Brent Bozell - Townhall.com
February 20, 2015
Here's one obvious sign that we live in a profane world. "Fifty Shades of Grey," the "mommy-porn" book turned into a movie, complete with its whips and chains and erotic punishment, debuted to far less controversy than "The Passion of the Christ" in 2004.
The media toasted "Fifty Shades" as the biggest February movie opening weekend ever at $83.8 million, just a shade more than "The Passion." But Mel Gibson's Jesus film debuted on Ash Wednesday, not on Friday. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, in its first five days, "The Passion" grossed $125.5 million; "Fifty Shades" stood at $98.5 million. It received a lousy C-plus CinemaScore from audiences, so its ticket sales may begin to trail off.
Both films grossed far more than they cost in the first few days. "The Passion" found success as a protest of popular culture, a moment for the Christians to make a public statement about their faith having a place in the public square.
"Fifty Shades" is far more mainstream in today's culture. NBC's "Today" show hosted an entire "Fifty Shades Week" to boost the movie -- barely mentioning it was made by NBC's Universal Pictures.