The reviews are starting to appear for Fifty Shades of Grey, and they aren't bad. Most pundits agree its a damn sight better on screen than on the page (which wouldn't be difficult) and that Dakota Johnson makes her Anna a much more interesting character.
But rarely has the critical reaction mattered less to the release of a film. Pre-ticket sales are among the highest ever seen, and with 100 million copies of the book sold the film looks guaranteed to blow up box office records all over the world.
A new piece from The Hollywood Reporter is guestimating that the film will make $50 million in the US and the same worldwide, give or take a tenner of millions. That's a lot of box office take but it still seems conservative given the huge amount of column inches devoted to the film, the massed ranks of interviews by the stars and the inbuilt audience and controversy.
Still with a cost of just $40 mill, it's going to turn a tidy profit - consider fellow Universal stable-mate Furious 7 which has a production budget north of $250 million thanks to lengthy reshoots in the wake of Paul Walker's tragic passing. After marketing, it's easily going to cost upwards of $300 million and while its still likely to make a profit, it'll be nothing like the scale of Fifty.
But even if the erotic/romance/awkwardness flick does hit $110 million in its opening weekend worldwide, that still puts it just outside the top 20 openings of all time, well behind The Avengers (207 mill) and Iron Man 3 (174) and just nipping in at number 22 after Toy Story 3. But if it does, it'll be the cheapest film in the top 50 by quite some margin.
Fifty Shades of Grey is in cinemas February 13th.