'Fifty Shades Freed' dominates its first weekend

Jamie Dornan

While $39 million is good, $98 million is better, and that's exactly how much money Christian Grey managed to whip up at the foreign box office, bringing the worldwide total to almost $137 million.

Moviegoing will receive another major boost over the Presidents Day weekend with Disney-Marvel's Black Panther opening February 16 and forecasted to take in as much as US$150 million during the Friday-Monday period.

The Fifty Shades of Grey franchise has now earned $1.089 billion worldwide, and is expected to top out at aruond $1.25 billion.

The Universal Pictures Steamy romance out performed Sony's CG and Live action animated movie with voice over of James Corden "Peter Rabbit" and even Clint Eastwood's real life story featuring the real men how they saved the co passengers in the terrorist attack on the train to Paris in 2015 in "The 15:17 To Paris" in the opening weekend. The journalism drama has topped $50 million outside the United States.

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In fact, the reviews for Fifty Shades Freed have thrown up some of the most savage commentary we've seen since, well, Fifty Shades Darker, which has just a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Although author E. L. James has followed up the first two books with Grey and Darker, which tell the same story from Christian's point of view, and is working on the final installment, there are no plans for another film. No other movie in the subgenre has come anywhere near that movie's $350 million domestic take, but that hasn't stopped Hollywood from trying. Peter Rabbit received an A- score from audiences, according to Cinemascore, while The 15:17 to Paris only earned a B- average among ticket buyers. In its eighth weekend, Jumanji has now earned $365.6 million. The film brought in $38.8 million and continues the trend of declining franchises.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle took in $7.5 million from 6,000 screens in 90 territories, pushing the global cume to $516.1 million and the worldwide total to $881.8 million.

The good news continued further down the chart, as "Jumanji" and "The Greatest Showman" proved they both still have legs as long as "Showman" star Hugh Jackman's. "We couldn't be more pleased with the debut". This brings the Sony movie to $365 million domestically which, combined with another $7.5 million overseas, pushes the total cume for the movie at $880 million worldwide. But it's all just setting the stage for "Black Panther", which opens next week.

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