Let it not be said that Fifty Shades Of Grey was an unsuccessful movie financially. On a $40 million budget, the film has already grossed over $528 million worldwide. But that’s the equivalent of a flash in the pan. It may have had a massive USA opening of $81 million on its first weekend, but audiences haven’t exactly been flocking to the red room since then, with massive drop-offs in attendance every single weekend since it opened.
That’s thanks to poor word of mouth, on a film that was already troubled with director Sam Taylor-Johnson having to deal with power-mad author EL James wanting more and more control over the project, stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson having a dislike for one another and the sequel being without a writer, director or release date. And to make things worse, Dornan and Johnson are now asking for a massive pay hike according to THR.
The pair originall received $250 000 each for their role in the first film, with a three picture deal in place. There were also tiered box office bonuses, but they now want a reported seven figure deal to come back for the sequel. THR says that Universal chair Donna Langley doesn’t want the stars to be unhappy, but having the two stars drop out of their contracts will create a casting nightmare for a sequel that wants to start shooting in early 2016 already. The flipside here however, is that a low salary helps keep the film costs low while maximising box office profits, as Universal wants to keep the budget around $40 million again for the sequel.
Still, if things go from bad to worse, they could actually always release Johnson and Dornan from their contracts. It’s not as if Hollywood isn’t filled with desperate young actors who are willing to punish themselves and star in this dreck in order to raise their profile.
Last Updated: March 12, 2015