Tuesday 24 April 2018

500,000 Shades of Grey for Irish readers of phenomenon

Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in a scene from the 2014 ‘50 Shades of Grey’ film
Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in a scene from the 2014 ‘50 Shades of Grey’ film
EL James signs books for fans
Kinga Pilichowska with EL James’s new novel at Eason in Dublin.

Gordon Deegan

Irish readers have contributed in no small way to the fortune created by the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' phenomenon by snapping up almost 500,000 copies of the books over the past four years.

New figures provided by Nielsen Book Research show that the Irish public has bought a total of 458,995 copies from the series, generating €5.26m for the author, EL James, and the book industry.

The figures follow new accounts published by EL James's Fifty Shades Ltd, showing that the firm has amassed mouthwatering revenues of more than €105m over the past three years.

According to the accounts filed by the author's Fifty Shades Ltd, the firm recorded pre-tax profits of £12.59m (€17.67m) in the 12 months to the end of September last.

The pre-tax profit represents a sharp decrease on the £33.3m pre-tax profits recorded in 2013 as revenues from the global best-selling series have tumbled.

Last year, the firm recorded revenues of £18.17m and this represents a 59pc drop on the peak revenues of £43.9m generated in 2013.

A statement attached to the accounts states: "The company had a very successful year during which it secured further royalty and licensing agreements".

Over the three years, the firm has generated £74.86m (€105.12m) in revenues from the book series that has sold 125 million copies worldwide.

The 458,995 sales include 203,676 copies of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' since 2012, generating €2.2m in sales. The vast proportion of copies - 188,176 - were bought in 2012. Irish readers have purchased a further 125,885 copies of 'Fifty Shades Darker' and 116,229 copies of 'Fifty Shades Freed' since 2012.

Interest in the series shows no sign of abating in Ireland with the latest instalment, 'Grey' selling 8,164 in its first week - almost double the rest of the top 10 best-selling books combined. Bookseller Eason said it became its third highest-selling book of 2015 less than one week after it hit the shelves.

'Grey' sold 647,401 copies in its first three days worldwide. The 'Fifty Shades' movie generated €3m in ticket sales when it was released here earlier this year.

Irish Independent

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