The "Fifty Shades" cultural fever ended a long time ago: Most readers discovered that a little of James's writing goes a long way.
Fifty Shades Freed features returning stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Marcia Gay Harden, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Jennifer Ehle, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Callum Keith Rennie, Bruce Altman, and Robinne Lee, alongside newcomers Arielle Kebbel and Brant Daugherty. Universal Pictures estimated Sunday that the final chapter in the Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele saga earned $38.8 million over the weekend - down significantly from the first film's $85.2 million debut and even the sequel's $46.6 million opening, but enough to bump the three-film franchise over $1 billion globally.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" kicked off the trilogy in 2015 with $85 million in opening-weekend ticket sales, an astounding total for an erotic drama, a genre that had always been out of favor at multiplexes.
"Peter Rabbit", an animated-live action hybrid that cost Sony Pictures about $50 million to make, after accounting for government production incentives, took in $25 million in the United States and Canada, according to comScore, which compiles box office data.
The family friendly film is based on Beatrix Potter's beloved books. James Corden is voicing Peter Rabbit in a contemporary comedy highlighted by his feud with Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door, played by Rose Byrne.
It came in way ahead of Peter Rabbit, which jumped into second place with $25 million.
Director Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 To Paris pulled into third place with $12.6 million plus $5.3 million from the foreign box office.
A pair of holiday season holdovers in their eighth weekends took fourth and fifth as Sony's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" finished with about $10 million at 3,126 sites and Fox's "The Greatest Showman" grossed $6.4 million at 2,373 screens.
Moviegoing will receive another major boost over the Presidents Day weekend with Disney-Marvel's "Black Panther" opening February 16 and forecasted to take in as much as $150 million during the Friday-Monday period. "'Black Panther' is going to supercharge this marketplace when it opens later this week".
"This is the calm before the Marvel storm, " Dergarabedian said.
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