'Fifty Shades Freed' Made $38.8M This Weekend Because None Of Us Are Having Enough Sex, Probably

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

Fifty Shades Freed raked in $38.8 million in North America this weekend, making it the number one film at the box office on the continent. This is not the least bit surprising, considering what box office juggernauts its predecessors were.


Still, it is noteworthy that the Fifty Shades movies are about 0.001 percent sexy. That is about the same level of sexiness as, say, brushing your teeth with an 18-month-old toothbrush, or reading a pamphlet on rare eye diseases. Neither of those things are sexy, nor is the Fifty Shades franchise, but somehow the latter’s made over $1 billion worldwide.

I have decided that there are only two explanations for the financial success of a purportedly sexy film featuring two people with the sexual chemistry of a pair of Giant Pandas (pandas do not like to have sex). One is that all the ticketholders are getting drunk together and going to see this movie so they can scream at the screen every time Jamie Dornan un-sexily takes off his shirt (likely!) The other is that since Americans are, on a whole, having less sex, because we’re apparently too busy doing stuff on the Internet to find people to bone, that watching Dakota Johnson lick ice cream off Dornan with the same enthusiasm I reserve for cleaning my bathroom is now hot.


It is also possible that no one wanted to see Clint Eastwood’s new terrorism film, which also debuted this weekend, and is apparently not very good.

Anyway, for those of you who do not feel compelled to purchase a ticket to this final Fifty Shades installment, note that the whole trilogy will probably be streaming on HBO Now soon enough.


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Bear Brian

I’d like to proffer two more theories: 3) that as a whole we’re sick of comic-book films and are just that desperate for alternative programming; and 4) that women’s films continue to be woefully underserved, and this is our only option for something that doesn’t fall into the category in reason #3.

So-called “women’s films” are proven to be far cheaper to make than the noisy, CGI-laden monstrosities in which the filmmakers are just counting the minutes between fight set pieces, and yet we still struggle to get them made. When you look at the success of something like Big Little Lies on TV, it is utterly mystifying. While we know FSF is laughable and awful, if it proves anything, it’s that the audience exists for women’s programming (just as it proved with Girls Trip, another recent, successful film). But think about it: romantic comedies have for the most part disappeared from the screen. Why? When did they become a bigger risk than Thor and Iron Man Gather Their Friends to Gather Their Friends to Kick and Land With a Loud Bang on the Ground for 120 Minutes?

Is Hollywood paying attention? If not now - in the #MeToo era - then they never will.