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Fifty Shades of Grey remains at US No.1 despite 73% drop in audience

Fifty Shades of Grey

Story by Jack Foley

FIFTY Shades of Grey has remained on top of the US box office on Oscars weekend despite an audience drop of 73% in its second week.

The adaptation of EL James’ S&M-laced romance novel nevertheless raced past the $400 million mark globally, while its US take of $23.2 million brought its 10-day total to $130.1 million in the States alone.

The film has easily recouped its $40 million budget and vindicated the decision to greenlight both sequels.

Overseas, it also remains the top film in 50 markets and showed much less of a decline in most countries than it did in the US.

In what proved to be a fairly static week at the top of the US box office, holdover titles “Kingsman: The Secret Service”: and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water were also able to fend off the week’s new releases to maintain second and third spots respectively.

The former, directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Colin Firth, has been another of this year’s early over-performers in the US, along with American Sniper and Paddington. Its $17.5 million helped to bring its US total to $67.1 million.

Sponge Out of Water, meanwhile, took $15.5 million for a US total of $125.2 million.

Of the new releases, McFarland, an inspirational sports drama starring Kevin Costner, fared the best of the three new films, edged out teen drama The DUFF with $11.3 million.

The film finds Costner playing Jim White, the real-life coach who teamed with underdog kids to build a championship cross-country team at McFarland High School, a predominately Hispanic school in McFarland, California.

However, the news was not all bad for Duff, whose $11 million was much more than pre-weekend predictions.

The teen comedy-drama finds Mae Whitman (of TV’s Parenthood) starring as Bianca, who makes herself over after learning she’s the “designated ugly fat friend” of two girls who are more popular.

The news wasn’t so good for comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, though, as it failed to make the top five and rated as the weekend’s big disappointment.

Based on tracking it was expected to earn in the midteens, but grossed only $5.8 million. The sequel returns most of the original cast – Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke and Chevy Chase – but is notable for missing John Cusack. Steve Pink directs.

Next story: Birdman wins Independent Spirit awards