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'Fifty Shades of Grey' pushed back to 2015

Universal said the plan was to avoid competition from big summer blockbusters, such as Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' and not because Charlie Hunnam left the film.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy   |   Nov. 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM   |   Comments

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Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Boyfriends, take note: your Valentine’s Day plans are already on the books. For 2015, that is.

That’s because the big screen adaptation of everybody's favorite naughty novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, has been pushed back from a summer 2014 release to Valentine's Day weekend of the following year.

Shooting for the film was pushed back a month after Charlie Hunnam, who was originally slotted to play the film's title character, Christian Grey, backed out. Northern Irish hunk Jamie Dornan was announced as the replacement for the Sons of Anarchy leading man last month.

But Universal says the primary reason for changing the release date wasn't the delayed production schedule, but rather the packed summer schedule. Marvel's next superhero blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy is set for an Aug. 1, 2014, the same day Fifty Shades was originally slated for release. Other big summer movies are getting their international premieres delayed from June and July into August in order to avoid competition with the FIfa World Cup.

"We see this movie as a global event,” said Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. “The strength of this book is really worldwide, so we want to be able to take advantage of women who are invariably on vacation with their families during the month of August in Europe.”

Langley said the change to Feb. 13, 2015, which is also President's Day weekend in the U.S., would likely have happened with or without Hunnam.

“Together with the international marketing and distribution team, we’ve been looking really closely at the August date and becoming more and more convinced that the right thing to do for the movie was to push it,” Langley said. “So even if Charlie had stayed, we still would have been making the date change.”

[EW]

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