With Fifty Shades Freed, the Franchise Crosses $1 Billion

Weekend Box Office: 'Fifty Shades Freed' Climaxes With $137M Global Debut

Fifty Shades Freed whips Peter Rabbit, 15:17 to Paris at the box office

Indeed, younger female audience members were the driving force in pushing the three Fifty Shades films to their current collective worldwide total of US$1.09 billion.

The film will close its opening weekend with an estimated $38.8 million in United States receipts.

Fifty Shades Freed is the third and final installment of the erotic romance Fifty Shades Trilogy by British author E. L. James.

The "Fifty Shades" cultural fever ended a long time ago: Most readers discovered that a little of James's writing goes a long way.

Universal's "Fifty Shades Freed" dominated North American box office in its opening weekend with an estimated 38.8 million US dollars, pushing the "Fifty Shades" franchise total to over 1 billion USA dollars worldwide. But ticket sales for the final movie adaptation were solid, declining only 16 percent from initial results for its series predecessor, "Fifty Shades Darker", a year ago. The first film in the series, 2015's "Fifty Shades of Grey", brought in a massive 85 million dollars in its opening weekend and grossed more than 166 million dollars in North America and 571 million worldwide in total against a budget of only 40 million dollars.

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It came in way ahead of Peter Rabbit, which jumped into second place with $25 million.

The weekend's third new release, Warner Bros'. thriller The 15:17 to Paris, will pull into the station with an estimated $12.6 million from 3,042 theaters - in line with analysts' modest expectations and good for the No. 3 spot. The biographical drama film was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood.

Overall the marketplace is still down around 1.8 percent for the year and around 27 percent from the same weekend last year, which, comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian notes, saw the launch of "The Lego Batman Movie, " "Fifty Shades Darker',' and "John Wick: Chapter 2, " all of which opened over $30 million". While Freed's numbers are nowhere near the first movie's sensational take, topping the box office on a slow, pre-Black Panther weekend is still a fitting way to say "laters, baby" to a weird, puzzling series.

Filling out the top five are two holdovers that have demonstrated impressive staying power: Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (last week's No. 1 movie), with about $9.8 million, and Fox's The Greatest Showman, with about $6.4 million. "I think it's going to break records and spark a huge conversation".

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