So it's that time of year again. Valentine's day is only a few days away and everyone's trying to make last minute plans. What's funny is that most of them involve one thing in common, going to see the final movie of the Fifty Shades Franchise, Fifty Shades Freed.
Whatever your opinion is on the movies or the books, you have to admit this franchise has been making bank. I've read all three books, along with the other hundred girls in my high school senior year. I've also seen all three movies, the first one against my will by my friends and the other two voluntarily.
This has been part of the global pop culture for the last seven years. The twilight fanfiction by E.L James has become a global phenomenon among millions. It's be read by women, teenage girls, old ladies, the whole nine. The movie franchise just crossed the billion mark this weekend after the movie earned $136.9 million dollars worldwide opening weekend. I've heard so many people ask how these movies are still current, why people go see it, and why they keep getting money.
1. The fantasy of it all
The books have been a favorite among women of all ages. It's sold over 150 million copies worldwide. The fantasy of being whisked off your feet by an attractive and young billionaire and discovering your sensual and sexual identity. The curiosity of the series is what make people want to read it.
They also enjoy the evolution of the relationship of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey from Dominant/Submissive to Boyfriend/Girlfriend to Husband/Wife. There are three books in the trilogy and two books written in the main character, Christian Grey, perspective called Grey and Darker. The sixth book, Freed, is expected to come out in 2019.
2. The book's large fanbase
The fans of the books are beyond dedicated to the franchise. There have been bookclubs and fanfictions revolving around the story. From teenagers to soccer moms to old ladies, they love these books and can't put them down. They support anything the franchise puts out. The love characters in the books the same way we love characters in movies and television.
3. The leads do the book justice
The lead actors, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, are not only attractive but are well-performing actors. The script may have the worst dialogue but they make best with what they are given and embody their characters. They push themselves to an emotional level when it comes anything funny or dramatic. Also, Jamie Dornan's accent is on point, you would never believe he's from Ireland.
4. Money smart
Shooting movies aren't cheap but Universal has seemed to master the method of producing movies on a budget and getting a high sustainable earning back for them. Sure the movie's earnings go down with every movie but they are still making bank.
With a $50 -$55 million dollar budget with every movie, they make six times more than what it cost to make the movies. The first movie made $571 million dollars worldwide in 2015, The second movie made $381 million in 2017, and as of February 12th, the third movie has grossed $136.9 million dollars. Putting the movie franchise in the billion-dollar club.
5. Good marketing
The marketing strategy by Universal has been on point and persistent. With the first two months of the year being movie droughts for studios, they saw the opportunity of having a successful movie by having near a holiday, Valentine's Day.
They always release a trailer in the fall and the movie comes three months later in the late winter. The calendar works very much in their favor with Valentine's Day falling in the middle of the week. You have a weekend release the week before and then you have a herd of people goes watch it on Valentines Day. That's a guaranteed cash cow flow for the studio.
So is there a possibility of a fourth movie? As of right now, there are no plans for a fourth film and the cast says they said their goodbyes.
But the power of the fans can make things possible. They fought to bring the books to the screen and continue to support the franchise. A possible fourth movie down the road could happen but if not, they still get money from the wine and nail polish.