Kelly Marcel, the 38-year-old British screenwriter who is in charge of adapting Fifty Shades of Grey into a script, claims that the movie (or at least her version on the page) will be rated NC-17, with all the S&M all the lonely women who read the book once they finished writing their Twilight erotic fan fiction are hoping for. Now, that’s what she’s saying, but wish in one hand, take a dump in the other and see what fills up first. Because even a movie like Boogie Nights, about the hardcore porn industry, started out as NC-17 and was quickly turned into an R-rated movie by the studio. NC-17 is generally the mark of the death for a movie’s box office performance and popular book franchise or not, it seems like a huge risk and gamble to aim for that as the film’s rating.
Not that parents will typically be bringing their children into a movie about BDSM. But if anyone under 17 can’t buy a ticket, even with adult supervision, it means a large fanbase of creepy college-aged guys can’t take their high school girlfriends in to convince them to do some kinky stuff afterwards. And that’s a huge market. Even the highest grossing NC-17 film of all time only made $20 million at its release. And that even had the nerdy chick from Saved by the Bell stripping down to nothing and making out with Gina Gershon, so if that didn’t put asses in the seat, I don’t know what will. But gratuitous full frontal and sex didn’t do much for any of these other Ten Highest Grossing NC-17 Films either.