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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fifty Shades stars demand higher salaries for sequels

Fifty Shades of Grey has managed to bring in over $500 million internationally since the Valentine's Day release and apparently the actors want to bring in some of the profits. The film's lead actors, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, are reportedly demanding higher paychecks for the still unannounced sequels.

Dornan and Johnson were each paid $250,000 for Fifty Shades of Grey and were given a 3-film contract along with it. They are entitled to box office bonuses that they are no doubt rolling those right now, but the bottom line is Universal negotiated such low salaries to keep the film's budget low. Why? No one knew if this film was going to be successful. The international box office shows that viewers were curious enough to see it, but the 73% drop in the second week shows that people weren't into seeing it more than once.
It seems that the actors are trying to negotiate for deals similar to what actors in the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises have gotten. An example being how Jennifer Lawrence's salary from The Hunger Games to Catching Fire went from $500,000 to $10 million. Kristen Stewart had a similar jump as she went from making just $2 million for Twilight to over $12 million for the final Breaking Dawn film. She also became the highest paid star in Hollywood back in 2012 and currently has a net worth of $70 million. As it currently stands, Dornan's net worth is sitting around $3 million while Johnson is at $1 million.

You can't blame the actors for wanting a bigger slice of the pie, especially considering the amount of money this movie raked in. However, there are a lot of people out there that think Universal might seek a less expensive option for the sequel which would be replacing the actors. Personally, I don't think they'd replace the actors given the familiarity they have with this story and the fact that Dakota Johnson was fantastic but you never know. Weirder things have happened in Hollywood.
There currently is no start date for the Fifty Shades sequels and Universal has yet to officially announce them, but insiders are claiming that Universal is aiming for releases in 2016 and 2017.

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