There is much lamenting and knashing of teeth in my universes over 50 Shades of Grey. As such, I figured this movie would go down like The Interview… but it didn’t. The first weekend box office figures were $85 million, even larger than Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. Granted, ticket prices have gong up a lot since the Passion, but still the box office shows this to be an incredibly popular movie with world wide figures pushing $500 million this week.
One interesting bit, is that 2 groups who are normally at 180 degrees (feminists and conservative Christians) out of phase with each other are lamenting this movie. Libby Anne noticed this too and has a really cool write up on it. Her summary:
“But in general, what has evangelicals up in arms over Fifty Shades of Grey is its endorsement of premarital relationships and kinky sex, while what has feminists up in arms is its glorification of abuse and its perversion of kinky sex. This disagreement is rooted in a huge divergence in the two groups’ underlying sexual ethics.”
Divergence in sexual ethics makes sense as to the parallel upset, but it doesn’t explain the popularity, unless the groups are much smaller than they are normally sold to be. It would be cool to have audience stats and run some analysis, but such is pretty lacking at the point in the game. I was however able to find some some presales ticket numbers relative to forecasts.
1. Mississippi: 3.9x
2. Arkansas: 2.8x
3. West Virginia: 2.7x
4. Kentucky: 2.1x
5. Alabama: 2.0x
I find this strange in that a high level of teeth knashing seems to be coming out of the evangelical Christian domain, ie the Bible belt… it doesn’t add up, or does it?
I get the forbidden fruit connection to a film derived from lit porn, but in and of itself, I seriously doubt this is the primary driver. Rather, I think despite all of the objections, the film is hitting on right on target. Jamie the Worst Missionary goes into quit a bit of detail in a missionaries position on 50 shades of grey.
The question I keep coming back to, is instead of all the lamenting and/or tsk tsking, why not do something about it? I’m not suggesting shark jumping like a sermon series on kinky sex and the Songs of Solomon, but more so to drill right down to the relationship issues at the heart of things.
I get that such would not be an easy thing… perhaps more so in some theological world views than others… but sweeping issues under the carpet as they are too hard to deal with is not a good answer either.