Plenty of franchises have succumbed to the law of diminishing returns, but it takes a special kind of terrible to start off with a whimper and then get even worse. All hail the Fifty Shades trilogy, then, which managed to kick off with a movie that critics didn’t care for, before delivering back-to-back sequels they utterly detested.
Of course, negative reviews don’t mean a damn thing if the property in question turns out to be profitable, something the erotic thrillers managed and then some. Leaving audiences so glued to their seats that many of them had to be peeled off afterwards for a variety of suspicious reasons, Fifty Shades spanked its way to over $1.3 billion at the box office.
Going soft at just the wrong moment, though, concluding chapter Fifty Shades Freed turned out to be the worst-reviewed and lowest-grossing of the bunch, netting a dismal 11 percent Rotten Tomatoes score on its way to a Razzie win for Worst Screenplay, which is understandable when the dialogue sounds as though it was processed through an artificial intelligence that’s never heard a human conversation before.
Titillation is always something at-home audiences are in the mood for, which has remarkably seen the weakest entry in a saga that sucked from the beginning seek out a happy ending on streaming at no extra charge. As per FlixPatrol, Fifty Shades Freed is the ninth most-watched title on iTunes, the 12th top-viewed feature on Google Play Movies, and it’s taking the Rakuten Top 10 from the rear. That’s a hell of a return to prominence for something so wretched, but we’re not here to judge.