Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Fifty Shades of Grey was a hit at the box office. The film is expected to clear more than $550 million worldwide, and a new report says that stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson plan to renegotiate their deals before shooting begins on the sequels.
THR says both Dornan and Johnson inked three-picture deals, so they’re both obligated to return for Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. But after receiving only $250,000 each (plus bonuses) for the first film, the stars will be expecting a larger payday for their next visit to the Red Room of Pain.
This isn’t unheard of – the stars of the Twilight series were also able to negotiate better deals after the first film became a hit, and Jennifer Lawrence made $10 million for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, after a $500,000 payday for the first film.
Fifty Shades of Grey raked in $85 million in its first weekend alone, far exceeding the initial box office estimates. But the fact that there was a 70 percent dropoff between its opening and the second weekend didn’t go unnoticed, and with rumors swirling about the stars’ dislike for one another- not to mention the repeated clashes between director Sam Taylor-Johnson and author E.L. James – moving forward with a follow-up film is something of a risky move.
Producer Dana Brunetti declined to comment on the potential renogotiations, instead suggesting that the stars should be fielding high-dollar offers from other sources.
“That was the great thing about this film — we knew we were going to be able to make stars,” he says. “Now it’s their opportunity to get paid on other projects. It’s been a breakout role for both of them. I’m sure they are getting tons of offers on other things.”
Without a director or writer – Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel won’t be back for the next one – Fifty Shades Darker likely won’t begin shooting until sometime in 2016, with a 2017 release seeming likely.