Hearts aflut­ter over de­but of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Anearly three-year wait had dwin­dled to mere days, and Liz Pulice grasped for words to cap­ture the mood. “I don’t think any­one has been this gig­gly and ex­cited since ‘Ti­tanic,’ ” she said fi­nally.

If you have to ask, don’t even bother. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the movie based on the erotic tril­ogy that has sold more than 100 mil­lion copies world­wide, is now play­ing and Shades Na­tion is in a state.

“If you are not talk­ing about it,” said Pulice, 31, of Waltham, “it’s just be­cause you’re not ad­mit­ting you’re dy­ing to see it.”

The raunchy se­ries has been panned by crit­ics for lack of lit­er­ary merit, but fans look­ing for things other than a well-turned phrase have bought so many tick­ets that “Fifty Shades” has be­come the fastest-sell­ing R-rated movie. Sev­eral show­ings are al­ready sold out.

The mer­chan­dis­ing tie-ins have gone so far be­yond the ex­pected lin­gerie and re­lated items that the faith­ful can buy ev­ery­thing from Fifty Shades wine to baby one­sies (“9 months ago Mommy read 50 Shades of Grey”) to a Ver­mont Teddy Bear with “smol­der­ing” grey eyes, a suit, and mini­hand­cuffs.

Last week, direc­tor Sam Tay­lor-John­son re­port­edly an­nounced that there will be two se­quels.

It’s hard to re­mem­ber, but a few years ago, few peo­ple had heard of E.L. James, the for­mer Bri­tish TV ex­ec­u­tive who jumped off “Twi­light” to write her own story, a kinky fan fic­tion tale about a bil­lion­aire CEO, Chris­tian Grey, and Anas­ta­sia Steele, the vir­ginal col­lege stu­dent who falls for him.

What started as an un­der­ground phe­nom­e­non in 2011 ex­ploded in 2012, when Vin­tage Books bought the English-lan­guage and au­dio rights, a move that was fol­lowed by a movie deal with Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures and Fo­cus Fea­tures. The books have been trans­lated into more than 50 lan­guages.

And now, the film is about to hit the­aters — af­ter cast­ing dif­fi­cul­ties; ten­sions be­tween au­thor and direc­tor; the chal­lenges of shoot­ing an X-rated book with R-rated lim­i­ta­tions; even a so­cial­me­dia cam­paign aimed at get­ting peo­ple to do­nate $50 to women’s shel­ters in­stead of see­ing the movie.

An­a­lysts ex­pect the movie to do US$60 mil­lion at the box of­fice open­ing week­end. Thanks to a last-minute deal, the movie will also play on 75 IMAX screens.

In prepa­ra­tion, fans are treat­ing them­selves to sec­ond, third, and fourth re-reads of the books. They are tweet­ing and pin­ning and Face­book­ing. They are gob­bling up pub­lic­ity that has man­aged to go be­yond the movie to sweep in al­most all of Hol­ly­wood.

“My boyfriend just sent me a con­fir­ma­tion e-mail with tick­ets for Valen­tine’s Day,” said Meghan Daly, 29, a pub­li­cist from Avon. “I don’t think he’s a will­ing par­tic­i­pant, but he’s tak­ing one for the team.”

( Taken from the Bos­ton Globe).

Dakota John­son and Jamie Dornan in a scene from

“Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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