Celebrity Gossip
Fifty Shades Of Grey Sets New Record
Fifty Shades Of Grey Sets New Record

Raunchy author EL James has sold almost a million paperback copies of her Fifty Shades trilogy in only one week, latest figures show.

Her first book, Fifty Shades Of Grey has had its highest sales yet, shifting 482,785 copies to set a new UK record for the biggest weekly tally for a paperback book.

Global sales of the books by the west London-based writer have now shot past 20 million, just 12 weeks after it first hit UK bookshelves.

Figures from Nielsen Bookscan, which compiles sales data for the publishing industry, show the books sold 978,197 copies in a week as demand continues to grow.

Publishers have now had to order 17 reprints in the UK since it came out in just three months, with printers having to work around the clock to cope with interest in the tales of “mummy porn”.

James’s debut novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, saw its sales rise by 21% on the previous week, but its sequels clocked up massive sales. Second book Fifty Shades Darker shifted 264,984 copies and the final instalment, Fifty Shades Freed, rang up sales of 229,171.

Mum-of-two James - whose real names is Erika Leonard - originally published her erotic tales as ebooks and her publishers say they continue to sell well digitally, estimating that they are largely matching print sales.

Publishing trade magazine The Bookseller today reported the first book has now sold 1,645,422 copies in just 12 weeks. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code - the biggest selling UK paperback of all time - took 46 weeks to reach that figure.

The magazine’s website points out that £4.7 million was spent on James’s books in a week and accounted for 40p in every pound spent on a novel.

James’s books have occupied the top three places in the best-seller lists for 10 consecutive weeks.

Fifty Shades of Grey has already become the first book to sell more than one million copies for Kindle.

Avengers Assemble breaks another Box Office Record
Avengers Assemble breaks another Box Office Record

Superhero blockbuster, Marvel Avengers Assemble, has broken another US box office record in its second week of release - and is on course to hit the $1bn (£622m) mark in just 19 days.

It is the first film to make more than $100m (£62.2m) in its second week of release, and in its opening weekend, the film took $207.4m (£129m) breaking the previous record held by Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Globally, it looks set to top the $1bn mark this weekend, its distributor Disney has said.

It has already become the biggest-grossing superhero film of all time after overtaking 2008’s The Dark Knight. The release of Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film in July, The Dark Knight Rises, is expected to rival the box office figures taken by Marvel Avengers Assemble. James Cameron’s Avator is the highest-grossing film of all time, taking an incredible $2.782bn (£1.73bn).

The Disney-produced Marvel Avengers Assemble has earned $628.9m (£391.3m) internationally since opening on April 26.

“We’re obviously thrilled,” said Robert Iger, Disney's Chairman and CEO.

“You can never anticipate this kind of success,” echoed Dave Hollis, the company’s executive vice president. “It’s a staggering result.”

Directed by Joss Whedon, Marvel Avengers Assemble features superheroes Black Widow, Ironman, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk, who team up to fight against villain Loki who is determined to destroy the planet.

Its success means Tim Burton’s new collaboration with Johnny Depp, Dark Shadows, was pushed into second place at the US box office, taking a respectable $28.8m (£17.9m) in its opening weekend. Romantic comedy Think Like A Man dropped into third place while The Hunger Games occupied fourth spot in its eighth week on the big screen. The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, has raked in more than $386.9 (£294.7m) since its opening.

The Avengers continues to shock Disney
The Avengers continues to shock Disney

The Avengers has taken the box office by storm, smashing the domestic U.S. revenue record with a $200.3 million debut.

It’s by far the biggest opening ever, shooting past the previous record of $169.2 million for the debut of last year’s ‘Harry Potter’ finale. The Avengers added $151.5 million overseas over the weekend to bring its total to $441.5 million since it began opening internationally a week earlier.

That raised the film’s worldwide haul to $641.8 million in barely a week and a half, more than its Marvel superhero forerunners Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America took in during their entire runs.

If distributor Disney's domestic estimate Sunday holds when the final weekend count is released Monday, ‘The Avengers’ would be the first movie ever to haul in $200 million in a single weekend.

‘There aren’t even words, to be honest. I’m running low on double takes. Every time we looked at a number, it just got bigger than what we could have hoped for in the best-case assumption,’ said Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution. ‘With this film, anything is possible.’

The Avengers started with solid midnight crowds Friday, though nowhere near a record. Then it did $80.5 million for the full day Friday, second only to the Harry Potter finale’s $91.1 million first day.

The record weekend was the culmination of years of careful planning by Marvel Studios, which has included teasers for an ‘Avengers’ dream team collaboration in its solo superhero adventures.

Directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), The Avengers features Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.