Universal Pictures’ climactic third installment of the Fifty Shades franchise has thrust past the $300M worldwide mark. Through Friday, Fifty Shades Freed has liberated $306.7M global and $217.4M at the international box office. This comes after the James Foley-directed movie opened to $135.3M global in the frame beginning February 7.
That bow helped the trilogy get over $1B worldwide, with the total now upwards of $1.25B. As we’ve noted, that’s a sexy feat given the roughly $150M combined production cost — and that the erotic flicks never see the inside of movie theaters in some key markets due to the content.
Fifty Shades Of Grey finaled at $571M WW/$404.8M overseas. This one’s not getting close to that, but that’s normal for a threequel outside the superhero genre. And, the first movie was a genuine phenomenon that met massive pent-up demand. Fifty Shades Darker did not have the newness factor going for it, and ended its run with $381.1M WW/$266.5M offshore. Freed is looking at $320M global through this weekend, and a likely finish in the $340M arena. One thing all the movies have in common is that they run a pretty even 30%/70% domestic to international split.
In notable play, Ana and Christian have maintained a steely grip on Germany where the lovers stood down Black Panther for No. 1 last weekend and stayed dominant throughout the midweeks this week, grossing another $1M on Friday to top $26M there.
Traditionally, the lead markets for the Fifty Shades series have been a mix of the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Brazil. One thing the franchise doesn’t have going for it is the momentum in some emerging Asian markets like Malaysia and Indonesia, which have been throwing off significant numbers of late but where these films are too naughty to play.
At the film’s opening some of the majors saw lower numbers (think the UK and Australia), while growing markets like Argentina and Venezuela picked up slack to score well above the previous films.
Critics give the Fifty crew a hard time, yet audiences who salivated over the books get hot and bothered each time a new movie rolls around. Helping Freed, which beat industry expectations at open, is that it propels and closes a narrative circle. Over the course of the films, the bestseller as a foundation plus the Valentine’s Day timeline added to catchy and seductive marketing material for a demographic that is regularly underserved. And, as with the previous movies, the Freed soundtrack is doing rocking business, having reached No. 1 in 67 counties. Domestically, Fifty Shades played coast and coast and proved it wasn’t just a glossy brand relegated to metropolitan business.
The third and final chapter based on EL James’ bestselling soft-core phenomenon is produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, alongside James, with a screenplay by Niall Leonard.
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