Despite its turbulence, the months-long Fifty Shades press tour seems to have paid off in a major way: the highly anticipated film dominated the Friday-Sunday box office with a $245 million weekend globally.
If almost a quarter of a billion dollars in three days isn’t impressive enough, here’s a deeper look at Fifty Shades of Grey‘s monster debut:
– Its $94.5 million box office grab in the United States makes it the most successful Presidents’ Day weekend haul ever, earning over $30 million more than the previous record holder, Valentine’s Day.
– Fifty Shades of Grey had the strongest ever opening weekend for a film directed by a woman, topping Twilight, Frozen, and Brave.
– It’s the fourth-highest weekend debut ever among R-rated movies, following The Hangover 2, American Sniper, and The Matrix Reloaded.
– Only The Passion of the Christ has had a stronger February debut.
– It is the top R-rated international debut in history.
As Forbes notes, there are several takeaways from the film’s somewhat surprising owning of the box office; our perception of what kind of movie can be considered a blockbuster has shifted by highlighting the influence of female viewers, the power of appeal beyond the NYC/LA market, and the case for shying away from scenes that would be considered too hardcore for general audiences (despite its R rating, Fifty Shades’ lack of graphic scenes were well reported prior to its release).