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Fifty Shades Freed dominates US and global box office

Fifty Shades Freed

Story by Jack Foley

SEX drama Fifty Shades Freed has seduced audiences in the US and world-wide on its opening debut to enable the franchise to pass the $1 billion mark in global ticket sales.

In the US, the film easily dominated, coming in at No.1 with $38.8 million, the top opening of the year to date. Its worldwide debut was $136.9 million.

Overseas, Fifty Shades Freed also sizzled with $98.1 million from 57 markets, including a first-place finish in 54. Germany led the way with $10.8 million, followed by the UK with $8.8 million.

Viewers in France racked up $8.7 million, while those in Italy amassed $7.2 million in ticket sales.

By way of comparison, the first film, Fifty Shades of Grey, opened to $85.1 million in the US and $242.4 million worldwide in February 2015.

Two years later, sequel Fifty Shades Darker opened to $46.6 million in the US and $144.4 million globally.

It means the S&M-laced drama, based on the book series by EL James, has proved enormously profitable for Universal… and even more so when considering the trio of titles cost a combined $150 million to produce before marketing.

The weekend’s other two releases, Sony’s Peter Rabbit and Clint Eastwood’s terrorist drama The 15:17 to Paris, occupied second and third spots respectively, with mixed results.

Peter Rabbit, a CGI/live-action hybrid, took an estimated $25 million for second spot for a respectable debut. James Corden voices the iconic rabbit created by author Beatrix Potter.

But The 15:17 to Paris, from prolific director Eastwood, fared less well, taking a muted $12.6 million in the face of bad reviews. The film recounts the true story of three Americans who helped thwart an attack on a French train in 2016 and stars the actual people involved in the incident. The film struggled internationally, too, where it opened to a global total of $17.9 million.

Rounding out the US top five were Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman, which took an estimated $10 million and $6.4 million, respectively.

Jumanji has now earned $818.8 million globally, becoming the No. 3 Sony title of all time behind Spectre and Spider-Man: Homecoming.