A box office record was broken this weekend by 50 Shades of Grey. The highly-anticipated movie, based on the book by the same name, grossed a staggering $81.7 million in its first three days. While it was not the most successful of all time for February releases, it has taken the top spot when it comes to Presidents’ Day weekend releases.
The movie has become the biggest debut for R-rated movies in history, according to Variety. The total grossed $81.7 million from 3,646 locations within the three-day period. It gained over $150 million when worldwide totals are taken into account, and experts believe that it will make over $90 million in the United States once Monday’s figures are totalled.
The only other highest-grossing movie for February in history is Passion of the Christ, released in 2004 and directed by Mel Gibson. The box-office hit has also taken the number four spot when looking at all R-rated movies in history. As well as Mel Gibson’s hit, only The Hangover: Part II and The Matrix Reloaded have beaten it.
E.L. James’ book has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into a number of different languages. However, despite being popular, it has also been in the middle of controversy. Many against the book claim that the box-office hit and novel support abuse and violence against women. Charities and protestors asked for people not to attend movie theaters over the weekend to show support against this violence.
However, James and those in support of the movie claim that there is no support of abuse or violence. All the sadomasochism scenes are safe and consensual between the two adults. When main character Anastasia Steele walks away from her lover Christian Grey, he respects that and allows her to go.
In the United Kingdom, the box-office hit has been the most successful for all 18 certificate films. Fifty Shades of Grey took £4.6 million ($7.07 million) on its opening night, according to the Belfast Telegraph. There were concerns that couples would attempt to recreate some of the steamy scenes, and the London Fire Brigade urged everyone to keep the keys to the handcuffs safe.
The news that 50 Shades of Grey has been so successful is definitely promising for the next two books that will be adapted into movies. The movie reportedly cost $40 million to make, and has proven to be the biggest box-office success in over a decade for February movies.
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