Courtesy of Universal Pictures
By Daniel Bukszpan
February 14, 2015

It wasn’t that long ago that movies with strong sexual themes flew under the radar, and attempts to make them mainstream remained just that – attempts. As a result, such high-quality movies as 1990’s “Henry and June” and 1996’s “Crash” remain cult films, seen by very few.

This hard reality changes when the movie in question is based on a book that’s sold 100 million copies, such as the forthcoming adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (The movie is due out February 13.) Sales figures like those make it mainstream by default, so lots of companies want to ride its coattails to profit and glory.

A few of these companies are head-scratchers, such as the American Association of Retired Persons, which has published a Valentine’s Day gift guide inspired by the movie. Then there are others that one might think would want to steer clear of it altogether.

Fortune presents a list of companies who are riding the gravy train and making “Fifty Shades of Grey” a mainstream venture, whether they mean to or not.


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