If you have been paying attention to entertainment news lately, you are probably aware that the 50 Shades of Grey movie is coming out this week, in conjunction with Valentine’s Day. It seems like every year, cheesy romantic comedies are released on or around the same time as the holiday. In 2012, it was The Vow; in 2013, it was Safe Haven, and last year it was Endless Love. Just five years ago, the movie Valentine’s Day, featuring a celebrity-packed cast was released. This year, the film is a bit darker than previous years, but it is still expected to be a hit.
What effects will the release of a hyper sexualized movie like 50 Shades of Grey have for the holiday that it has not had in past years? Many people, especially older generations, blame media and Hollywood for the younger generations distorted views of romance and relationships. 50 Shades of Grey features a masochistic relationship, and by releasing the film on a day that traditionally centers around love and the giving and receiving of gifts, it brings a different light to Hollywood’s views on love and romance. According to the theory of Media Ecology by Marshall McLuhan, media profoundly influences society, and has an effect on human perception and understanding. If this is the case, then the release of 50 Shades of Grey could have an impact on how moviegoers perceive and understand Valentine’s Day, and relationships in general.
This isn’t the first example of the content of the movie not matching the traditional themes of the holiday. Christmas Day is an example of big movies hitting theaters on a holiday. However, the movies released on Christmas Day are often action movies, which are seemingly unrelated to the holiday. Is there an advantage to releasing a movie on a holiday? Perhaps it’s easier to create advertisements around memorable dates. Maybe these holidays are a time that people expect to spend time with their families and loved ones, and seeing a movie together is the perfect way to do that. Either way, it seems that the trend of advertising high-profile movies around a holiday is here to stay. Do you think this helps increase profits? Let us know in the comments!
-Mallory Brayman, Kelli Hall, Morgan McCleaf