Whether E.L. James writes it or not, you better believe the sequel Fifty Shades Darker is coming. After just under a month in release, the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey has now passed the $500 million mile-marker at the worldwide box office. That’s a pretty astounding feat for an R-rated film, let alone one that suffered poor reviews and steep drop offs at the domestic box office (the movie actually has some great stuff in it, I swear). No matter, director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of the self-published book is a bona fide hit, and Universal Pictures is likely in the celebrating mood.
So far, Fifty Shades is the highest grossing film of 2015 worldwide by a large margin, with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water trailing behind with $237.3 million, Paddington sitting at $230 million, and Kingsman: The Secret Service standing at a respectable $212 million. The incredibly expensive Jupiter Ascending, meanwhile, has only earned $124.6 million worldwide.
But Fifty Shades should enjoy its reign while it lasts. Disney will unleash Cinderella on audiences next week in the wake of positively glowing reviews, and the following week will see the sci-fi sequel The Divergent Series: Insurgent opening around the globe. Whether those two stand a chance at surpassing $500 million is unknown (Cinderella probably does), but if they don’t, April’s Furious 7 certainly will. The previous installment in the franchise hit $788.6 million worldwide, and it’s been on an upward trend for the past four movies in a row. And then of course we have Avengers: Age of Ultron coming on May 1st, and I’ll eat my hat if that doesn’t hit the $1 billion marker.
For now, though, whether you were a fan of the film or not, it’s impossible to deny that Fifty Shades of Grey is anything but a global smash hit.