Belfast Telegraph

Fifty Shades Of Grey: Jamie Dornan's bonkbuster tops half a billion at the box office

By Sara Neill

Two months after it started its domination of the box office, Fifty Shades of Grey has bust through the half billion dollar barrier.

New figures reveal that the 'bonkbuster' has made $400m in the overseas box office - 10 times what it cost to make.

Together with the $165.5m it has taken in North America, it is now one of film studio Universal's highest grossing movies ever, not far behind Mamma Mia! on $606m.

The steamy money-spinner is based on EL James' best-selling erotic novel of the same name, and gave Co Down actor Jamie Dornan his big break as billionaire Christian Grey, who exerts his dominance over shy student, Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson.

Despite protests by some religious groups, claims it has glamorised violence towards women, and even outright bans in the Middle East, Fifty Shades has become the year's hottest movie.

The raunchy show is Universal's top-grossing R-rated release - similar to an '18' rating in the UK - ever.

It also became the highest-grossing Valentine's Day release ever.

Fifty Shades also broke records for director Sam Taylor-Johnson, when it had the largest opening weekend for a female director. However, that has not been enough of a draw to keep Taylor-Johnson involved. She quit the franchise after a series of alleged disagreements with author EL James, and a new director has not yet been revealed.

The books had already built up a huge following, which guaranteed record audiences when the film opened in cinemas across the UK and further afield on Valentine's Day.

The hype led to tales of catfights breaking out at screenings across the UK, and security guards were called in to the Movie House on the Dublin Road to deal with "boisterous" women.

The huge success has skyrocketed 32-year-old Dornan to new heights.

After starting out as a model for Calvin Klein, Dornan was beginning to make a stir for national audiences as he portrayed creepy killer Paul Spector in Belfast-based crime drama The Fall.

But it is his role as the cool, calm, and very handsome Mr Grey that has made him a household name around the world.

And that means Dornan is well-equipped to negotiate a seven-figure salary for the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, which has reportedly been given the green light.

The Holywood man is also set to team up once again with co-star Johnson, who is the daughter of Melanie Griffiths and Don Johnson, for the next instalment.


Universal's top grossing movies include:

1 Jurassic Park: $1.04bn

2 Despicable Me: $975.2m

3 ET: $798m

4 Fast & Furious 6: $789m

5 Fast Five: $630m

6 The Lost World: Jurassic Park: $624.9m

7 Mamma Mia: $606m

8 Fifty Shades of Grey: $565.5m

Belfast Telegraph


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