50 Shades of Disappointment

“50 Shades of Grey” fails at box office

Released the day before Valentine’s Day, “50 Shades of Grey” plummeted in ticket sales the opening weekend, stirring up arousal and even more controversy.

Ian Pletka, a worker at Cinemark Huntington Mall, said the film was a huge disappointment to the theatre.

“It was pretty busy the opening weekend, but nothing too crazy,” Pletka said. “We only sold out on the Valentine’s Day showing. A few weeks before it was released we had so many phone calls and pre-bought tickets, so we expected a huge crowd. It didn’t even get half of the business that American Sniper did.”

The film adaptation of the book stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and IMDb describes the plot as a literature student whose life changed forever when she meets “handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.”

Many people have mixed feelings about whether or not the movie was appropriate for theaters.

Molly Dixon, a self-described movie critic and bookworm, was not impressed with the film, but agreed it was appropriate for those who knew what they were getting themselves into.

“It is a terribly written book, and the dialogue in the movie is just as bad,” Dixon said. “It’s just a lot of really bad and cheesy prose and awkward dialogue. “I think it’s appropriate if you’re old enough for an R rating and know what you’re getting yourself into, but it’s not appropriate if you’re younger, or if you have any kind of decent taste in movies.”

A lot of the controversy comes from misrepresentation of the BDSM culture.

“The worst part of this movie was by far when he punished her,” LaCandace Hamlin said. “BDSM is already something people are afraid of. So when it’s seen like this, it makes it even harder to talk about. The fact that they considered physically hurting a submissive is where the line was overdrawn in this movie.”

This film is definitely directed towards older women who don’t know how to sign up for porn accounts and have husbands that aren’t as attractive as they used to be.

— Molly Dixon

Dixon said that although she knows nothing about BDSM aside from movies, the misrepresentation could possibly lead to bad abusive habits.

“People probably don’t know a lot about BDSM,” Dixon said. “I don’t know anything about it aside from movies I’ve seen and books I’ve read. It’s been taboo in mainstream culture up until this point, and I think it’s bad to introduce it in a way that could show it misrepresented. It’s bad for the media to ever misrepresent any group of people.”

Whitley Sizemore, a fan of the book, said she was also very disappointed in the movie.

“It was awkward, ill played, and a very poor example of the book,” Sizemore said.

Pletka said the audiences that came to see the movies included a bunch of couples in their late 20’s to early 30’s and a lot of women with their girlfriends in their 40’s.

“The movie was definitely directed towards middle-aged women,” Pletka said. “Men just complained about how they could have watched a better film by watching porn, and a lot of the elderly crowd who came to see the movie asked for refunds immediately.”

Dixon also agreed that it appealed to older women.

“This film is definitely directed towards older women who don’t know how to sign up for porn accounts and have husbands that aren’t as attractive as they used to be,” Dixon said.

Pletka said not only was he disappointed in the films content, but also in how it was put together.

“It was choppy and boring,” Pletka said. “I didn’t think it was a movie worth seeing.”

Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at [email protected].