Fifty Shades Of Grey dominated the box office into submission this weekend, amassing $81.7 million domestically and $158 million internationally for a total of $239.7 million. That’s the biggest opening weekend ever for a film directed by a woman, whipping Twilight ($69.6 million) and Frozen ($67.4 million). It’s the second-biggest debut weekend in February, right behind The Passion Of The Christ ($83.8 million domestic), which is also based on Twilight fan fiction; the third-biggest winter opening, behind Passion and American Sniper ($89.3 million), which is also an erotic fantasy; and the fifth-biggest R-rated opening, behind the aforementioned flicks, The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million), and The Hangover Part II ($85.9 million).
According to Universal, 68 percent of the audience were women, meaning that—gasp—female ticket-buyers do exist, and 32 percent of men can stomach a project helmed by several women. Hopefully, Hollywood execs will finally realize they can make massive amounts of money off of female-centric movies/movies directed and written by women, and start producing more of them. If not, they will be punished in the playroom.
Kingsman: The Secret Service was the weekend’s second-biggest opening. Colin Firth as a British spy proved less seductive than Christian Grey’s emotional unavailability, but the movie still pulled in $35.6 million domestically and $43.8 million internationally for a total of $79.4 million. This marks Colin Firth’s biggest debut ever and director Matthew Vaughn’s second-biggest, behind X Men: First Class ($55.1 million). On the spy-movie front, Kingsman had the 56th best opening weekend, stalking and snuffing out foes such as License to Kill, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Vampire doc What We Do In The Shadows—deemed Dissolve Essential Viewing—opened on two screens for an impressive $65,800, this week’s highest per-screen average. The Last Five Years, Anna Kendrick’s musical romance, also saw a limited release this weekend, earning $45,100 in three theaters for a $15,000-per-theater average. In its fifth week, Still Alice opened on 367 more screens and moved from 18th to 13th place, pulling in $1.7 million for a gross of $4.6 million. In its second week, Fifty Shades Of Grey’s misogynistic, God-fearing mortal enemy Old Fashioned moved from 55th to 15th place by adding 221 screens and making $1.1 million.
The rest of the top 10 stayed quiet and obedient in the looming shadow of Fifty Shades. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water dripped from first to third place; American Sniper dropped its weapon, put its hands up and shuffled from second to fourth; Jupiter Ascending descended from third to fifth; Seventh Son didn’t have any puns and fell from fourth to sixth; Paddington padded from sixth to seventh; The Imitation Game imitated itself from last week and stayed in eighth place; The Wedding Ringer continued regressing comedy and within the box office by moving from seventh to ninth place; and Project Almanac time-traveled from fifth to 10th place.