'Fifty Shades of Grey' release date postponed to February 2015

For months it’s been considered very long odds for “Fifty Shades of Grey” to make its August release date.

Turns out it won’t.

Studio Focus Features announced Wednesday morning that the movie’s release date has been pushed back six months to Feb 13, 2015, giving it a Valentine’s Day weekend slot but further removing the property from its 2012 e-book heyday.

The studio didn’t offer a reason for the delay. But the film, which is set to begin production this month in Vancouver, was thought a long shot to make the date. Even with production wrapping shortly after the holidays, that would have left only about six months for all manner of post-production as well as a marketing rollout, which usually itself requires months.

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The movie also recently dealt with a change in casting after Jamie Dornan replaced departed male lead Charlie Hunnam.

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, “Fifty Shades of Grey” focuses on the intense sexual relationship between ingénue Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Dornan), a billionaire playboy. The explicit scenes and intense relationship, of course, became a phenomenon after the book came out last year.

Romantic pic historically do well on Valentine’s Day weekend, but the question remains whether the book will stay high in people’s consciousness several years after its publication; that concern was one of the reasons the film was fast-tracked for 2014. On its new date, the movie must also contend with the planned release of “SpongeBob SquarePants 2,” which, though rather different in tone, could siphon off some of the mom audience at which “Fifty Shades” aims.


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