while, anyway. Yes, an innocent matinée showing of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water would experience the unthinkable scrambled scenario when the beginning of the film was seemingly swapped for the bawdy box-office smash that has tapped into some forbidden pocket in our already-sex-obsessed popular culture.
According to the Denver Post, a local Denver movie theater, during an 11:45 AM showing, would send a large portion of the wholesomeness-craving audience scattering when the extremely R-rated, strangely sex-filled Fifty Shades of Grey began to play in place of the SpongeBob film they clearly came to enjoy. While the extremely awkward lascivious swap would be brief, it would actually be the mad scramble by panicking parents to haul their unspoiled offspring out of the theaters that would become the real story.
According to witness, Joe Jaramillo, who was in the audience with his granddaughter, the incident seemed to devolve to comedy. As Jaramillo recounts to another report by The Coloradoan:
Some were moving pretty fast to get the kids out of the theater. The family sitting behind me said what I was thinking: 'Am I in the right theater?'
According to Jaramillo’s recount, things were looking rather "shady" from the beginning when he noticed that the previews were rather demographic-inappropriate, focused on films of a romantic nature. However, the children in attendance didn’t seem to either notice or care, even after it was clear that SpongeBob’s home of Bikini Bottom had been BDSM’d by Fifty Shades. The children, still apparently oblivious of what had occurred were apparently chanting, possibly in protest, "SpongeBob! SpongeBob!" as their parents dragged them out of the theater to shield their eyes from the possibility of their perception of SpongeBob being seriously compromised in more ways than one.
Thankfully, for the families in attendance that were only still "just thinking" about getting up to leave before things got really steamy, only the beginning of Fifty Shades managed to be shown before it was replaced with the correct film. Apparently, a few factors contributed to the mix-up, the first of which had to do with the technological woes associated with digital screenings due to "a chip problem with the server." Additionally, in a revelation that might inspire families around the world to bathe themselves in tubs full of Purell, the specific theater hosting that showing of SpongeBob also shows Fifty Shades during the evenings.
All in all, it sounds like a conventional calamity that, at least, in some form or another, any semi-regular movie patron has experienced. (I’m still pissed that I had the ending for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones spoiled when the theater I was at accidentally skipped reels to the final sequence during the premiere day showing.) However, since this particular calamity involves Fifty Shades of Grey and its headline-making madness, we are chalking it up to an unmitigated exhibition in the annals of "fail."
Fifty Shades of Grey seems to have lost some of the zip in its spanking ability with a dramatic 73% box-office dip, but it’s still the love-bruising cinematic champ and can be seen now.