'Fifty Shades of Grey' trailer becomes most viewed of 2014 less than a week after release

The trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey has become the most viewed of 2014 after less than one week of release, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Citing figures from tech firm Zefr, the industry bible says the promo for Sam Taylor-Johnson's film has picked up a staggering 36.4m views on YouTube since hitting the web on 24 July. The figure means the movie beats rivals such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which notched up 31m views at the end of March, as well as Godzilla and Transformers: Age of Extinction, which both managed 26.3m views earlier in the year.

The trailer was also named as the most popular of the year on Facebook by Variety last week. It received 1.2m Facebook likes, shares and comments in just 24 hours.

The trailer's popularity suggests Fifty Shades of Grey has jettisoned negative publicity surrounding the departure of original star Charlie Hunnam, as well as concerns from some fans that it might prove tame in comparison to EL James' famously salacious source novel. Trailer views do not always translate into box-office results, but of 2013's top 10 most viewed promos, the lowest financial return was After Earth's not-so-shoddy £243m worldwide gross.

Hype surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey has most likely only been fuelled by attacks from US conservative watchdogs in the wake of the trailer's release last week. Morality in Media and the Parents' Television Council have both said the film risks normalising sexual violence.

Taylor-Johnson's film stars Northern Ireland's Jamie Dornan as kinky billionaire Christian Grey, with US actor Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, the young virgin who becomes his willing sex slave. Fifty Shades of Grey is expected to be the first in a trilogy based on the bestselling books by British author EL James. The first film is due in cinemas on 13 February 2015.

• Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: through a glass, daftly• The sag of the erotic thriller: can film ever take sex seriously again?

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