Universal Studios has selected Friday, May 8 (that’s correct, a Friday street date) as the retail-ready date for director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film adaptation of the E. L. James’ best-selling novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions are planned.
The ARR is a very fast-to-market 84 days and ticket sales stand at a torrid $163.8 million.
With the magnitude of the box office receipts there can be little doubt that whatever trepidations about being seen as a ticket-buying patron at a bondage-themed film were quickly set aside. But there is much more going on here than just sexual “experimentations” and one has to wonder if that, and not necessarily the lurid nature of the film, was even a bigger draw.
Basically, Fifty Shades of Grey is a film version of a pulp “Romance Novel,” but on steroids. It’s about sex, money, power and control with the participants — in this case Dakota Johnson (The Social Network, The Five-Year Engagement, etc.) as Ana (aka: Anastasia) and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey — being attractive and bringing the necessary attributes to the story.
So successful has this adaptation been that an instant franchise has been born for Universal Studios — grossing roughly two dollars overseas for every dollar domestically (that’s $563 million and counting). So it is only natural that Fifty Shades Darker will be released theatrically in 2017 and Fifty Shades Freed will make the rounds the following year (Johnson and Dornan will return).
As to bonus features, the Blu-ray SKU delivers two viewing options — the theatrical cut (R-rated) and an unrated version (presumably with excised footage that would have garnered Fifty Shades of Grey a NC-17 rating).
Common to both the DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions are the featurette titled, “The World of Fifty Shades of Grey: Friends and Family” and a Behind-the-Scenes production tour.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are an alternated ending to the films, a trio of music videos, a 360° tour of the various sets used in the film and additional featurettes, including multi-part examinations of both Ana and Christian Grey.