Monday, February 16, 2015

Fifty Shades Of Grey has sizzled at the box office with the best international opening for an R-rated film ever.

In North America the erotic drama earned an estimated $81.7m (£53m) in its first three days, distributor Universal Pictures said on Sunday.

In addition to destroying Valentine's and Presidents Day weekend records, it has also become the second-highest February debut ever, behind Passion Of The Christ's $83.9m opening in 2004.

The chart-topping film, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, cost a modest $40m (£26m) to produce and could be on track to earn over $90m (£58.4m) across the US's four-day holiday weekend.

"Our fondest wishes were realised," said Universal's President of Domestic Distribution Nick Carpou.

"This is one of those moments where I can speak for the entire studio and say we're celebrating."

According to Universal, North American audiences were 68% female.

Internationally, director Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaptation of British author E L James' book earned an estimated $158m (£106.6m) from 9,637 locations in 58 territories outside of the US.

It is the second biggest international opening for Universal, right behind the $160.3m debut from Fast & Furious 6, and the highest ever international opening for an R-rated film.

"Those are summer-style blockbuster numbers in February," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office firm Rentrak.

"Controversy, or at least the conversation that's created by Fifty Shades Of Grey, suddenly infuses this movie into the mainstream conversation," he added.

"They had to very carefully create a movie that was edgy, push the envelope, but without going too far to make it socially unacceptable."

Director Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth, also exceeded expectations, landing in second place with an estimated $35.6m (£23m) from 3,204 locations in the US across the three-day period, according to Rentrak.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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